Tech companies are planning a burst of hiring over the next three years, according to a survey of technology company chief executive officers that was conducted by KPMG.
Workforces at technology companies are expected to increase by at least 6 percent, the poll of CEOs found.
High-tech firms also intend to bolster automation and machine learning in an array of functions, the KPMG survey of 138 tech CEOs determined. Technology executives also intend to find ways to meld additional workers with improved automation.
“Tech CEOs see the benefits of digital labor augmenting workforce capabilities,” said Gary Matuszak, global and U.S. chair of KPMG’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications practice.
The increased automation and machine learning could enable new ways for tech companies to conduct business so they can add customer value, become more efficient and slash costs.
“They see the combination of digital and human labor as an effective way to execute their strategy,” Matuszak said.
Technology CEOs stated their top priorities are to increase digitization of their business, strengthen focus on their clients, deploy technologies that are disruptive, improve cyber security and develop human talent.
An estimated 95 percent of technology CEOs intend to increase their headcount in the next three years, 2 percent plan to slash staffing and 3 percent expect to keep their workforce at current levels, KPMG reported.
Yet at the same time that hiring is on the table, some workers will leave technology companies, replaced by increased automation.
Over the next three years, machine learning and automation are expected to replace at least 5 percent of existing technology workers in several key areas, the survey found. The affected units will primarily be in the sales force, information technology, manufacturing and marketing.
Meanwhile, the hiring surge is already here, according to a Bay Area News Group analysis of employment trends in recent years.
During the 12 months that ended in May, Bay Area employers increased their technology staffing levels by 5.2 percent. Job gains in technology outpaced overall hiring, which was up 3.1 percent for all industry groups during the same one-year period.
In Santa Clara County, technology jobs increased by 5.8 percent over the last year and in the San Francisco-San Mateo area, tech jobs grew 6.5 percent, this publication’s analysis of official state labor figures showed.
Technology companies also are concerned about how they will serve millennials as customers.
“Millennials are the first generation of digital natives, the largest generation in history,” said Tim Zanni, KPMG managing partner in Silicon Valley.
Plus, it ultimately comes down to spending power.
“The oldest millennials have now reached what has traditionally been the prime spending period, starting at age 35,” Zanni said.
Photo: Google workers outside the company’s headquarters in Mountain View. (Bay Area News Group)