CIOs Forecast Active Technology Hiring

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<p><strong>Menlo Park, Calif. &mdash; Sept. 19</strong><br />Fourteen percent of chief information officers (CIOs) polled for the Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Index and Skills Report expect to add IT staff in the fourth quarter of 2007, and 2 percent anticipate cutbacks.  </p><p>The net 12 percent hiring increase compares with net increases of 15 percent projected last quarter and 10 percent projected one year ago.  </p><p>The majority of respondents, 83 percent, foresee no change in fourth-quarter hiring.<br /><br />The Hiring Index and Skills Report is based on interviews with more than 1,400 CIOs from a stratified random sample of U.S. companies with 100 or more employees.  </p><p>It was conducted by an independent research firm and developed by Robert Half Technology, a provider of IT professionals on a project and full-time basis.  </p><p>The company has been tracking IT hiring activity in the United States since 1995.</p><p>Key findings include: </p><ul><li>Business growth continues to drive the need for more IT staff.</li><li>Networking is the hottest job category within IT departments.</li><li>CIOs in the Mountain and Pacific regions expect the strongest hiring activity.</li><li>Firms in the finance, insurance and real estate industry are most optimistic about employment gains.<br /></li></ul><p>&ldquo;As competition for candidates intensifies in many specialties, organizations are starting to accelerate the hiring process, increase salaries and offer work-life balance benefits such as telecommuting opportunities and flexible work schedules to attract and retain top talent,&rdquo; said Katherine Spencer Lee, Robert Half Technology executive director.<br /><br />The primary motivation for adding IT personnel, according to CIOs, is corporate growth &mdash; 45 percent of technology executives rated this as the key reason for adding staff, followed by increased need for customer and/or end-user support (18 percent) and installation or development of new enterprisewide applications (15 percent).<br /><br />According to 73 percent of CIOs surveyed, the technical skill set needed most in IT departments is Windows administration (Server 2000/2003).  </p><p>This was followed by network administration (Cisco, Nortel), with 70 percent of the response, and database management (Oracle, SQL Server, DB2), at 60 percent.  (Respondents were allowed multiple responses.)<br /><br />When asked about the most in-demand job category, technology executives ranked networking No. 1, with 18 percent of the response.  </p><p>&ldquo;Growing use of wireless devices such as smart phones, cell phones and laptops has heightened the need for professionals who can make these tools function effectively and securely within a company&rsquo;s network,&rdquo; Lee said.  </p><p>Help desk/end-user support received the second-highest response at 15 percent, followed by applications development at 14 percent.<br /><br />Technology executives in the Mountain region are most optimistic about fourth-quarter hiring plans &mdash; 23 percent of CIOs plan to expand their IT departments, and 3 percent anticipate staff reductions.  </p><p>The net 20 percent increase is eight points above the national average.<br /><br />&ldquo;Business growth in the region is encouraging firms to add more personnel,&rdquo; Lee said.  &ldquo;Companies are actively recruiting a range of IT professionals, from help desk to networking to development staff.&rdquo;<br /><br />CIOs in the Pacific states also forecast notable hiring activity &mdash; 20 percent of executives expect to add staff, and 1 percent foresee personnel cutbacks.  </p><p>&ldquo;Web and applications developers, particularly those possessing Microsoft .NET skills, are in high demand in the region,&rdquo; Lee said.<br /><br /> The finance, insurance and real estate sector is expected to see the most active hiring in the fourth quarter.  </p><p>Twenty-three percent of CIOs plan to expand their IT departments, and 2 percent plan staff reductions, for a net 21 percent hiring increase.  </p><p>&ldquo;The commercial real estate segment has experienced growth over the past several months,&rdquo; Lee said. &ldquo;Firms in the finance, insurance and real estate sector are actively recruiting Internet/intranet developers, networking experts and help desk/end-user support staff to sustain growth.&rdquo;<br /><br />Four other industries also anticipate employment gains above the national average: retail, professional services, wholesale and business services.  </p><p>Technology executives in each of these sectors forecast a net 15 percent hiring increase in the fourth quarter.</p>

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