CIOs Project Hiring Increase in Third Quarter

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Going into the third quarter of 2007, chief information officers (CIOs) project an increase in hiring of IT professionals, according to the “IT Hiring Index and Skills Report” from IT staffing and consulting firm Robert Half Technology (RHT).


The report drew responses from more than 1,400 CIOs from a stratified random sample of U.S. companies with 100 or more employees. It was conducted by an independent research firm and developed by RHT.


According to the report, 17 percent of CIOs surveyed plan to add IT staff in the next two months, with just 2 percent foreseeing IT staff cutbacks. The net 15 percent increase is up three percentage points from the previous quarter’s projection and is the highest since the fourth quarter of 2001.


RHT Vice President John Estes said some of this momentum can be credited to the fact that the third quarter of a year traditionally is strong, with companies ramping up for the end of the year. The growth seen here, however, goes beyond that factor.


“It continues the positive news that we hear in the IT labor markets from last year into this year and, frankly, we see this forecast going even beyond that,” Estes said. “It’s good to be in IT right now.”


According to the report, the job category expected to see the most growth this quarter is help desk/end-user support, selected by 21 percent of respondents.


“We’re seeing a lot of growth there just because we’re seeing a lot of growth in other areas,” Estes said. “With the increased development activity that’s going on, so many projects that were shelved for so long are now seeing fruition, which is impacting infrastructure. That means support, whether it’s from a technician or a help desk standpoint, is going to have to be higher to support that development effort.”


CIOs participating in the survey also were asked what skills they ranked most in-demand, with participants allowed multiple responses. Microsoft Windows administration was the most sought-after skill set at 79 percent. Network administration came in second at 72 percent, followed by database management at 64 percent.


“That tells you that there are more people on these networks and more people coming into these companies,” Estes said. “There’s just so much IT spending going on that somebody has to wrap their arms around this network and help administer that network.”

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