CIOs Talk IT Hiring in Q4

Menlo Park, Calif. — Sept. 12

Technology executives expect IT hiring to continue in the fourth quarter of 2011, according to the recent “Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Index and Skills Report .” In the latest quarterly survey, 12 percent of CIOs said they plan to expand their IT departments and 6 percent expect cutbacks, for a net 6 percent projected increase in hiring activity. This is up two points from the previous quarter’s projections.

The report is based on telephone interviews with more than 1,400 CIOs from companies across the United States with 100 or more employees. Executives are asked whether their companies plan to increase or decrease the number of full-time IT personnel on their staff during the coming quarter.

The survey 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.

Key Findings
•    The net 6 percent increase in anticipated IT hiring activity is up two points from a net 4 percent increase in hiring activity projected last quarter.
•    92 percent of CIOs are confident in their companies’ growth prospects in the next three months, up five points from last quarter.
•    88 percent of technology executives rated the confidence of their firms investing in IT projects in the fourth quarter a 3 or higher on a 5-point scale, with 5 being the most optimistic.
•    IT security and networking professionals are in greatest demand right now, according to survey respondents.
•    Two-thirds (66 percent) of CIOs said it’s challenging to find skilled professionals today, up 18 points from the previous quarter.

“CIOs are optimistic but are being careful not to overload their teams with too many projects, given the challenging recruiting environment,” said John Reed, executive director of Robert Half Technology. “Right now, companies are focused on the ‘need-to-have’ projects that can enhance security, streamline processes or generate revenue.”

Confidence in Business Growth and IT Investments
Ninety-two percent of CIOs reported being at least somewhat confident in their companies’ prospects for growth in the fourth quarter of 2011; 39 percent rated the probability of investing in IT projects a 4 or higher on a 5-point scale, with 5 being the most optimistic.

Skills in Demand

The functional areas in which executives say the greatest challenge in finding skilled IT professionals are security (18 percent) and networking (17 percent). Data/database management and help desk/technical support followed, each with 11 percent.

Network administration remains the skill set in greatest demand, cited by 63 percent of CIOs. Desktop management ranked second, with 50 percent of the response, followed by desktop support at 43 percent.

Regional Outlook
CIOs in the Mid-Atlantic area of the country plan the most IT hiring in the fourth quarter, with a net 13 percent of executives anticipating adding IT staff.

Industries Hiring
Executives in the transportation industry expect the most IT hiring in the fourth quarter. A net 18 percent of CIOs in this sector plan to expand their IT departments. This was followed by the business services industry with a net 12 percent of technology leaders anticipating hiring increases. Manufacturing and wholesale were next, with a net 10 percent and 9 percent, respectively, of executives in these industries planning to add staff.

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