CIOs Talk Q3 Hiring Projections

Menlo Park, Calif. — June 13

Technology executives forecast continued IT hiring activity in the third quarter of 2011, according to a recent survey by Robert Half Technology.

In the latest quarterly survey, titled “IT Hiring Index and Skills Report,” 7 percent of CIOs said they plan to expand their IT departments, and 3 percent expect cutbacks, for a net 4 percent projected increase in hiring. Eighty-seven percent of CIOs are confident in their companies’ growth prospects in the next three months, a seven-point increase from last quarter.

The IT Hiring Index and Skills Report is based on telephone interviews with more than 1,400 CIOs from companies across the U.S. 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 is 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 4 percent increase in anticipated IT hiring activity is down from a net 7 percent projected last quarter. However, executives’ confidence in business growth and IT investments is rising.
•    Eighty-seven percent of CIOs are confident in their companies’ growth prospects in the next three months, a seven-point increase from last quarter.
•    More than half (55 percent) of technology executives rated the confidence of their firms investing in IT projects in the third quarter a 4 or higher on a 5-point scale, with 5 being the most optimistic. This is up seven points from the last quarter.
•    Technical support and networking professionals are in greatest demand right now, according to survey respondents.
•    Forty-eight percent of CIOs said it’s challenging to find skilled professionals today, up five points from the previous quarter.

“Companies are hiring to meet pent-up technology demand, and they are even more confident in future business growth,” said John Reed, executive director of Robert Half Technology. “Firms are ready to invest in new IT projects and employees to support business goals.”

Confidence in Business Growth and IT Investments
Eighty-seven percent of CIOs reported being at least somewhat confident in their company’s prospects for growth in the third quarter of 2011; 55 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 interviewed foresee the greatest challenge in finding skilled IT professionals are networking (21 percent) – up from 13 percent last quarter, and security (16 percent). Applications development and help desk/technical support followed, with 14 percent and 12 percent of the response respectively.

Network administration remains the skill set in greatest demand, cited by 68 percent of CIOs. Desktop support ranked second, with 66 percent of the response, followed by Windows administration at 56 percent.

Regional Outlook
CIOs in the Mid-Atlantic, Mountain and Pacific states are leading in terms of plans to hire staff in the third quarter. Seven percent of executives plan to add IT staff and just 1 percent expect cutbacks in each of these regions.

Industries Hiring
The retail and manufacturing sectors are tied for the lead in terms of hiring expectations. Nine percent of CIOs plan to expand their IT departments and only 1 percent anticipate staff reductions in both industries. Executives in the professional services industry and the transportation, communications and utilities sector each forecast a net 5 percent hiring increase.

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