IT Hiring: Will 2010 Finish Out Strong?
Chief information officers expect a modest increase in hiring in the fourth quarter, according to the latest Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Index and Skills Report. Nine percent of CIOs plan to add IT staff and 6 percent foresee cutbacks before the end of the year. The net 3 percent increase in hiring activity is down three points from the prior quarter’s forecast, but up three points from this time last year.
The survey also found that 84 percent of CIOs are at least somewhat confident in their companies’ growth prospects in the fourth quarter, up three points from the third quarter.
The IT Hiring Index and Skills Report is based on telephone interviews with more than 1,400 CIOs from companies across the United States with 100 or more employees. 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.
Here are some of the key findings of the report:
• The South Atlantic and East South Central regions anticipate the most active IT hiring.
• Eighty-four percent of CIOs are at least somewhat confident in their companies’ growth prospects in the fourth quarter; 37 percent are very confident.
• Network administration skills remain the most in demand among employers.
“Technology executives continue to add staff to keep up with rising workloads and to implement projects previously put on hold,” said John Reed, executive director of Robert Half Technology. “Many organizations have realized that technology investments can lead to long-term cost savings and better efficiency, which has resulted in hiring in a number of IT specialties.”
Confidence in Business Growth and IT Investments
When asked to rate how confident they are in their organizations’ growth prospects in the fourth quarter, 84 percent of technology executives said they are very or somewhat confident, up three points from the third quarter. Forty-five percent of CIOs said they are optimistic about their firms’ likelihood of investing in IT projects in the coming months.
Skills in Demand
The functional area reported as most challenging to find skilled professionals was networking, cited by 21 percent of executives, followed by information security and help desk/technical support, each with 13 percent of the response.
For a majority of CIOs (60 percent), the technical skill set most in demand within their IT departments is network administration. Database management ranked second, with 54 percent of the response, followed by Windows administration (Server 2000/2003/2008) and desktop support, each with 51 percent of the response.
The South Atlantic states are expected to lead the country in hiring activity in the fourth quarter. Thirteen percent of CIOs in the South Atlantic region plan to add IT staff and 4 percent forecast personnel reductions, for a net 9 percent increase in hiring activity.
In addition to network administration, technology executives in the region report strong demand for IT professionals with desktop support skills. Eighty-seven percent of CIOs in the South Atlantic region are somewhat or very confident in their companies’ growth prospects for the fourth quarter.
CIOs in the East South Central region also forecast hiring activity above the national average. Eight percent of CIOs expect to expand their IT departments and 3 percent foresee staff cutbacks, for a net 5 percent increase.
CIOs in the transportation sector forecast a net 8 percent increase in hiring. Nine percent of executives in this sector plan to expand their IT departments and 1 percent foresee staff cutbacks. Companies in the transportation industry are actively recruiting professionals with desktop support, database management and website development skills.
Business services is another sector with hiring expectations above the national average. Fourteen percent of CIOs expect to add staff and 8 percent anticipate personnel reductions, for a net 6 percent increase.