Is IT Hiring Expected to Rise or Drop in Q2?
Technology executives predict continued IT hiring activity for the second quarter of 2011, according to the just-released Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Index and Skills Report. In the latest quarterly survey, 9 percent of CIOs said they plan to expand their IT departments, and just 2 percent expect cutbacks, for a net 7 percent increase in hiring.
The 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.
• The net 7 percent increase in IT hiring activity is up from a net 5 percent forecast this time a year ago, but down one point from the first-quarter 2011 forecast.
• Eighty percent of CIOs are confident in their companies’ growth prospects in the next three months.
• Nearly half (48 percent) of technology executives rated the probability of their firms investing in IT projects in the second quarter a 4 or higher on a 5-point scale (5 being the most optimistic).
• Security and networking professionals are in greatest demand right now, according to survey respondents.
"Companies recognize that moving ahead with formerly delayed upgrades and implementing new technologies can give them a competitive advantage," said John Reed, executive director of Robert Half Technology. "Firms are investing in projects designed to create business efficiencies and help improve service levels and often need more IT personnel to support these initiatives, particularly if their teams have been understaffed in recent years."
Confidence in Business Growth and IT Investments
Seventy-three percent of CIOs reported being at least somewhat optimistic about the likelihood of their organizations investing in IT projects in the coming quarter; 48 percent rated the probability at 4 or higher on a five-point scale, with 5 being the most optimistic.
Skills in Demand
The functional areas where executives foresee the greatest challenge in finding skilled IT professionals are security and networking, each cited by 13 percent of executives interviewed. Applications development and help-desk/technical support followed, with 11 percent and 10 percent of the response, respectively.
Network administration skills are in greatest demand, cited by 65 percent of CIOs. Windows administration (Server 2000/2003/2008) ranked second, with 60 percent of the response, followed by desktop support at 57 percent and database management at 52 percent. CIOs were allowed multiple responses to this question.
The finance, insurance and real estate sector leads all industries in hiring expectations. Seventeen percent of CIOs plan to expand their IT departments and none anticipates staff reductions. Technology executives in the wholesale and health services sectors also anticipate strong hiring activity, each forecasting a net 12 percent increase.