Of executives polled, 13% plan to add IT staff in the next three months while three percent anticipate cutbacks. The net 10% hiring increase is up two percentage points from the previous quarters forecast.
The national poll includes 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 Robert Half Technology, a provider of IT professionals on a project and full-time basis. The company has been tracking IT hiring activity in the United States since 1995.
Of CIOs who expect to hire new full-time IT professionals 44% said business growth is the primary factor driving the demand. Twenty-three percent of respondents attributed the need for more staff to increased customer or end-user support.
Skills in Demand
When asked which technical skill sets were needed most within their IT departments, 79% of CIOs reported demand for Microsoft Windows administration (Server 2000/2003) expertise.
Network administration (Cisco, Nortel, Novell) was cited by 76% of respondents, followed closely by database management (Oracle, SQL Server, DB2) with 69% of the response. (Note: CIOs surveyed were allowed multiple responses.)
For the second time in three quarters, technology executives in the Mountain states are most optimistic about their upcoming hiring plans: 19% expect to add personnel and none foresee staff cutbacks.
The net 19% increase is nine percentage points above the national average.
Notable hiring gains are also expected in the West South Central region: 21% of CIOs plan to expand their IT departments and three percent anticipate personnel reductions, a net 18% hiring increase.
The finance, insurance and real estate sector is expected to lead the nation in hiring activity during the third quarter: 16% of CIOs in this industry plan to add IT staff and only one percent expect personnel cutbacks.
The net 15% hiring increase is five points above the national average.
CIOs in the transportation industry also plan strong hiring activity: 14% percent plan to expand their IT departments and none anticipate staff reductionsa net 14 percent hiring increase.