More Hiring on the Way

By CIO Update Staff

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CIOs expect a modest up tick in IT hiring in the third quarter, according to the Robert Half Technology quarterly IT Hiring Index and Skills Report .

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 quarter’s 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.

The survey's key findings include:

  • Business growth is the primary motivation for adding IT staff, according to executives surveyed.
  • Windows administration (Server 2000/2003) is the hottest skill set within IT departments.
  • The Mountain states lead the nation in hiring optimism, results show.
  • Executives in the finance, insurance and real estate industry are most optimistic about hiring activity.
  • 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.)

    Regional Outlook

    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.

    Industries Hiring

    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 reductions—a net 14 percent hiring increase.