CIOs Looking to Hire in Q2

By CIO Update Staff

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Business is good. So good, in fact, many CIOs say they are going to be hiring this Spring.

Fourteen percent of CIOs interviewed for the Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Index and Skills Report plan to add full-time IT staff in the second quarter, while just two-percent anticipate personnel reductions.

The net 12% hiring increase is the second highest since the third quarter of 2002.

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.

Key Findings

  • CIOs cited business growth as the top factor driving IT hiring for the second consecutive quarter.
  • Windows administration (Server 2000/2003) skills are in greatest demand, according to the survey, followed by network administration (Cisco, Nortel, Novell).
  • CIOs in the Mountain region lead the nation in hiring optimism, results show.
  • Technology executives at the largest firms (1,000 or more employees) will be most active, with a net 19% increase in hiring activity forecast.
  • “Favorable economic conditions have prompted many companies to expand operations and increase their investment in information technology, said Katherine Spencer Lee, executive director of Robert Half Technology, in a statement.

    Among CIOs who expect to hire, 36% said business growth or expansion was the primary reason, followed by 28% who cited increased demand for customer and/or end-user support professionals.

    The installation or development of new enterprise-wide applications was named by 14% of respondents as the chief reason for IT hiring increases.

    Skills in Demand

    Microsoft Windows administration (Server 2000/2003) was ranked by 73% of CIOs surveyed as the skill set most in demand. This specialty was followed by network administration (Cisco, Nortel, Novell), mentioned by 62% of respondents, and database management (Oracle, SQL Server, DB2), by 60% of respondents. (Note: CIOs surveyed were allowed multiple responses.)

    Regional Outlook

    The Mountain region showed a sizable gain in the number of companies expecting to hire in the second quarter, reclaiming the top spot it held for three of the last five quarters. Twenty-four percent of IT executives anticipate hiring increases, while just one percent forecast declines. This equates to a net 23% increase in hiring activity, up 19 points from the prior quarter.

    “Active hiring in the Mountain states is not surprising given the nature of growth in many of the region’s metropolitan areas,” Lee said. “In particular, companies are hiring Web developers and security specialists to enhance their online presence and safeguard networks and mobile devices.”

    In the Pacific region, 16% of CIOs surveyed plan to hire and none anticipate staff cutbacks, for a net 16% hiring increase.

    Industries Hiring

    The finance, insurance and real estate industry led all business sectors with 38% of CIOs expecting to add personnel and one percent projecting staff reductions, resulting in a net 37% hiring increase.

    IT executives in the transportation sector also forecast solid hiring increases, with 19% planning personnel additions and one percent expecting staff reductions, for a net 18% hiring increase.