MENLO PARK, Calif. – Technology executives expect information technology (IT) hiring to continue in the first quarter of 2012, according to the just-released Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Index and Skills Report (http://rht.mediaroom.com/ITHiringIndex). In the latest quarterly survey, 20 percent of chief information officers (CIOs) said they plan to expand their IT departments, and 10 percent expect cutbacks, for a net 10 percent projected increase in hiring activity. This is up four points from the previous quarter’s projections.
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. Executives are asked whether their companies plan to increase or decrease the number of full-time IT personnel on their staff during the coming quarter. The survey is conducted by an independent research firm and developed by Robert Half Technology, a leading provider of IT professionals on a project and full-time basis. Robert Half has been tracking IT hiring activity in the United States since 1995.
The net 10 percent increase in anticipated IT hiring activity is up four points from a net 6 percent increase in hiring activity projected last quarter.
Networking and IT security professionals are in greatest demand, according to survey respondents.
Almost three quarters (73 percent) of CIOs said it’s challenging to find skilled professionals today, up seven points from the previous quarter.
Eight-eight percent of CIOs are confident in their companies’ growth prospects in the next three months.
Eighty-three percent of technology executives expressed confidence in their firms’ first-quarter investment in IT projects, rating the possibility of IT investment a 3 or higher on a five point scale, with 5 being most confident.
“The employment market for IT professionals has become more active, with many professionals looking for new opportunities,” said John Reed, executive director of Robert Half Technology. “The new year, especially, can be a time of transition as companies staff up and IT professionals take stock of their careers.”
Confidence in Business Growth and IT Investments
Eighty-eight percent of CIOs reported being at least somewhat confident in their companies’ prospects for growth in the first quarter of 2012; 42 percent rated the probability of investing in IT projects a 4 or higher on a 5-point scale, with 5 being the most confident.
Skills in Demand
The functional areas in which executives say they are experiencing the greatest challenge in finding skilled IT professionals are networking (20 percent) and IT security (19 percent). Applications development, data/database management and help desk/technical support followed, cited by 15 percent, 11 percent and 10 percent of survey respondents, respectively.
Network administration remains the skill set in greatest demand, cited by 57 percent of CIOs. Windows administration and desktop support were next, each with 56 percent of the response.
CIOs in the West South Central area of the country plan the most IT hiring in the first quarter with a net 23 percent of executives anticipating adding IT staff.
Executives in the retail industry expect the most IT hiring in the first quarter. A net 17 percent of CIOs in this sector plan to expand their IT departments. This was followed by the business services industry with a net 16 percent of technology leaders anticipating hiring increases. Manufacturing was next, with a net 11 percent of executives in these industries planning to add staff.