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CIOs Reveal Fourth-Quarter Hiring Plans

Robert Half Technology Survey Finds Slight Uptick in IT Hiring Projections

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MENLO PARK, Calif., Sept. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Technology executives expect information technology (IT) hiring to continue in the fourth quarter of 2011, according to the just-released Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Index and Skills Report (http://rht.mediaroom.com/ITHiringIndex). In the latest quarterly survey, 12 percent of chief information officers (CIOs) said they plan to expand their IT departments, and 6 percent expect cutbacks, for a net 6 percent projected increase in hiring activity. This is up two 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.

Key Findings

  • The net 6 percent increase in anticipated IT hiring activity is up two points from a net 4 percent increase in hiring activity projected last quarter.
  • Ninety-two percent of CIOs are confident in their companies' growth prospects in the next three months, up five-points from last quarter.
  • Eighty-eight percent of technology executives rated the confidence of their firms investing in IT projects in the fourth quarter a 3 or higher on a 5-point scale, with 5 being the most optimistic.  
  • IT security and networking professionals are in greatest demand right now, according to survey respondents.
  • Two-thirds (66 percent) of CIOs said it's challenging to find skilled professionals today, up eighteen points from the previous quarter.

"CIOs are optimistic but are being careful not to overload their teams with too many projects, given the challenging recruiting environment," said John Reed, executive director of Robert Half Technology. "Right now, companies are focused on the 'need-to-have' projects that can enhance security, streamline processes or generate revenue."

Confidence in Business Growth and IT Investments

Ninety-two percent of CIOs reported being at least somewhat confident in their companies' prospects for growth in the fourth quarter of 2011; 39 percent rated the probability of investing in IT projects a 4 or higher on a 5-point scale, with 5 being the most optimistic.

Skills in Demand

The functional areas in which executives say the greatest challenge in finding skilled IT professionals are security (18 percent) and networking (17 percent). Data/database management and help desk/technical support followed, each with 11 percent.  

Network administration remains the skill set in greatest demand, cited by 63 percent of CIOs. Desktop management ranked second, with 50 percent of the response, followed by desktop support at 43 percent.

Regional Outlook

CIOs in the Mid-Atlantic(1) area of the country plan the most IT hiring in the fourth quarter with a net 13 percent of executives anticipating adding IT staff.

Industries Hiring

Executives in the transportation industry expect the most IT hiring in the fourth quarter. A net 18 percent of CIOs in this sector plan to expand their IT departments. This was followed by the business services industry with a net 12 percent of technology leaders anticipating hiring increases. Manufacturing and wholesale were next, with a net 10 percent and 9 percent, respectively, of executives in these industries planning to add staff.

About the Survey

The quarterly IT Hiring Index and Skills Report was developed by Robert Half Technology and conducted by an independent research firm. First published in 1995, the study is based on more than 1,400 telephone interviews with CIOs from a random sample of U.S. companies with 100 or more employees. In order for the study to be statistically representative and ensure that companies from all segments were represented, the sample was stratified by geographic region, industry and number of employees. The results were then weighted to reflect the proper number of employees within each region. The margin of error for this study is +/-2.6 percent at the 95 percent level of confidence.

Information from the study is featured in The Robert Half Professional Employment Report, which was launched last year and the first study of its kind to monitor the hiring environment for professional-level positions exclusively. Based on more than 4,000 telephone interviews with executives throughout the United States, it provides insight on employment trends to help businesses and job seekers prepare for the upcoming quarter. To see how hiring within the technology profession has changed since last quarter and how it compares to other sectors, please visit http://www.roberthalf.us/per.

About Robert Half Technology

With more than 100 locations worldwide, Robert Half Technology is a leading provider of technology professionals for initiatives ranging from web development and multiplatform systems integration to network security and technical support. Robert Half Technology offers online job search services at www.rht.com.

(1) Includes NJ, NY, PA

SOURCE Robert Half Technology



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