MENLO PARK, Calif., June 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Technology executives forecast continued information technology (IT) hiring activity in the third 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, 7 percent of chief information officers (CIOs) said they plan to expand their IT departments, and 3 percent expect cutbacks, for a net 4 percent projected increase in hiring. Eighty-seven percent of CIOs are confident in their companies' growth prospects in the next three months, a seven-point increase from last quarter.
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 4 percent increase in anticipated IT hiring activity is down from a net 7 percent projected last quarter. However, executives' confidence in business growth and IT investments is rising.
- Eighty-seven percent of CIOs are confident in their companies' growth prospects in the next three months, a seven-point increase from last quarter.
- More than half (55 percent) of technology executives rated the confidence of their firms investing in IT projects in the third quarter a 4 or higher on a 5-point scale, with 5 being the most optimistic. This is up seven points from the last quarter.
- Technical support and networking professionals are in greatest demand right now, according to survey respondents.
- Forty-eight percent of CIOs said it's challenging to find skilled professionals today, up five points from the previous quarter.
"Companies are hiring to meet pent-up technology demand, and they are even more confident in future business growth," said John Reed, executive director of Robert Half Technology. "Firms are ready to invest in new IT projects and employees to support business goals."
Confidence in Business Growth and IT Investments
Eighty-seven percent of CIOs reported being at least somewhat confident in their company's prospects for growth in the third quarter of 2011; 55 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 interviewed foresee the greatest challenge in finding skilled IT professionals are networking (21 percent) -- up from 13 percent last quarter, and security (16 percent). Applications development and help desk/technical support followed, with 14 percent and 12 percent of the response, respectively.
Network administration remains the skill set in greatest demand, cited by 68 percent of CIOs. Desktop support ranked second, with 66 percent of the response, followed by Windows administration at 56 percent.
CIOs in the Mid-Atlantic(1), Mountain(2) and Pacific(3) states are leading in terms of plans to hire staff in the third quarter. Seven percent of executives plan to add IT staff and just 1 percent expect cutbacks in each of these regions.
The retail and manufacturing sectors are tied for the lead in terms of hiring expectations. Nine percent of CIOs plan to expand their IT departments and only 1 percent anticipate staff reductions in both industries. Executives in the professional services industry and the transportation, communications and utilities sector each forecast a net 5 percent projected hiring increase.
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 legal 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) Mid-Atlantic: NJ, NY, PA
(2) Mountain: AZ, CO, ID, MT, NV, NM, UT, WY
(3) Pacific: AK, CA, HI, OR, WA
SOURCE Robert Half Technology