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CIOs REVEAL SECOND-QUARTER HIRING PLANS: Robert Half Technology Survey Finds Businesses Optimistic

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MENLO PARK, Calif., March 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Technology executives expect continued information technology (IT) hiring in the second quarter of 2012, albeit at a slower pace than three months ago, according to the just-released Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Index and Skills Report (http://rht.mediaroom.com/ITHiringIndex). In the latest quarterly survey, 8 percent of chief information officers (CIOs) interviewed said they plan to expand their IT departments, and 5 percent expect cutbacks, for a net 3 percent projected increase in hiring activity. Most CIOs plan to maintain their current staff levels: 85 percent of those surveyed plan no change in hiring, up 15 points from the first quarter.

In the same survey, 87 percent of technology executives were somewhat or very optimistic about their companies' growth prospects in the next three months, and 77 percent felt confident in their firms' second-quarter investment in IT projects. 

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 3 percent increase in anticipated IT hiring activity is down seven points from a net 10 percent increase in hiring activity projected last quarter. Eighty-five percent of CIOs plan to maintain their current staffing levels, up 15 points from the first quarter. 
  • Networking and IT security professionals are in greatest demand, followed closely by help desk/technical support professionals, according to survey respondents.
  • Sixty-five percent of CIOs said it's challenging to find skilled professionals today.
  • Eighty-seven percent of CIOs are somewhat or very confident in their companies' growth prospects in the next three months.
  • Seventy-seven percent of technology executives expressed confidence in their firms' second-quarter investments in IT projects, rating the likelihood that their companies would be investing in IT projects a three or higher on a five-point scale, with five being most confident. 

"Although hiring in the second quarter isn't expected to be as robust as it was at the beginning of the year, the trend remains positive. Those in hot specialties, such as networking and IT security, will continue to be in strong demand," said John Reed, executive director of Robert Half Technology. "Mobile media is an especially important area of growth right now." 

Confidence in Business Growth and IT Investments
Eighty-seven percent of CIOs reported being somewhat or very confident in their companies' prospects for growth in the second quarter of 2012; 77 percent of technology executives expressed confidence in their firms' second-quarter investment in IT projects, rating the likelihood that their companies would be investing in IT projects a three or higher on a five-point scale, with five being 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 (16 percent) and IT security (15 percent). Help desk/technical support, applications development and data/database management followed, cited by 14 percent,13 percent and 10 percent of survey respondents, respectively. 

Network administration remains the skill set in greatest demand, cited by 55 percent of CIOs. Database management and desktop support were next, with 54 percent and 51 percent, of the response, respectively.

Regional Outlook
CIOs in the Mountain(1) region plan the most IT hiring in the second quarter with a net 12 percent of executives anticipating adding IT staff; 17 percent plan an increase in hiring, and 5 percent expect to cut back.

Industries Hiring
Executives in the wholesale industry expect the most IT hiring in the second quarter. A net 12 percent of CIOs in this sector plan to expand their IT departments. This was followed by the transportation industry with a net 9 percent of technology leaders anticipating hiring increases. Manufacturing was next, with a net 7 percent of executives in this industry 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 in 2010 and is 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 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 AZ, CO, ID, MT, NM, NV, UT, WY

SOURCE Robert Half Technology



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