Hiring Outlook Continues To Look Good

Technology Staff Editor
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Good news for job seekers (especially those living in the west and northeast regions) as CIOs expect to hire on more staff in the next few months. According to the latest Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Index and Skills Report, 17 percent of tech executives surveyed will add staff in the next three months and only 2 percent foresee personnel cutbacks. The figure represents a net 15 percent jump in hiring, the highest since the fourth quarter of 2001. It seems tech leaders in the Pacific states are most optimistic about hiring, with 21 percent expecting to expand IT departments and just 1 percent anticipating personnel reductions. The spike--a net 20 percent increase--is up four percentage points from the region's second quarter forecast and is five percentage points above the national average.
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Employment in the Middle Atlantic and New England states is also expected to exceed the national average. CIOs in both regions anticipate a net 19 percent hiring increase. Other results of the national survey, which includes responses from more than 1,400 CIOs at U.S. companies with 100 or more employees, include the following:
  • Business growth remains the top reason companies are adding IT staff.
  • Help desk/end-user support is the job category experiencing the most growth.
  • CIOs in the wholesale sector are most optimistic about employment gains.
"In the course of expanding operations, many companies are investing in technology initiatives that require IT professionals with a range of development and support skills," said Katherine Spencer Lee, executive director of Robert Half Technology in a press statement. "This has intensified competition for top talent, prompting firms to expedite their hiring processes and devote greater resources to attracting and retaining employees." The hiring spike is driven by two main factors. Thirty-nine percent of CIOs pointed to corporate growth or expansion, while 27 percent cited demand for increased customer and/or end-user support. New enterprise-wide applications and systems upgrades were the third primary driver. When it comes to in-demand skills, Microsoft Windows administration (Server 2000/2003) remains the most sought-after skill set, followed by network administration and database management. The job category experiencing the biggest growth is help desk/end-user support, followed by networking, applications development and data/database management. CIOs in the wholesale sector forecast the most robust hiring activity in the third quarter—with 24 percent of CIOs hoping to add IT staff and no layoffs. Respondents from the wholesale sector indicate that their greatest need is for database management and administration skills, as well as Windows administration expertise. Technology executives in the retail and transportation industries also anticipate solid employment gains. Other recent articles from TechCareers Hiring Report: Liquid Machines Sets A High Bar When Hiring Career Profile: Chief Strategy Officer/Liquid Hub
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