CIOs anticipate IT hiring in third quarter

Survey shows strongest forecast in eighteen months

TORONTO, June 29 /CNW/ - Information technology (IT) recruitment activity is expected to gain momentum in the third quarter, according to the latest Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Index and Skills Report. Twelve per cent of chief information officers (CIOs) plan to expand their IT departments and 3 per cent foresee personnel cutbacks. The net 9 per cent increase is the strongest forecast measured since the first quarter of 2009. Additionally, 78 per cent of CIOs said they are confident in their companies' growth prospects in the third quarter.

The IT Hiring Index and Skills Report is based on telephone interviews with more than 270 CIOs from companies across Canada with 100 or more employees. It was 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.

    
                                 Key Findings
                                 ------------

    -   The net 9 per cent increase is up ten points from the second quarter
        projection and fifteen points from the same quarter last year

    -   Seventy-eight per cent of CIOs are confident in their companies'
        growth prospects in the third quarter

    -   The finance, insurance and real estate sector forecasts the strongest
        growth with a net 25 per cent of CIOs anticipating increased hiring
    

"Many technology executives are confident about their growth prospects for the third quarter and several plan to add personnel," said Megan Slabinski, president of Robert Half Technology's Canadian operations. "Companies are realizing that upgraded IT systems can improve efficiencies and many are turning to full-time and contract professionals to capitalize on emerging growth opportunities."

In another recent survey by Robert Half Technology, 65 per cent of CIOs polled said that understaffing in their company's IT department interferes at least somewhat with their ability to implement innovative or emerging technologies.

    
               Confidence in Business Growth and IT Investment
               -----------------------------------------------
    

When asked to rate how confident they are in their organizations' growth prospects in the third quarter, 78 per cent of technology executives said they are very or somewhat confident. This is up seven points from the second quarter. Forty-nine per cent of CIOs said they are optimistic about their firms' likelihood of investing in IT projects in the next three months.

    
                          Recruitment and Retention
                          -------------------------
    

As hiring activity increases, so do worries among CIOs about retaining key players on their teams. Forty-one per cent of technology executives said they are concerned about losing top IT performers to other job opportunities in the next year, up from 38 per cent last quarter. Forty-nine per cent also reported that it is challenging to find skilled IT professionals today.

    
                               Skills in Demand
                               ----------------
    

The functional area that was cited as most challenging to fill was skilled help desk/technical support, cited by 18 per cent of executives, followed by applications development at 13 per cent. Data/database management and software development earned 11 per cent and 10 per cent, respectively, of the response.

When asked which technical skill set is most in demand within their IT departments, CIOs ranked Windows administration first (65 per cent). Network administration came in second with 63 per cent of executives citing this skill as in demand, followed by desktop support at 60 per cent. (Note: CIOs were allowed multiple responses.)

    
                              Industries Hiring
                              -----------------
    

Finance, insurance and real estate is one of two sectors with the most optimistic hiring plans for the third quarter. Twenty-five per cent of CIOs in this industry expect to add IT staff and none project personnel reductions. Ninety-two per cent are confident about their growth prospects for the third quarter.

CIOs in the retail sector also forecast a net 21 per cent increase in hiring. Twenty-one per cent of executives plan to expand their IT departments and none foresee staff cutbacks. Ninety-seven per cent of CIOs in this industry express third quarter business confidence.

Other industries with hiring expectations at or above the national average include the professional services sector. Fourteen per cent of CIOs expect to add staff and none anticipate personnel reductions. Business services and wholesale followed with nets of 13 per cent and 9 per cent each.

    
                               About the Survey
                               ----------------
    

The quarterly IT Hiring Index and Skills Report is conducted as part of the Robert Half Professional Employment Report, which tracks hiring trends among professional occupations. More information about the Professional Employment Report is available at http://www.roberthalf.ca/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.

SOURCE Robert Half Technology

For further information: For further information: Kristie Perrotte, (416) 350-2330, kristie.perrotte@rhi.com


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