CIOs Report On Second Quarter Hiring Expectations

Survey Finds Most Executives Optimistic About Their Companies' Growth Prospects

TORONTO, March 11 /CNW/ - Nine per cent of chief information officers (CIOs) interviewed for the Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Index indicated they plan to add full-time information technology employees during the second quarter, the highest forecast since the second quarter of 2009, while 10 per cent expect staff reductions. While a net decrease is projected, this is the second consecutive quarter in which the number of executives anticipating increases has risen. The majority of respondents, 77 per cent, said they do not anticipate any changes to their personnel levels.

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
                                 ------------
    -   More than seven in 10 technology executives are confident in their
        companies' prospects for growth in the next three months.
    -   Half of those surveyed are optimistic their companies will invest in
        IT projects in the second quarter.
    -   Recruitment and retention are emerging as concerns for IT executives.
    -   CIOs in the finance industry lead the country in hiring optimism with
        nearly one in five executives planning to add staff.
    

"While most IT executives remain cautious, some companies are beginning to hire selectively to manage critical projects and heavy workloads as a result of increased IT investment," said Megan Slabinski, president of Robert Half Technology's Canadian operations. "In some cases, firms are bringing in consulting professionals focused in areas such as data/database management, web development and networking."

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

When asked to rate how confident they are in their companies' growth prospects in the second quarter, 71 per cent of CIOs said they are very or somewhat confident. Additionally, 50 per cent of technology executives said they are optimistic their firms will invest in new IT projects in the next three months.

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

Recruitment and retention are re-emerging as concerns for businesses, survey results show. Forty-four per cent of technology executives said it is challenging to find skilled IT professionals today. Thirty-eight per cent said they are worried about losing top performers to other job opportunities in the next year.

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

When asked in which functional area it is most challenging to find skilled IT professionals, 15 per cent of technology executives said data/database management. This was followed by web development/design and networking, each with 11 per cent of the response.

According to CIOs surveyed, network administration is the technical skill set most in demand within their IT departments, with 60 per cent of the response. Desktop support was the second most popular response at 54 per cent, followed closely by Windows administration at 53 per cent. (Note: CIOs were allowed multiple responses.)

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

The finance, insurance and real estate sector leads the country in hiring optimism for the first quarter, research shows. Nineteen per cent of CIOs plan to expand their IT departments and no one reports personnel reductions. Ninety-eight per cent of technology executives in this sector are confident about their company's growth prospects in the coming quarter, compared to 71 per cent for all industries combined.

When asked to rate how confident they are in their companies' likelihood to invest in IT projects in the second quarter on a scale of one to five, one being the least confident, 70 per cent of CIOs in the finance industry cited confidence levels of four or higher.

Other technology executives optimistic about second quarter hiring include those in the manufacturing sector where 22 per cent expect to add IT staff and 8 per cent project personnel cutbacks, for a net 14 per cent increase. In retail, 7 per cent of executives plan to expand their IT departments with no one expecting decreases.

    
                               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 270 telephone interviews with CIOs from a random sample of Canadian 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.

    
                         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. Follow Robert Half Technology on Twitter at www.twitter.com/RobertHalfTech.

SOURCE Robert Half Technology

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


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