CIOs anticipate strong hiring activity in first quarter

    TORONTO, Dec. 4 /CNW/ - Nineteen per cent of chief information officers
(CIOs) plan to add information technology (IT) staff and 6 per cent anticipate
personnel reductions in the first quarter of 2008, according to the latest
Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Index and Skills Report. The net 13 per cent
hiring increase compares with a net 8 per cent increase projected last
quarter. The majority of respondents, 68 per cent, foresee no change in their
staffing activity in the next three months.
    The Hiring Index and Skills Report is based on interviews with more than
270 CIOs from a stratified random sample of Canadian companies 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

    -   Windows administration (Server 2000/2003) skills are in greatest
        demand in IT departments.
    -   Help desk/end user support is the hottest job category.
    -   Business services firms lead all industries in hiring expectations.

    "Information technology professionals at all levels are needed to support
ongoing business expansion," said Sandra Lavoy, a vice-president with Robert
Half Technology. "Many companies are increasing compensation and revisiting
recruitment and retention practices to ensure they are able to attract and
retain the skilled IT professionals they need."
    Fifty-three per cent of CIOs polled said business growth is the leading
reason for expanding their IT departments. Increased need for customer and/or
end-user support (16 per cent) and systems upgrades (15 per cent) were also
cited as leading factors.
    When asked in the same survey to forecast IT staffing needs for all of
2008, CIOs were optimistic. Eighty-nine per cent indicated they plan to
increase staff size or maintain current headcount. Only 3 per cent indicated
plans to decrease staff size and 8 per cent were undecided.

                               Skills in Demand

    Windows administration is the most sought after technical skill set in IT
departments, according to 83 per cent of CIOs polled. Firewall administration
was cited by 66 per cent of respondents, followed by database management
(Oracle, SQL Server, DB2) at 60 per cent and Network administration (Cisco,
Nortel) at 58 per cent.
    (Note: CIOs surveyed were allowed multiple responses.)
    Help desk/end-user support was rated the job category to experience the
most growth in the first quarter of 2008 by 24 per cent of executives polled.
This was followed by project management at 14 per cent and networking at
12 per cent.

                              Industries Hiring

    Technology executives in the business services sector are most optimistic
about hiring in the first three months of the year. Thirty per cent of CIOs
plan to add IT staff, while none foresee personnel cutbacks.
    Notable hiring gains are also forecast in the finance, insurance and real
estate industry, where executives anticipate a net 25 per cent increase. CIOs
in the retail sector expect a net 22 per cent increase, followed by the
transportation industry at 18 per cent.

    With more than 100 locations in North America, Europe and Asia, Robert
Half Technology is a leading provider of IT professionals on a project and
full-time basis, for initiatives ranging from web development and
multiplatform systems integration to network security and technical support.
For more information about Robert Half Technology or to learn about online job
search opportunities, please visit

    Also available: First-quarter financial hiring index.

    First Quarter 2008

    Information Technology Hiring: By Industry
    Percentage . . .  Increase    Decrease    No Change   Don't Know   Total

    All Industries       19           6           68           7        100

    Manufacturing         4           0           92           4        100

    Retail               24           2           67           7        100

     Insurance &
     Real Estate         25           0           73           2        100

    Prof. Services       24          13           51          12        100

    Construction         10           0           83           7        100

    Wholesale            20          18           55           7        100

    Transportation       18           0           81           1        100

    Bus. Services        30           0           59          11        100

For further information:

For further information: EDITOR'S NOTE: To schedule an interview for
local commentary in Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton or Vancouver, please
contact Jason Chapman at (416) 350-8143, extension 62070

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