CIOs Report on Third Quarter Hiring Plans

    Survey Finds Most Executives Expect to Maintain Current Staffing Levels

    TORONTO, June 16 /CNW/ - Employers are expected to remain cautious about
adding information technology (IT) professionals in the third quarter,
according to the Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Index and Skills Repot. Five
per cent of chief information officers (CIOs) expect to hire full-time
employees in the next three months, while 11 per cent anticipate personnel
reductions. The majority of respondents, 80 per cent, plan to maintain current
staffing levels.
    The IT Hiring Index and Skills Report is based on telephone interviews
with more than 270 CIOs from companies across Canada. 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

    -   Technology executives attribute staff reductions largely to reduced
        IT budgets and companywide layoffs.
    -   Employers cite rising workloads as the primary reason to add IT
    -   CIOs in the finance sector are most optimistic about hiring.
    -   Project management is the job area experiencing the most growth.

    "Many Canadian companies remain hesitant to commit to adding IT staff
until they are more certain on the timing of an economic recovery," said
Sandra Lavoy, a vice-president with Robert Half Technology. "Managers are
watching budgets closely and working with their current teams to deliver key
initiatives, with some employers bringing in project professionals to cope
with rising workloads."
    Twenty-three percent of technology executives hiring expect to add a mix
of full-time and contract or project workers in the third quarter. When hiring
full-time staff, nearly two-thirds of CIOs surveyed (64 per cent) plan to
recruit IT professionals at the staff level (up to five years of experience).
Nearly one-quarter (24 per cent) of CIOs said they plan to hire at the senior
staff level (five or more years of experience). (Note: CIOs were allowed
multiple responses.)
    Technology executives expecting to decrease staff in the third quarter
said the top reason is reduced IT budgets, with 50 per cent of the response.
Thirty-three percent cited companywide layoffs, and 9 per cent said reduced or
consolidated workloads. Forty-five per cent of executives cited rising
workloads as the primary factor driving hiring demand, followed by corporate
growth or expansion at 16 per cent.

                               Skills in Demand
    Sixty per cent of CIOs report that Windows administration (Server
2000/2003) is the technical skill set most in demand in their IT departments.
Desktop support received 58 per cent of the response, followed closely by
Network administration (LAN, WAN), at 56 per cent.
    When asked which job area is experiencing the most growth, technology
executives ranked project management first, with 13 per cent of the response.
Networking, internet/intranet development and applications development
followed, each at 10 per cent of the response.

                              Industries Hiring
    Twenty-two per cent of executives in the finance sector plan to add staff
and 11 per cent foresee personnel cutbacks, for a net 11 per cent hiring
increase, which is 17 points above the national average. Thirty-five per cent
of finance sector executives said corporate growth or expansion is driving
staffing activity. Help desk, technical support and systems analysis are the
job areas experiencing the most growth within their IT departments. Among CIOs
in this sector who plan to add staff in the third quarter, 54 per cent expect
to hire IT professionals with up to five years of experience, and 27 per cent
said they anticipate hiring senior staff with five or more years of

                               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.

                         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

For further information:

For further information: Kristie Perrotte, (416) 350-2330,

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