Survey: Business Confidence Remains High Among IT Executives; Recruiting Challenges Cited

TORONTO, Dec. 16 /CNW/ - Hiring in the information technology field will increase in the first quarter, according to the just-released Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Index and Skills Report. In the latest survey, 12 per cent of chief information officers (CIOs) said they plan to add information technology (IT) staff in the first three months of the year, and just 2 per cent foresee cutbacks. The net 10 per cent increase in hiring activity is up 5 points from the fourth-quarter forecast.

The survey also found that 88 per cent of CIOs are at least somewhat confident in their companies' growth prospects in the first quarter, the same number reported in the fourth-quarter survey. In addition, more than half (55 per cent) of executives said it is very or somewhat challenging to find skilled IT professionals today.

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 10 per cent increase in projected IT hiring activity for the
        first quarter is up 5 points from the prior quarter's forecast.
    -   Eighty-eight per cent of CIOs are at least somewhat confident in
        their companies' growth prospects in the first quarter; 36 per cent
        are very confident.
    -   More than half (55 per cent) of CIOs expect to encounter recruiting
        challenges in the quarter ahead.
    -   Windows administration is one of the most highly sought areas of
        expertise for job candidates.

"As executives are seeing growth in their organisations, technology departments are playing a key role in maximizing operational efficiencies," said Lara Dodo, Canadian regional vice president of Robert Half Technology. "As a result, firms are augmenting their IT teams and investing in supporting network, windows administration and web development needs."

               Confidence in Business Growth and IT Investments

Eighty-eight per cent of CIOs polled expressed optimism about their organisation's ability to expand in the next three months. Sixty-two per cent of CIOs are confident about their companies' likelihood to invest in IT projects in the first quarter of 2011.

                               Skills in Demand

The functional areas in which executives foresee the most challenges in finding skilled professionals are networking and applications development, each cited by 14 per cent of executives. This was followed by security, with 12 per cent of the response.

The technical skill set most in demand within IT departments for a majority of CIOs (77 per cent) is Windows administration (Server 2000/2003/2008). Network administration ranked second, with 75 per cent of the response, followed by desktop support and database management, garnering 73 per cent and 64 per cent of the response, respectively. (Note: CIOs were allowed multiple responses.)

                              Industries Hiring

CIOs in the finance, insurance and real estate industries are most likely to hire in the first quarter. Thirty-seven per cent of executives in this sector plan to expand their IT departments and 7 per cent foresee staff reductions. CIOs in this industry said it is most difficult to find skilled applications developers, followed by networking professionals.

Retail is another sector with hiring expectations above the national average. Sixteen per cent of CIOs anticipate adding staff and none expect to reduce personnel, for a net 16 per cent increase in hiring activity.

                               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. The results were then weighted to reflect the proper number of employees within each region. The margin of error for this study is +/-5.9 per cent at the 95 per cent level of confidence.

The 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

                         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

SOURCE Robert Half Technology

For further information: For further information: TO SPEAK WITH A LOCAL EXPERT, CONTACT: Robert Half Technology, Contact: Nadia Santoli, (416) 350-2330,

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