Sapphire/IBM Survey Shows Demand for IT Professionals Expected to Grow Over the Next Two Quarters

    TORONTO, Aug. 25 /CNW Telbec/ - Job prospects for Canadian IT
professionals appear to be brightening as 87 per cent of employers say they
plan to maintain or grow their current staffing levels over the next quarter,
according to a recent survey of 300 Canadian business decision-makers by
Sapphire and IBM. Below are a few highlights from the study.

    - Hiring intentions are optimistic - the highest seen by both companies
      since 2007. Eighty-seven per cent of respondents (largely CIOs, VPs,
      and Directors) said their IT staffing levels would stay the same or
      grow over the next quarter.

    - This demand is driven by a number of positive developments. These
      include: the installation of new enterprise-wide applications
      (26 per cent); increased workload (23 per cent); increased customer/end
      user support (16 per cent) and organizational growth (15 per cent).

    - Demand for permanent employees is increasing. Of those companies
      planning to increase IT staff, 37 per cent of respondents expect to
      hire IT professionals for full time positions over the next quarter.
      Forty-three per cent expect to increase permanent hires over the next
      12 months.

    - Contract resources are also in the hiring mix, with 21 per cent of
      those planning to hire opting for contract resources and a further
      37 per cent a combination of contractors and permanent staff.

    - Key Roles: Project Managers and Business Analysts. The growth in the
      demand for these roles suggests organizations are once again ramping up
      projects and need managers and analysts to assist with the front-end

    - Key Skills: Application development tops the list, with 33 per cent of
      respondents expecting IT staff increases citing it as a skill they will
      be looking for over the next quarter and into the following 12 months.
      Applications that will attract the most attention include: .net
      (27 per cent) and Java (25 per cent). Infrastructure technology skills
      were also popular, with 26 per cent looking for those skills, and
      34 per cent planning increases in a combination of application
      development and infrastructure skills.

    - Talent requirements vary according to size of organization. Web
      development/design skills are greater among small to mid-sized
      companies as well as desktop support skills. In mid-sized companies,
      network administration is the most sought-after skill, while larger
      companies see more value in IT security and telecommunication support.

    - Offshoring and nearshoring are most pronounced among large corporations
      and in Quebec, where incidences approach or exceed the 50 per cent
      mark. In fact, Quebec-based companies are twice as likely to offshore
      and nearshore as the rest of the country.

    - Current users are generally satisfied and 12 per cent of non-users
      report their companies are considering using offshore/near shore
      staffing services during the next year.

    About the Survey: The online survey was conducted from June 22nd to July
6th 2009 by The Verde Group on behalf of Sapphire and IBM with more than 300
Canadian business decision- makers - from Director level to VPs and CIOs -

    About IBM Canada

    For more about IBM, please visit

    About Sapphire Canada

    Sapphire Canada is the country's leading provider of IT staffing
services. Since 1981, Sapphire Canada has worked with organizations across
North America to create highly successful solutions for full-time recruitment,
contract staffing, payroll management and contact centre staffing. Sapphire
Canada currently ranks 5th in the Branham Group's list of the country's "Top
Professional Services Companies". In 2008, Sapphire Canada joined the Randstad
Canada Group.

    About the Randstad Canada Group

    The Randstad Canada Group is the country's largest provider of staffing
and HR services. With over 60 branches Randstad Canada partners with leading
companies to match the best employees and employers in the areas of
Administrative Support, Accounting and Finance, Call Centre & Customer
Service, Engineering, Human Resources, Industrial Support, Information
Technology, Sales and Marketing, Skilled Trades Industrial Management. The
Randstad Canada Group is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Dutch-based Randstad
Holding nv. For more information, please visit

For further information:

For further information: Sarah Van Lange, Fleishman Hillard Canada for
Sapphire Technologies, (416) 645-8173,; Leslie
Plant, IBM Communications, (416) 478-9840,

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