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MENLO PARK, Calif., Dec. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Technology executives expect information technology (IT) hiring to increase in the first quarter of 2013, according to the just-released Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Index and Skills Report (http://rht.mediaroom.com/ITHiringIndex). In the latest quarterly survey, 17 percent of chief information officers (CIOs) said they plan to expand their IT departments, and 8 percent expect cutbacks, for a net 9 percent projected increase in hiring activity. This is up six points from the previous quarter's projections. Seventy-five percent of CIOs plan to maintain their current staffing levels.
The IT Hiring Index and Skills Report is based on telephone interviews with more than 1,400 CIOs from companies across the United States with 100 or more employees. Executives are asked whether their companies plan to increase or decrease the number of full-time IT personnel on their staff during the coming quarter. The survey is 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. Robert Half has been tracking IT hiring activity in the United States since 1995.
- The net 9 percent increase in anticipated IT hiring activity is up six points from the net 3 percent increase in hiring activity projected last quarter.
- Seventy-five percent of CIOs plan to maintain their current staffing levels.
- IT security professionals, applications development professionals, and data/database management professionals are the most challenging to find, according to survey respondents.
- Sixty-three percent of CIOs said it's somewhat or very challenging to find skilled professionals today, up nine points from the previous quarter.
- Eighty-seven percent of CIOs are somewhat or very confident in their companies' growth prospects in the next three months.
- Nearly half (49 percent) of technology executives expressed confidence that their firms will be investing in IT projects in the first quarter.
"CIOs report higher demand for IT professionals in the first quarter, especially for those with skills in hot areas such as applications development and IT security," said John Reed, senior executive director of Robert Half Technology. "In the new year, we often see increased hiring as firms' budgets for 2013 have been approved and they are able to hire additional personnel."
Confidence in Business Growth and IT Investments
Eighty-seven percent of CIOs reported being somewhat or very confident in their companies' prospects for growth in the first quarter of 2013.
Forty-nine percent of CIOs also said they are confident that their firms would invest in IT projects in the first quarter of 2013; 48 percent are not very or not at all confident.
Skills in Demand
The functional areas in which executives said it is very challenging to find skilled IT professionals are IT security (14 percent), applications development (12 percent) and data/database management (12 percent).
Database management is the skill set in greatest demand, cited by 48 percent of CIOs. Network administration and web development/website design were next, with 47 percent and 33 percent of the response, respectively.
CIOs in the Mountain states plan the most IT hiring in the first quarter, with a net 18 percent of executives anticipating adding IT staff. East North Central and West North Central states followed, with projected increases of net 10 percent each.
Executives in the manufacturing industry expect the most IT hiring in the first quarter. A net 26 percent of CIOs in this sector plan to add to their IT departments. This was followed by the business services industry, with a net 14 percent of technology leaders anticipating hiring increases. Finance was next, with a net 12 percent of executives in this industry planning to add staff.
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 1,400 telephone interviews with CIOs from a random sample of U.S. 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 +/- 2.6 percent at the 95 percent level of confidence.
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. Visitors can also request a copy of the Robert Half Technology 2013 Salary Guide, which includes a wide range of IT job descriptions.
 Includes AZ, CO, ID, MT, NV, NM, UT, WY
 Includes IL, IN, MI, OH, WI
 Includes IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD
SOURCE Robert Half Technology