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MENLO PARK, Calif., March 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Technology executives forecast continued information technology (IT) hiring activity for in the second quarter of 2011, according to the just-released Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Index and Skills Report (http://rht.mediaroom.com/ITHiringIndex). In the latest quarterly survey, 9 percent of chief information officers (CIOs) said they plan to expand their IT departments, and just 2 percent expect cutbacks, for a net 7 percent increase in hiring.
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. 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.
- The net 7 percent increase in IT hiring activity is up from a net 5 percent forecast this time one year ago, but down one point from the first-quarter 2011 forecast.
- Eighty percent of CIOs are confident in their company's growth prospects in the next three months.
- Nearly half (48 percent) of technology executives rated the probability of their firms investing in IT projects in the second quarter a 4 or higher on a 5-point scale, with 5 being the most optimistic.
- Security and networking professionals are in greatest demand right now, according to survey respondents.
"Companies are recognize that moving ahead with formerly delayed upgrades and implementing new technologies can give them a competitive advantage," said John Reed, executive director of Robert Half Technology. "Firms are investing in projects designed to create business efficiencies and help improve service levels and often need more IT personnel to support these initiatives, particularly if their teams have been understaffed in recent years."
Confidence in Business Growth and IT Investments
Seventy-three percent of CIOs reported being at least somewhat optimistic about the likelihood of their organizations' investing in IT projects in the coming quarter; 48 percent rated the probability at 4 or higher on a 5-point scale, with 5 being the most optimistic.
Skills in Demand
The functional areas in which executives foresee the greatest challenge in finding skilled IT professionals are security and networking, each cited by 13 percent of executives interviewed. Applications development and help desk/technical support followed, with 11 percent and 10 percent of the response, respectively.
Network administration remains the skill set in greatest demand, cited by 65 percent of CIOs. Windows administration (Server 2000/2003/2008) ranked second, with 60 percent of the response, followed by desktop support at 57 percent and database management at 52 percent. (Note: CIOs were allowed multiple responses.)
CIOs in the South Atlantic(1) states are most optimistic about hiring in the second quarter. Fifteen percent of executives plan to add IT staff and just 1 percent expect cutbacks. The net 14 percent increase is seven points higher than the national average.
The finance, insurance and real estate sector leads all industries in hiring expectations. Seventeen percent of CIOs plan to expand their IT departments and none anticipate staff reductions. Technology executives in the wholesale and health services sectors also anticipate strong hiring activity, each forecasting a net 12 percent increase.
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.
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 www.roberthalf.us/per.
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.
(1) Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia
SOURCE Robert Half Technology