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Majority Of CIOs To Keep Third-Quarter Staffing Levels Steady

Majority Of CIOs To Keep Third-Quarter Staffing Levels Steady

Robert Half Technology Survey Finds Businesses Remain Confident

Most chief information officers (CIOs) plan to maintain their current IT staffing levels in the third quarter of 2012, according to the just-released Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Index and Skills Report In the latest quarterly survey, 5 percent of CIOs interviewed said they expect to expand their IT departments, and 4 percent anticipate cutbacks, for a net 1 percent projected increase in hiring activity. Eighty-nine percent of those surveyed plan no change in personnel levels, up four points from the second quarter.

In the same study, 76 percent of technology executives said they are somewhat or very optimistic about their companies' growth prospects in the next three months, and 82 percent feel confident in their firms' third-quarter investment in IT projects.

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 Technology has been tracking IT hiring activity in the United States since 1995.

Key Findings

The net 1 percent increase in anticipated IT hiring activity is down two points from last quarter's projection.

Eighty-nine percent of CIOs plan to maintain their current staffing levels, up four points from the second-quarter forecast.

Networking, data/database management and help desk/technical support professionals are in greatest demand, according to survey respondents.

Seventy percent of survey respondents said it's challenging to find skilled professionals today, up five points from last quarter.

Seventy-six percent of CIOs are somewhat or very confident in their companies' growth prospects in the next three months, compared to 87 percent in the prior quarter.

Eighty-two percent of technology executives expressed confidence that their firms would be making investments in IT projects in the third-quarter, up five points from last quarter.

"Although most organizations are keeping staff levels constant, our research suggests larger companies may hire more actively in the third quarter," said John Reed, senior executive director of Robert Half Technology. "Firms with 1,000 or more employees plan a net 10 percent increase in hiring next quarter, up from a net 5 percent increase projected for this quarter."

Confidence in Business Growth and IT Investments

Seventy-six percent of CIOs reported being somewhat or very confident in their companies' prospects for growth in the third quarter of 2012. Eighty-two percent of technology executives expressed confidence in their firms' third-quarter investment in IT projects, rating the likelihood that their companies would be investing in IT projects a three or higher on a five-point scale, with five being most confident.

Skills in Demand

Executives said it is most challenging to find IT professionals in the functional areas of networking (19 percent), data/database management (16 percent) and help desk/technical support (16 percent).

Data/database management is the skill set in greatest demand, cited by 55 percent of CIOs. Network administration and web development/web design followed, with 48 percent and 33 percent of the response, respectively.

Regional Outlook

CIOs in the Pacific[1] region plan the most IT hiring in the third quarter, with a net 7 percent of executives expecting to add staff 9 percent forecast an increase in personnel levels, and 2 percent anticipate cutbacks.

Industries Hiring

Executives in the finance and business services industries expect the most IT hiring in the third quarter. A net 5 percent of CIOs in each of these sectors plan to expand their IT departments. This is followed by the construction industry, where a net 4 percent of technology leaders anticipate adding staff.

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