CIOs Forecast Continued Strength in Technology Hiring

CIOs remain optimistic about information technology hiring during the first three months of 2001, according to RHI Consulting's quarterly Information Technology Hiring Index. 24 percent of executives surveyed from a cross section of industries say their firms plan to add IT personnel in the upcoming quarter, while just three percent expect staff reductions. The net 21 percent increase in hiring activity remains on par with fourth-quarter 2000 projections.

The national poll includes responses from more than 1,400 CIOs from a stratified random sample of U.S. companies with 100 or more employees.

"The job market for technology professionals remains strong across all industries and is encouraging many firms to place greater emphasis on recruiting and retention strategies," observes Katherine Spencer Lee, Executive Director of RHI Consulting. "IT job candidates today seek benefits that go beyond basic salary and stock options, including advanced technical training and the opportunity to work with leading-edge technologies."

Spencer Lee adds, "As more and more companies rely on web-based business applications, ensuring the integrity of these systems has become paramount. As a result, companies nationwide are actively hiring UNIX administrators, Internet developers and technical support specialists at all levels."

For the second consecutive quarter, CIOs in the New England region lead the nation in employment optimism. 31 percent of executives expect to add IT staff while only two percent anticipate cutbacks, for a net hiring increase of 29 percent. "Expansion in such industries as financial services and tourism is generating strong demand for technical talent," Spencer Lee says. "Experienced candidates skilled in Web applications development, including Java, Javascript and C++, are highly sought after."

Technology executives in the West South Central states also forecast notable staffing activity in the next three months. 32 percent of CIOs plan to expand their departments and four percent project reductions, for a net 28 percent increase in hiring. "Growth among the region's telecommunications firms is resulting in demand for IT personnel at all levels," Spencer Lee says. Employment projections are also expected to exceed the national average in the Pacific region, where CIOs forecast a net 26 percent rise in employment.