Hiring Plans Remain Steady Despite Positive Company Growth Expectations

Things look good but not great for IT job seekers, at least for the next few months.

There are some bright spots for job hunters, at least for the next few months.

According to IT staffing specialist Robert Half Technology, hiring is on the upswing: almost 10 percent of CIOs in the U.S. and Canada plan to hire new IT personnel in Q2, with just 2 percent of IT chiefs projecting staff cutbacks.

Most shops, however, don't plan to make any significant changes.

IT chiefs may finally be moving to address long-standing staffing inadequacies. "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, in a prepared statement. "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."

Those are perhaps the most eye-catching items from Robert Half's quarterly IT Hiring Index and Skills Report. The Q2 edition -- which, like its predecessors, is based on interviews with 1,400 CIOs -- paints a mostly positive IT employment picture.

For one thing, an overwhelming majority of IT chiefs (80 percent) say they're "confident" their companies will post positive growth in Q2.

In addition, almost three-quarters (73 percent) say they're at least "somewhat" optimistic their organizations will invest in new IT projects over the next three months. Of this tally, almost half (48 percent) assess this likelihood at 80 percent or higher.

On the hiring front, IT pros with security and networking skills continue to be most in demand, according to 13 percent of CIOs. Elsewhere, application development and help desk/technical support likewise performed strongly; 11 percent of IT chiefs cited a need for application development expertise, and 10 percent identified a need for help desk and technical support personnel.

IT executives in the South Atlantic states say they're most optimistic about adding new staff; approximately 15 percent anticipate doing so, while just one percent anticipate trimming their IT employment rolls. The IT hiring outlook in the South Atlantic states is roughly 7 points higher than the national average, according to Robert Half.

About the Author

Stephen Swoyer is a Nashville, TN-based freelance journalist who writes about technology.