Woes Aside, Some Businesses Expect More IT Hiring

Despite worries of a recession, about one in five CIOs at larger firms expect to hire new workers in the second quarter, according to new research.


Robert Half Technology’s new hiring survey finds that while the vast majority of businesses expect IT staffing to remain stagnant next quarter, a net of 12 percent say they will add workers.


That gain represents a slight uptick from this quarter’s projected hiring levels but holds firm with the second quarter of 2007. Companies with more than 1,000 employees foresee the greatest hiring increases, with a projected net rise of 19 percent.


The uptick–regardless of how small or large–may surprise those who think the economic downturn will ultimately cause staff cuts. But with plenty of companies seeing positive signs, an increase in hiring shouldn’t come as a shock.


And the perceived risk reinforces observations made by some–including IT benchmarking expert Howard Rubin and Accenture CIO Frank Modruson–that investing in IT through a downturn can help organizations in the long run.


Network administration jobs remain the most sought-after for IT departments, according to 72 percent of respondents. Networking was followed closely by Windows administration (69 percent), desktop support (68 percent) and database management (66 percent).


For the third straight quarter, CIOs expect local-area and wide-area networking positions to grow faster than any other. “Networking continues to be a high-demand category as companies expand systems to allow users of mobile devices such as laptops and smart phones to access their networks in a secure manner,” Katherine Spencer Lee, executive director of Robert Half Technology, said in a news release.


Industries with the highest expected hiring rates include business services (22 percent net increase), transportation (15 percent net increase) and manufacturing and retail (13 percent net increase).


CIOs cited business growth (29 percent) as the biggest driver for increased hiring, with customer and/or end-user support (19 percent) and systems upgrades (17 percent) also mentioned.


Robert Half surveyed in January more than 1,400 CIOs at firms with more than 100 employees. Click here for more on the study.  

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