Although only 13 percent of the executives polled said they plan to add IT staff in the next three months and 3 percent anticipate cutbacks, the net 10 percent hiring increase is still 2 percentage points higher than last quarters forecast. Eighty-four percent said they intend to leave their tech staff levels unchanged.
Regionally, the Mountain states—Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming—lead the United States in hiring optimism.
Nineteen percent of CIOs in this region expect to add personnel this quarter, 9 percentage points above the national average. None in this region said they foresee staff cutbacks.
A net hiring increase of 18 percent is anticipated in the West South Central region—Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas—where 21 percent of CIOs plan to expand their IT departments and only 3 percent anticipate personnel reduction.
Looked at by industry rather than region, executives in finance, insurance and real estate expect the most hiring activity, with a net 15 percent of CIOs expressing an intention to hire. This increase is 5 percentage points above the national average.
The transportation industry comes in as a close second, with 14 percent of CIOs saying they plan to increase their tech staff size and none expecting staff reductions.
Of the technical skill sets looked for in prospective hires, familiarity with Microsoft Windows administration (Server 2000/2003) was the most in demand, reported by 79 percent of CIOs.
Seventy-six percent of respondents chose network administration (Cisco, Nortel, Novell), and 69 percent cited a need for employees with database management skills (Oracle, SQL Server, DB2).
Forty-four percent of the CIOs polled gave business growth as their motivation for adding IT staff, while 23 percent of respondents attributed their hiring plans to an increased need for customer and user support.