CIOs will continue to keep a lid on hiring of IT staff, at least through the middle of this year, although technology leaders at larger companies are somewhat more upbeat about hiring, according to a survey from a unit of placement firm Robert Half International Inc., of Menlo Park, Calif.
Robert Half Technology, which focuses on placing IT professionals, said that 5 percent of the 1,400 CIOs surveyed plan to reduce their IT staffs in the second quarter of 2003. Nine percent said they plan to increase the size of their IT departments. The differential—the 4 percent saying they plan to increase IT staff—was half as large as the differential recorded in the fourth quarter of 2002.
Robert Half Technology executive director Katherine Spencer blames the lagging IT hiring picture on continued economic uncertainty.
CIOs from companies with more than 1,000 employees were somewhat more optimistic about their IT hiring plans, Half found. Eighteen percent of CIOs at these companies said they expect to add IT employees in the second quarter, and only 6 percent forecast staff reductions.
The transportation and business services sectors were the most optimistic about IT hiring plans in the second quarter, Half said. The retail, finance, insurance and real estate sectors also were above average.
Among those CIOs planning to hire, help desk/end user support skills will be in the greatest demand, Half said. Also in demand will be networking skills—particularly security-related—and applications development skills.
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