CIO Tech Hiring Expectations Are Flat

Year-over-year hiring expectations for technology jobs are up slightly; Fourth-quarter hiring expectations have dipped as most technology executives will be keeping their staffs at exactly the same numbers. CIOs, however, are confident on business growth.

The tight cost fist is still clenched when it comes to technology hiring. Despite 84 percent of CIOs being at least somewhat confident of growth in the fourth quarter of 2010, only 9 percent expect to increase hiring, according to Robert Half Technology's quarterly index report on hiring published Sept. 8. Six percent expect to decrease staff, so the net increase amounts to 3 percent.

The overwhelming majority of CIOs are standing pat on staffing levels and not hiring at all.

Network administration is the No. 1 functional area in demand, taking up 21 percent of the demand pie, said the report, which is based on a survey of 1,400 senior technology executives responsible for budget and management.

"Technology executives continue to add staff to keep up with rising workloads and to implement projects previously put on hold," said John Reed, executive director of Robert Half Technology, in a statement. "Many organizations have realized that technology investments can lead to long-term cost savings and better efficiency, which has resulted in hiring in a number of IT specialties."

Security and help desk support are the largest functional areas in demand for CIOs for the fourth quarter-each nabbing 13 percent of the demand base. Yet, in terms of technical skills, database management (54 percent) and Windows administration (51 percent) still rank very high. Desktop support also garnered 51 percent of the demand (as participants were allowed multiple answers).

Regionally speaking, the South had the largest demand for IT hiring at 13 percent, with the East South Central hiring at an 8 percent clip. But keep in mind, each region is still expecting some minor cutbacks in hiring at the end of the quarter-a normal occurrence in most years.

The transportation industry-including communications and utilities-is expecting to increase IT staff, with 14 percent of CIOs in hiring mode. Business services are the next largest industry to add staff, at 8 percent. Financial services are flat on hiring, and professional services are adding a little bit, as 8 percent are increasing staff.