Businesses Optimistic About Second Quarter IT Hiring
April 16, 2012 Jenny Thomas
As the United States continues to push through these tough economic times, one of the often cited indicators of recovery, or lack thereof, is how many people are searching for jobs. Whether or not you believe the latest unemployment statistics, which are hanging a shade over 8 percent, there is a glimmer of good news for those looking for work in IT, at least according to the latest Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Index and Skills Report.
While the numbers do indicate a slower pace than three months ago, the fact is RHT expects continued IT hiring in the second quarter of 2012. In its latest quarterly survey, RHT found 8 percent of chief information officers interviewed said they plan to expand their IT departments, while 5 percent expect cutbacks, for a net 3 percent projected increase in hiring activity.
That net 3 percent increase in anticipated IT hiring activity is down seven points from a net 10 percent increase in hiring activity projected last quarter. The remaining 85 percent of the CIOs surveyed said they have change in hiring plans, which is up 15 points from the first quarter. So more people are sure than they were about staying put and standing pat.
Looking toward the future, 87 percent of the surveyed IT executives indicated they were somewhat or very optimistic about their companies’ growth prospects in the next three months, and 77 percent felt confident in their firms’ second quarter investment in IT projects.
“Although hiring in the second quarter isn’t expected to be as robust as it was at the beginning of the year, the trend remains positive. Those in hot specialties, such as networking and IT security, will continue to be in strong demand,” said John Reed, executive director of RHT. “Mobile media is an especially important area of growth right now.”
So who are these IT execs with positions to fill looking for exactly? Networking and IT security professionals were noted to be in the greatest demand, followed closely by help desk/technical support professionals. The biggest challenge, according to 65 percent of surveyed CIOs, is finding those skilled professionals.
The skills executives say they are having the hardest time finding are networking (16 percent) and IT security (15 percent). Help desk/technical support, applications development, and data/database management followed, cited by 14 percent, 13 percent, and 10 percent of survey respondents, respectively.
Network administration remains the skillset in greatest demand, cited by 55 percent of CIOs. Database management and desktop support were next, with 54 percent and 51 percent, of the response, respectively.
Executives in the wholesale industry expect the most IT hiring in the second quarter, with 12 percent stating they plan to expand their IT departments. Survey respondents in the transportation industry were next with 9 percent anticipating hiring increases. Manufacturing was next, with 7 percent of executives planning to add staff.
The RHT IT Hiring Index and Skills Report is based on telephone interviews with more than 1,400 CIOs from companies across the United States with 100 or more employees. It was conducted by an independent research firm and developed by RHT, which has been tracking IT hiring activity in the United States since 1995.