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2/2/2006
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Top Tech Talent In Short Supply, Survey Says

The IT job market has improved to the point where there will be a shortage of CIOs, chief technology officers, and other top IT talent this year, according to headhunters.

Information technology professionals will be the second most sought-after type of executive talent in 2006, according to a new survey from the Association of Executive Search Consultants, a professional association for retained headhunters.

The same survey also indicated that nearly one in five recruiters expect a shortage of CIO, chief technology officers, and other top IT leadership talent this year.

"The IT market has come back with a vengeance this year," says Allison Cheston, chief marketing officer of AESC. "Two years ago, these jobs were very hard to come by," she says. Much of the hiring activity has been fueled by some of the biggest tech vendors, most notably Google, which has been on a tech-hiring spree in recent months, she says. "There's a lot of competition for top talent, and as this kind of hiring goes up, there's an overall shrinking of available talent," she says.

Nearly 35% of the 221 senior retained search executives who participated in the AESC's annual survey, named IT as a sector in which they expected the biggest growth in 2006. Respondents could choose three sectors from a list of 17 industries.

Financial services and banking professionals were named as the number-one most sought-after talent in 2006, with 56% of respondents naming that sector as one of the biggest growth markets for talent this year. Health care came in third, named by nearly 28% of respondents, and followed closely by pharmaceutical and bio-tech, which were named by 27%.

When it comes to scarcity of talent in different job functions, 19% of the respondents said they expected a shortage of IT leaders and CIO talent. However, the three biggest shortages the recruiters predicted will be in available talent for general management and board of directors, which was named by 35%; CFO, accounting and finance executives, named by 33%; and professional services, named by 28%.

Only 9% thought E-commerce executives would be the scarcest group of talent during the next 12 months.

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