CIOs Still Plan To Hire Despite Economic Slowdown - InformationWeek

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CIOs Still Plan To Hire Despite Economic Slowdown

About 14% of CIOs surveyed plan to add staff in the second quarter, the same percentage as a year ago, according to the Robert Half Technology survey.

The economic slowdown hasn't affected the hiring plans of CIOs, at least not yet, according to a report released Tuesday by IT staffing firm Robert Half Technology.

Fourteen percent of CIOs plan to add staff in the second quarter, the same percentage that planned to add staff during the second quarter of last year, according to Robert Half Technology's phone survey of 1,400 CIOs across companies with more than 100 employees. Only 2% of CIOs said they expect to reduce staff, while the majority expects to maintain staffing levels.

The survey was conducted in January, before the latest reports of weak economic news and recent stock market tumbles. Still, Robert Half Technology officials said they haven't experienced dampening of demand for IT talent during recent weeks since the survey ended.

"I can't get into predicting the future, but we see strong demand in all IT positions and general optimism," said Robert Half Technology VP John Estes.

The firm is seeing strong demand for skills such as help desk, database application development, and .Net programming, Estes said. "We see strong demand for short- and long-term engagements," as well as full-time positions, he said.

Networking skills are the most-sought-after talent for the third consecutive quarter, and business service companies are the most optimistic about their hiring plans, according to the report.

Twenty nine percent of CIOs cited business growth as the main reason for hiring. Other top reasons for hiring also included the need for customer or end user support and systems upgrades.

So, how does Estes explain the optimism by CIOs in these uncertain economic times? "IT was down for so long, now it's IT's time," he suggested. "How long will it last, who's to say? But we're getting more work orders than we can fill right now."

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