Robert Half Technology, an IT professional job placement company, said 43% of the 1,400 CIOs it surveyed reported that they are understaffed. Of that number, 10% said they were "very understaffed."
Another survey reported this week by Foote Partners didn't hold out much hope either, because its reading of the most recent job statistics indicate that IT job hiring isn't likely to pick up until 2011. In addition, Foote Partners predicted that IT managers are cherrypicking to acquire professionals with specific IT skills rather than just filling positions.
Dave Willmer, executive director of Robert Half, believes the slowdown in IT hiring could have a detrimental impact on professional staffs. In a statement, Willmer said: "Many companies have cut technology stafff levels too deeply, making it challenging for IT departments to keep pace with demands.
"Although businesses may be able to operate with stretched teams in the short term, being perpetually understaffed isn't sustainable and can detract from the overall productivity and morale of the organization."
Willmer's advice for IT managers is for them to bring in short-term support. Also, he noted, the temporary hiring of IT workers gives IT managers the opportunity to evaluate people they may want to hire permanently.
While Foote Partners offered gloomy prospects for the IT hiring picture, the IT employment market research and advisory firm pinpointed some skills that remain in demand in CIO shops.
"We believe the search will be even more frantic next year for right-skilled IT contractors," the firm said, and went on to say that IT security and SAP professionals will continue to be in great demand. Other skill sets likely to be in demand include social media, Web development, e-commerce applications and business intelligence.
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