Survey: IT hiring on the horizon

Unemployed help desk technicians, programmers and network administrators should soon expect a boost in hiring, according to the Robert Half Technology Information Technology Hiring Index and Skills Report released this week.

An independent research firm surveyed 270 Canadian CIOs on behalf of Robert Half Technology and found that during the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2003, 14 per cent of respondents plan to boost the headcount in their IT departments. This is a slight improvement over Q3 when Robert Half’s IT Hiring Index and Skills Report indicated that only 13 per cent of CIOs were hiring.

Of the 14 per cent of the companies expanding their IT teams, 49 per cent cited business expansion as the instigator, while 33 per cent cited improving customer and end-user support as their reasoning.

The biggest opportunities for job seekers will be in companies with 100 to 249 employees where 16 per cent plan to add IT personnel and only two per cent plan to slash jobs. In Q3, the Hiring Index indicated that most jobs would be found in companies with 250 to 499 employees.

When asked about skills, 80 per cent of respondents said they were looking for someone with the ability to administer a Microsoft Corp. Windows NT/2000/XP environment, compared to 74 per cent in Q3. Forty per cent of CIOs polled cited the Visual Basic development as a requirement, and network administration for Cisco Systems Inc. environments garnered 39 per cent of the vote.

However, not all CIOs are planning to hire in upcoming months. Three per cent plan to cut IT staff while 79 per cent anticipate no change at all in their roster. This is an improvement over the results from Q3, where nine per cent of CIOs polled planned to reduce staff, while 78 per cent expected no change.

Robert Half Technology is a subsidiary of Robert Half International Inc., and has offices throughout Canada. For more information visit