IT hiring inching upwards: CIOs

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

An independent research firm surveyed 270 Canadian CIOs and found that 14 per cent of respondents plan to boost the headcount in their IT departments in the fourth quarter of 2003. This is a slight improvement over Q3 when the 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.

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 Windows NT/2000/XP environment, compared to 74 per cent in Q3. Forty per cent of CIOs polled cited Visual Basic development as a requirement, and network administration for Cisco Systems Inc. environments was cited by 39 per cent.