IT talent crunch burdens Canadian CIOs: Report

It’s a good time to be in the Canadian IT sector job market these days, according to a recent survey conducted by technology hiring firm Robert Half Technology. And if you happen to be in the networking, database and help desk field, you’re doubly lucky.

The survey found that recruiting remains a challenge for 35 per cent of CIOs.

“We’re seeing strong demand for networking administrators, help desk professionals and database managers these days,” said Megan Slabinski, Canadian president of Robert Half. “The shift from hardware to cloud based infrastructure and services and the big data trend is fueling the demand.”

Megan Slabinski
Megan Slabinski

The just released Robert Half Technology Hiring Forecast and Local Trend Report indicated that 80 per cent of Canadian chief information officers (CIOs) will be expanding their hiring teams in the fourth quarter of 2013.

No less than 69 per cent of CIOs plan to hire only for open IT roles, 22 per cent expect to put their hiring plans on hold and only one per cent intends to reduce their hiring staff in the last quarter of the year.

The data was collected from more than 270 telephone interviews of a random sampling of CIOs of Canadian firms with 100 or more employees.

Among the most difficult skilled talent to find are in the areas of:

  • Windows administration (60 per cent)
  • Desktop support and network administration (53 per cent)
  • Applications development (11 per cent)
  • Security (six per cent)

“They are just not finding enough IT professionals in the skill-level and experience level that their companies need,” said Slabinski.

Part of the problem, she said may be that companies are setting the bar to high. For example, the typical requirement that many companies post are new hires should have at least three to five years of experience.

“It’s going to be hard to find these candidates because three to five years ago, the IT industry was in a downturn and many new hires were let go and no new talent were brought to the market,” said Slabinski. ”Hiring officers and CIOs would need to adjust their expectations.”

Some companies she said have reacted quickly.

“I’ve seen a few who are looking to hire new graduates and provide them with additional training and mentorship. I think this is the way to go,” Slabinski said.



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Nestor E. Arellano
Nestor E. Arellano
Toronto-based journalist specializing in technology and business news. Blogs and tweets on the latest tech trends and gadgets.

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