Small Hiring Increase Expected in 4th Quarter of 2012, but Business Confidence on the Rise

Posted September 14, 2012 by

While there may be only a slight increase in hiring during the fourth quarter of 2012, businesses are encouraged about the future.

Chief information officers (CIOs) plan a modest increase in IT staffing activity in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to the just-released Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Index and Skills Report. In the latest quarterly survey, 9 percent of CIOs said they expect to expand their IT departments, and 6 percent anticipate cutbacks, for a net 3 percent projected increase in hiring activity. Eighty-three percent of those surveyed plan no change in personnel levels.

In the same study, nearly all of the technology executives interviewed (91 percent) said they are at least somewhat optimistic about their companies’ growth prospects in the next three months; 30 percent are very optimistic. Forty-four percent rated the likelihood that their companies would be investing in IT projects a four or higher on a five-point scale, with five being the most confident.

Other key findings:

  • Network administration, database management and technical support professionals are in greatest demand, according to survey respondents.
  • Fifty-four percent of CIOs said it’s challenging to find skilled professionals today.
  • Ninety-one percent of technology executives surveyed are at least somewhat confident in their companies’ growth prospects in the next three months: Sixty-one percent of CIOs are somewhat confident, and 30 percent are very confident. The total compares to 76 percent of CIOs who expressed confidence in their firms’ growth prospects in the third quarter.
John Reed

John Reed, Senior Executive Director of Robert Half Technology

“While CIOs project a modest hiring increase in the fourth quarter, IT professionals in certain specialties, such as network administration and database management, will continue to be in strong demand,” said John Reed, senior executive director of Robert Half Technology. “The vast majority of CIOs are confident in their firms’ growth prospects for the next quarter.”

Skills in Demand

Technology executives surveyed said it is most challenging to find IT professionals in the functional areas of security (22 percent), networking (21 percent) and applications development (12 percent).

Network administration is the skill set in greatest demand, cited by 72 percent of CIOs. Database management and desktop support followed, with 67 percent and 65 percent of the response, respectively.

Regional Outlook

CIOs in the East South Central (AL, KY, MS, TN) and West South Central ( AR, LA, OK, TX) regions plan the most IT hiring in the fourth quarter. A net 8 percent of executives in both regions expect to add staff.

Industries Hiring

Executives in the transportation industry anticipate the most active IT hiring in the fourth quarter. A net 15 percent of CIOs in this sector plan to expand their IT departments, followed by a net 7 percent of technology leaders in the wholesale industry who anticipate adding staff.

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