CIOs plans to boost IT staffing, survey says

Thirteen percent of CIOs interviewed for the Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Index and Skills Report plan to add full-time IT staff in the first quarter, while 1 percent anticipate personnel reductions. The net 12 percent hiring increase compares with a net 9 percent forecast 1 year ago.

The national poll includes responses from more than 1,400 CIOs at U.S. companies with 100 or more employees.

"Many managers are accelerating the hiring process because the most skilled individuals receive multiple offers, says Katherine Spencer Lee, executive director of RHT. "Those that delay the process too long risk losing top candidates."

When asked which technical skill sets were needed most within their IT departments, 81 percent of CIOs reported demand for Microsoft Windows (NT/2000/XP) administration expertise. Wireless network management was cited by 50 percent of respondents, followed closely by SQL Server management (46 percent). When technology executives were asked which specialties were most in demand in their departments, 22 percent said networking. Help desk/end-user support was cited by 13 percent of CIOs, while applications development received 11 percent of the response, an increase of 2 percentage points from its fourth-quarter ranking.

The Mountain states are expected to lead the nation in technology hiring activity during the first quarter. Twenty-four percent of CIOs plan to expand their IT departments, and 2 percent anticipate personnel cutbacks. The net 22 percent increase is 10 points higher than the national average and 14 points above the region's fourth-quarter forecast.