Based on telephone interviews with 1,400 U.S. CIOs, the report, issued Tuesday, found that a net 3% increase in IT hiring activity, spread across companies of all sizes, is expected in the first quarter of 2010. Seven percent of the respondents expect additions to their staffs while 4% expect reductions, for a net 3% increase.
CIOs in the East North-Central Region (Chicago-centered) and the South Atlantic Region (Washington, D.C. to Florida) are planning the greatest hiring activity, according to the survey.
"After months of slow hiring activity, managers are beginning the year with new budgets and appear ready to carefully expand their IT departments," said Dave Willmer, executive director of Robert Half Technology, in a statement. "Many firms are investing in technologies that improve efficiency and competitiveness."
A broad mix of jobs is expected to receive hiring attention from CIOs. They range from entry-level and staff-level talent and swing all the way to senior-staff positions. The technical skill sets most in demand are network administration, which was cited by 70% of the responding CIOs, to desktop support, 66%, and Windows administration, 62%.
The health services industry stands out as a bright spot in the hiring report, with 16% of health services CIOs planning to expand their IT departments and just 3% planning cutbacks. Many health services CIOs pointed to increased staff needs stemming from the development of enterprise-wide applications. "The health services sector," said Willmer, "needs IT talent to manage the conversion to electronic medical records."