US CIOs are showing signs of optimism for 2010 with more planning to increase IT staff than those planning to make cuts.
According to a report of 1,400 US CIOs 7% are planning to increase IT staff this year, while 4% are going to cut staff. The other 89% will keep staff levels unchanged.
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The news comes as recruitment firms report rising demand for IT contractors and permanent staff in the UK, signalling growing confidence in the IT sector.
The Technology IT Hiring Index and Skills Report from US IT jobs agency Robert Half Technology, also revealed that 42% of CIOs are confident their companies will invest in IT projects in the first quarter of 2010.
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. "Many firms are investing in technologies that improve efficiency and competitiveness, and there has been demand for additional professionals to implement these projects."
58% of the companies that are planning to add IT staff in the first quarter they will recruit full-time employees. A total of 28% plan to bring in a mix of full-time and contract workers.
A total of 19% of respondents said that it is most challenging to find skilled networking IT staff, 13% said IT security staff were the hardest to find and 10% struggled the most to find applications development workers.
The skills most in demand according to CIOs were network administration according to 70% of respondents, desktop support 66% and Windows administration 62%.
Jeff Brooks, chairman of the technology sector at The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), said there the UK IT jobs market is also recovering.
"We knew things were getting better because last quarter there was a 26% increase in the number of contract IT jobs being advertised and a 1% increase in permanent roles," he said
The REC has about 160 technology recruiters as members and there is a feeling of confidence that the industry is through the downturn.
The IT sector was not actually hit as bad as other sectors. "Corporates continue to invest in IT during downturns so they have maintained a lot of staff. They are now starting to add to them."