IT directors plan staffing increase, despite slowdown

Half of IT directors say they will increase staffing levels over the next 12 months despite ongoing economic uncertainty, according to new research.

Half of IT directors say they will increase staffing levels over the next 12 months despite ongoing economic uncertainty, according to new research.

The research by Rethink Recruitment saw 47 IT directors quizzed on their staffing plans and showed 49% intend to increase the number of staff, while only 13% anticipate having to shed staff.

And 69% of IT departments are looking to increase or maintain their contractor numbers over the next 12 months.

The survey suggests more IT staff will be needed to cope as organisations look to IT to deliver productivity gains as the economy slows.

Most IT directors (58%) expect their project workloads to increase in the next year.

Michael Bennett, Director, ReThink Recruitment, says: "IT departments savaged headcounts after the dot com and Y2K booms, but we appear to be a long way from a repeat of that scenario.

"Spending on IT during a slowdown can deliver significant efficiency gains and boost competitive advantage, which can lead to greater cost savings over the longer term. Organisations increasingly recognise this, so do not always shelve IT projects in order to make short-term cost savings when times get tough."

The survey showed that 55% of IT directors expect permanent salaries to rise over the next year, suggesting the skills shortage is still an issue.

The directors polled said they are concerned about retaining skills, with 74% worrying about attracting high calibre staff and 81% concerned about retaining talent.

And 47% expect IT budgets to rise, compared with just 19% who expect them to fall.

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