A net 11 percent of chief information officers surveyed plan to add full-time information technology staff in the third quarter, the firm said Thursday. That is the largest net percent of CIOs expecting to increase staff in three years, Robert Half Technology said.
Fourteen percent of CIOs interviewed plan to add full-time IT staff, while 3 percent anticipate personnel reductions, the firm said. Eighty-one percent of survey respondents expect to maintain current staff levels.
Robert Half Technology's national poll includes responses from more than 1,400 CIOs from a sample of U.S. companies with 100 or more employees.
"Businesses are showing increased optimism in their hiring plans, but they remain realistic," Katherine Spencer Lee, executive director of Robert Half Technology, said in a statement. "CIOs are carefully evaluating their key requirements and adding full-time staff only when they identify a long-term need for a particular position or skill set. In the interim, they are bringing in project professionals to help core staff address short-term workload spikes and move ahead with select initiatives."
The job scene for U.S. tech professionals has been a mixed bag for some time. A recent report indicated that the U.S. tech industry may havelast year when it comes to employment woes. In addition, technology professionals have reason to be cautiously optimistic about .
But a gauge of IT workers' confidence in the job market. The average number of unemployed workers in nine high-tech categories fell by 64,000 last year but remained close to 150,000, according to the Labor Department. And in the first three months of this year, technology companies U.S. jobs--twice the number trimmed in the same period last year.
In its latest report, Robert Half Technology said business expansion was cited by 38 percent of respondents as the leading factor driving IT hiring, followed by demand for increased customer and end-user support at 21 percent. Executives at the largest firms (1,000 or more employees) forecast the highest levels of IT hiring activity, and CIOs in the New England states are most optimistic about future hiring activity, the firm said.
"Help desk/end-user support" is the specialization experiencing the strongest growth among U.S. companies, the firm said.