Career Watch: A cautious outlook for hiring

By Jamie Eckle, Computerworld |  Career, IT jobs

The Employment Outlook

Expect new hiring in the technology sector to be cautious for the rest of the year, says Robert Half Technology, whose IT Hiring Index and Skills Report for the fourth quarter shows that 6% of CIOs surveyed expect to expand their IT teams, while 6% are planning staff reductions. RHT calls that a wash, though there's nothing to suggest that those hiring and those laying off will do so at the same rate. Here are some other findings from the survey:

* The best region for getting hired might be New England, where 8% of managers expect to expand staffs, while only 4% anticipate staff reductions.

* Companies with 1,000 or more employees will be the most likely to hire new staff, with 11% of managers at such companies saying they plan to do some hiring, compared with 7% who expect to let staff go. At the same time, a study by Forrester Research Inc. concludes that midsize businesses offer more stable employment for tech workers, with fewer layoffs. The two studies aren't contradictory; it could be that large companies have to do more hiring now to make up for their larger layoffs earlier.

* Network administration is the skill most in demand, cited by 69% of the respondents.

The quarterly study is based on more than 1,400 telephone interviews with CIOs from a random sample of U.S. companies that have at least 100 employees.

Canceled Out

Hiring expectations remain well below last year's levels, while layoff expectations remain much higher.

CIOs expecting to hire

CIOs expecting layoffs

Q1 2008

13%

3%

Q2 2008

14%

2%

Q3 2008

14%

4%

Q4 2008

11%

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