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Canadian CIOs cautious about third-quarter IT hiring outlook

Chief information officers (CIOs) interviewed recently for an IT Hiring Index and Skills Report were cautious about...


June 15, 2004  


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Chief information officers (CIOs) interviewed recently for an IT Hiring Index and Skills Report were cautious about their third-quarter hiring intentions.

Results revealed 15% of executives expect to add IT staff and 2% plan personnel cutbacks. The net 13% hiring increase compares with a net 11% increase forecast last quarter, when results hit their highest level in nearly two years.

The majority of executives plan to maintain existing staff levels.

The national poll includes responses from more than 270 CIOs from a stratified random sample of Canadian companies with 100 or more employees. It was conducted by an independent research firm and developed by Robert HalfTechnology, a provider of IT professionals on a project and full-time basis.

“Businesses that have experienced layoffs are taking a more strategic approach to hiring today,” said Stephen Mill, regional manager of Robert Half Technology. “In the current economy, companies are striving to do more with less. The people who work for you are your best resource for increasing or improving results.”

Mill added that it is important for candidates to possess a combination of advanced technical expertise and “soft” skills. The most important ones are proficiency in verbal and written communication; the ability to work with and motivate others; good listening skills; flexibility; humour and empathy.

When asked which technical skill sets were needed most within their IT departments, 80% of CIOs reported demand for expertise in Microsoft Windows (NT/2000/XP) administration. SQL Server Management was also cited as a hot specialty, receiving 42% of the response. Cisco Network Administration ranked third, cited by 34% CIOs.

Executives surveyed were also asked to identify the most sought-after specialties within their IT departments. Networking, at 17%, was the leading response.