IT Hiring Upswing May Point to Tech Spend Surge

By Leah Gabriel Nurik  |  Print this article Print

As IT hiring picks up, will spending on technology equipment follow suit? Some experts say that's just what will happen when jobs recover. And CIOs are poised to hire.

Some speculate one of the main drivers for the IT spending dip came in the form of layoffs. With companies cutting headcount, PCs, laptops, other hardware and software solutions were shelved and upgrades pulled out. Now that IT hiring trends are on the upswing, could it spell a surge in tech spending across the board?

If so, that’s good news for VARs. Resellers that focus on reselling hardware, from VoIP technology to mobile devices may experience a renewed opportunity  as growing IT departments realize their existing IT assets are aging, and the out-of-date technology currently gathering dust in the storage closet may fail to meet today’s demands. 

If a recent poll of CIOs across the US is to be believed, early-year upward hiring trends are destined to continue. According to the results developed by IT staffing firm Robert Half Technology, 10 percent of CIOs plan to expand their IT departments in the third quarter, while 4 percent foresee cutbacks – that means a net gain of 6 percent hiring gains.

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That’s good news for out-of-work jobseekers, but also for VARs selling into the CIO’s line of business. CIOs also report they are confident in their individual company’s growth potential over the next quarter at a whopping rate of 81 percent. Confident CIOs are more likely to invest and loosen those financial belts that have been tightened up for 28-plus months.

You know things are on the upswing when CIOs are stumped finding the right people to fill open positions. According to the recent survey, the most challenging functional areas to fill were skilled networking (19 percent), application development and security (12 percent), software development, database management and help desk/tech support (9 percent).

The most in-demand skill sets are the following:  network administration first at 58 percent, desktop support second with 55 percent, followed by Windows administration (Server 2000/2003/2008) at 51 percent.

At the top of the list of industries hiring are where resellers themselves often fit: business services. According to the report, CIOs in the business services arena expect a net increase in hiring of 16 percent, and is one of two sectors with the most optimistic hiring plans for the third quarter. The other is the construction industry, also forecasting a net 16 percent increase in hiring. According to the intelligence collected, construction firms are currently in process of recruiting software developers and database administrators.

Other sectors with hiring expectations above the national average include wholesale (12 percent growth), retail (8 percent) and healthcare (8 percent).

Company growth potential expands the closer you are to the regions anticipated to hire the most IT pros in Q3. As identified in the survey, the regions with the largest potential include the Mid-Atlantic States, and the West South Central states like Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas.

The research results are derived from the quarterly IT Hiring Index and Skills Report developed by Robert Half Technology. The study is based on more than 1,400 telephone interviews with CIOs from a random sample of U.S. companies with 100 or more employees.