IT Hiring: A Tale of Two Surveys

Susan Hall
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Do CFOs and CIOs orbit in the same universe? A couple of recent surveys raise some questions about their differing perspectives amid economic uncertainty.


Respondents to the latest quarterly Duke/CFO Magazine Global Outlook survey were overwhelmingly pessimistic, with a third saying they've slowed planned spending. That survey polled 996 CFOs from global public and private companies across various industries. They expect overall U.S. hiring to grow by 0.09 percent over the next year, which would keep the national unemployment rate around 9 percent.


Yet the responses did not indicate CFOs are in a recession mindset. Kate O'Sullivan, senior editor at CFO Magazine, told FINS that companies still plan increases in tech spending, capital spending and R&D. Said O'Sullivan:

Unfortunately growth will continue to be slow, but it's not disastrous.

A survey of more than 1,400 CIOs by Robert Half Technology, meanwhile, was more specifically about IT hiring. Among the results:


  • Most respondents plan to maintain their current level of staffing in the fourth quarter, while 12 percent plan increases and 6 percent foresee cuts. That net 6 percent increase is up 2 percentage points from last quarter.
  • 92 percent reported confidence in their companies' growth prospects in the next three months, an increase of 5 percentage points.
  • 66 percent said it's tough to find skilled IT pros, a whopping 18-percentage-point increase from the previous quarter.
  • They listed IT security and networking as the most in-demand positions right now.


A separate Robert Half survey looking at professional-level staffing found expected net growth of 6 percentage points for IT executives. Last month when I spoke with Deborah Vazquez, CEO of Boca Raton, Fla., IT staffing firm Protech, she mentioned that she was seeing some thaw in the market for IT managers and directors.

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