CIOs In Hiring Mood In Detroit

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SOUTHFIELD —  One in 10 Detroit-area chief information officers surveyed plans to expand their IT teams in the second quarter of 2013, according to the Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Forecast and Local Trend Report.

That’s somewhat less optimistic about boosting IT staff than Robert Half’s national survey, in which 14 percent plans to add more staff to IT departments next quarter no matter what.

In addition, 63 percent of Detroit CIOs plan to hire, but only to fill open IT positions, compared to 61 percent of CIOs across the nation. Another 23 percent have put hiring plans on hold, compared to 22 percent in the national survey. And 1 percent expect to reduce their IT staff, compared to 2 percent in the national survey.

This is the first quarter that Robert Half has conducted a survey of this kind specific to Detroit, so comparisons to earlier quarters or years are not possible.

“We are seeing explosive growth here in the Detroit market.,” said Karen Wilson, branch manager of Robert Half Technology in Southfield. “Lots and lots of organizations are adding to their staff right now.”

Wilson said companies are looking to “expand their reach in Web development. There’s a huge demand for Web developer programmer-analysts… (and) project managers.”

Industries with strong demand for IT staff, she said, include mortgage, finance, banking, manufacturing and professional services.

And Stacey Singleton, Detroit regional vice president of Robert Half Technology, noted that “Demand for top IT talent has intensified, specifically in the areas of applications development and network administration.”

The IT Hiring Forecast and Local Trend Report is based on telephone interviews with more than 100 CIOs from companies in the Detroit area with 100 or more employees. The survey was developed by Robert Half Technology and conducted by an independent research firm.

The national survey is the product of more than 2,300 telephone interviews with CIOs from a random sample of U.S. companies in 23 major metro areas with 100 or more employees.

In terms of recruiting, 70 percent of Detroit CIOs said it’s somewhat or very challenging to find skilled IT professionals today, identical to the national figure. It is most challenging to find skilled talent in the functional areas of security (17 percent), applications development (15 percent) and networking (12 percent). In the nation as a whole, respondents cited networking (16 percent), data and database management (13 percent) and applications development (12 percent) as the most challenging functional areas in which to recruit.

The survey results suggest that Detroit CIOs are optimistic about their companies’ growth and IT investments. Ninety percent of CIOs reported being somewhat or very confident in their companies’ prospects for growth in the second quarter of 2013. Seventy-seven percent of CIOs also said they were confident that their firms would invest in IT projects in the second quarter of 2013.

Nationally, 89 percent of CIOs reported being somewhat or very confident in their companies’ prospects for growth in the second quarter of 2013, and 72 percent of CIOs also said they were somewhat or very confident that their firms would invest in IT projects in the second quarter of 2013.

Among the Detroit technology executives surveyed, 55 percent said that desktop support is the skill set in greatest demand within their IT department. Network administration and database management followed, each with 53 percent of the response. Nationally, 51 percent said both network administration and database management are the skill sets in greatest demand within their IT department. Desktop support followed, with 48 percent of the response.

Robert Half Technology provides qualified IT professionals on a project and full-time basis and has been tracking IT hiring activity in the United States since 1995.

More at www.rht.com.

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