IT hiring expected to slow in first quarter of 2003

10 per cent of CIOs planning to hire additional technology staff: survey

Fewer Canadian companies will be looking to hire information technology staff in the first quarter of 2003, according to a survey of chief information officers across the country.

According to the survey, 10 per cent of executives said they plan to expand their IT departments in the coming months and five per cent anticipate staff cutbacks. The vast majority of CIOs — 85 per cent — expect no change in hiring activity.

“Canadian companies are continuing to take a cautious approach in their IT hiring practices,” said Stephen Mill, regional manager of Robert Half Technology. “Many firms are making adjustments to their staff levels as they try to assess growth in an uncertain economy.”

Mill said this means many hiring managers don’t have to settle for the first candidate who walks through the door.

“Companies are establishing very specific requirements for job candidates,” he said. “Hiring managers are closely assessing the skills, experience and work history of prospective employees and are less willing to hire someone who does not meet every requirement for a position.”

Some industries hiring

CIOs in the construction industry are the most optimistic. None are forecasting staff reductions and 17 per cent said they plan to hire in the first quarter — more than three times the national average.

The transportation sector is also expected to beat the national average when it comes to hiring, with CIOs expecting a nine per cent hiring increase. The business services sector should also see strong technology employment gains with a forecast eight per cent hiring increase.

The survey was developed by staffing services firm Robert Half Technology and conducted by an independent research firm. It includes responses from 270 CIOs from a random sample of Canadian companies with 100 or more employees.

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