CIOs Try to Retain Employees in Hard-to-Fill IT Jobs

Demand continues to outpace supply for certain tech positions, survey finds.

Most chief information officers are planning to hire staff in the last few months of 2013, though many are focusing much of their efforts on retaining current staff as certain positions continue to be difficult to fill, according to a new report.

The survey of more than 2,300 U.S. CIOs found that most (76 percent) of CIOs are planning to hire staff in the final quarter of 2013, though the majority of them (65 percent) are planning to fill vacant IT jobs. Nineteen percent of CIOs said they plan to put IT hiring plans on hold, while 5 percent said they plan to reduce their IT staff in the final months of this year.

Even while most CIOs do have plans to hire in the coming months, the majority (68 percent) said it’s somewhat or very challenging to find skilled IT professionals today. The most difficult-to-fill IT job fields were in networking (19 percent), data/database management (13 percent) and help desk/technical support (12 percent).

“IT hiring managers remain selective when hiring, but know they need to move fast to acquire top talent in hot specialty areas such as networking and help desk support,” said John Reed, senior executive director of Robert Half Technology.

Desktop support (54 percent) was the skill set CIOs said they needed most within their departments, followed by network administration and database management, each with a response of 52 percent. “Many firms are increasing their focus on retention because candidates in these areas of IT can be hard to find,” Reed said.