Denver technology chiefs
optimistic about 2014 hiring

DENVER — If a recent Robert Half Technology survey is any indication, 2014 could be a good year for IT employment in the Denver area. The giant technology staffing agency reports that 13 percent of Denver-area CIOs plan to expand their IT teams in the first half of the year.

Ted Hellmuth

Ted Hellmuth: Firms optimistic

In its latest “Technology IT Hiring Forecast and Local Trend Report,” the agency asked 100 Chief Information Officers about their hiring plans for the first six months of next year. Aside from those who plan to expand their staffs, 66 percent said they plan to hire only to fill open positions, 17 percent plan to put hiring on hold entirely and 1 percent expected to reduce their technology staffs.

The projected IT staff expansions continue a trend from the latter half of 2013. Previous Robert Half surveys showed that 12 percent of area CIOs had planned to expand their staffs in the second half of 2013. The surveys, however, do not reflect the actual outcome of those plans.

"Many companies in the Denver area are optimistic about their future and investing in technology projects at an accelerated pace," says Ted Hellmuth, Denver division director of Robert Half Technology. "We're seeing especially high demand for IT professionals in the healthcare, financial and professional services sectors."

The survey supports that optimism: 86 percent of area CIOs said they were somewhat or very confident in their companies' prospects for growth in the first half of 2014. In addition, 61 percent said they are confident that their firms will invest in IT projects in the first six months of next year.

While technology executives may be in the market for new employees, they are also worried about finding the skills they are looking for. Nearly 60 percent of those polled said it is somewhat or very challenging to find skilled IT professionals. Executives cited networking, help desk/technical support, and security as the most elusive skill set areas.

Fifty-seven percent of those surveyed said that desktop support is among the skill sets in greatest demand within their IT departments. Network administration and Windows administration followed, with 55 percent and 48 percent, respectively.

The surveys were developed by Robert Half Technology and conducted by an independent research firm. In order to ensure that companies from all segments were represented, the sample was stratified by number of employees. The results were then weighted to reflect the proper number of employees in the greater metropolitan Denver area.

With more than 100 locations worldwide, Robert Half is a leading provider of IT professionals on a project and full-time basis and has been tracking IT hiring activity in the United States since 1995.

Denver IT Hiring Forecast

 Jul-Dec 2013Jan-June 2014
CIOs adding more staff to IT departments 12%13%
CIOs planning to hire only for open IT roles 69%66%
CIOs who plan to put IT hiring plans on hold 14%17%
CIOs who plan to reduce their IT staff 5%1%
Don't know future hiring plans 0%3%
*Numbers may not total 100 percent due to rounding.