According to the latest Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Index and Skills report, 13 percent of CIOs plan to add IT staff and 3 percent anticipate personnel reductions in the first quarter of 2008. (The Hiring Index and Skills Report is based on interviews with more than 1,400 CIOs from a stratified random sample of U.S. companies with 100 or more employees.)

So let’s blithely ignore that 3 percent and focus on the kinds of skill sets the CIOs in the hiring group say they’re going to be looking for.

The report’s key findings were:

  • Windows administration (Server 2000/2003) skills are in greatest demand in IT departments.
  • Networking is the hottest job category for the second straight quarter.
  • CIOs in the Middle Atlantic and West South Central states are the most optimistic about hiring plans.
  • Business services firms lead all industries in hiring expectations.

Most sought technical skills

According to 74 percent of the CIOs polled, Windows administration is the most sought after technical skill set in IT departments. Network administration (Cisco, Nortel) was cited by 70 percent of respondents, followed by database management (Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server) at 59 percent and firewall administration at 54 percent.)

For more information about Robert Half Technology or to learn more about its report, visit