IT departments set to grow 9% in the beginning of 2013

Competition for IT talent has been on the rise in recent months, but things are set to really pick up after the new year. 

That’s according to the most recent IT Hiring Index and Skills Report from staffing firm Robert Half Technology. Among 1,400 IT leaders surveyed, 17% plan to expand their IT departments in the first quarter of 2013.

That’s compared to just 8% who expect cutbacks, with 75% saying the size of their department will stay the same.

That 9% net increase is up six percentage points compared to three months ago.

Part of that increase is likely due to the fact that more companies are starting to find room in the budget for IT projects, as 49% of the survey respondents expect their companies to make significant IT investments in the first quarter of next year.

As more companies look to hire IT pros, it’s becoming more difficult to find qualified candidates. Among the IT leaders surveyed, 63% say it’s a challenge to find skilled IT pros right now — up nine points from a survey conducted last quarter.

In particular, companies surveyed are having the most trouble finding IT pros skilled in:

  • IT security
  • Application development, and
  • Database management.

If your company is looking for any of those IT professionals or has any on staff already, it may be a good idea to take another look at the organization’s recruiting and retention plans.