IT directors plan to keep recruiting

Despite job cuts across all industry sectors, research shows that the number of UK companies looking to hire IT staff outweighs those looking to lose them.

Recruitment specialist ReThink surveyed a number of UK IT directors. Some 34 per cent plan to expand their IT department over the next year, compared to 20 per cent who plan to cut jobs.

The remaining 46 per cent expect headcount freezes will remain in place over the next year.

Overall, the directors remain reasonably optimistic about the outlook for staffing, pay and project levels over the next 12 months.

Among directors, 32 per cent said they have already cut staff in the past 12 months, so it is encouraging that fewer IT departments are set to shed jobs going forward, perhaps indicating that for many IT departments there are currently no plans to repeat the initial round of job cuts.

Headcounts were savaged during the 2001/02 downturn, but in most cases staffing levels never really returned to dot-com levels. Since then, IT spending has been kept on a tight leash, so departments are likely to be much leaner going into the current downturn, and a repeat of that ‘cull’ is unlikely.

“While IT departments are by no means immune to the results of recession, they do appear to be somewhat insulated,” says the company. “Perhaps this is indicative of the importance now attached to IT as a business function and its central role in making organisations more productive during a downturn.”

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