Survey shows financial firms to increase IT staff

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But the increase will be in permanent staff, with a small decline possible in recruitment of contract workers.

The survey, conducted in July by the headhunter McGregor Boyall, shows that 63% of respondents believed that total IT recruiting would remain flat for the following three months, while 25% thought it would increase slightly.

For the next three-month period, ending in December, the number expecting a slight increase in hiring grew to 28%. For the period up to July next year, they were much more optimistic, with 56% expecting a slight increase and 3% a large one.

The managers were less bullish about the specific areas of IT in which they were personally involved. Those dealing with architecture technology predicted a decrease in hiring up to July next year. Those handling infrastructure technology said hiring would decline this year, before recovering in July next year.

Hiring of development, support and project management IT staff also looks likely to edge up slightly next year, the survey showed.

Laurie Boyall, the managing director of McGregor Boyall, said contract workers were under pressure because they were often expensive, and firms were realising that they lost a lot of knowledge when contractors moved on to other firms.

McGregor Boyall sent its questionnaire to 250 IT managers in the UK. It plans to repeat the exercise several times a year in order to gauge changing sentiment.