San Diego Business Journal

More than one-fifth of technology executives in the San Diego area plan to expand their IT teams in the second half of 2016, according to a survey released Tuesday by Robert Half Technology.

According to the report, which forecasts local hiring, 21 percent of the executives surveyed plan to hire more IT professionals – a three-point increase from the previous six months.

"In San Diego, the number of vacant technology roles outweighs the number of available candidates, creating a very competitive hiring environment," said John Asdell, who manages the San Diego metro market for Robert Half Technology. "Clients who are winning the war on talent are redesigning their hiring processes to be shorter and more efficient. Skills that are in particularly high demand include desktop support and high-level networking, specifically in cybersecurity."

As a result, those who are looking to expand may find it tricky to track down people with the skills they need, according to the results of the survey: 61 percent of the CIOs surveyed said it is “somewhat” or “very” challenging to find skilled IT professionals.

The percentage of executive looking to hire is down from a year ago, when 27 percent of chief information officers had plans to bring on more IT staffers.

Of the San Diego CIOs surveyed, 72 percent plan to hire only for open IT roles, 4 percent plan to put hiring plans on hold and 3 percent plan to reduce IT staffing levels in the last six months of 2016, according to the report.

The local forecasts published by Robert Half Technology are based on interviews conducted by an independent research firm with more than 2,500 CIOs in 25 major U.S. markets who were asked about their six-month outlook on hiring.