September 3, 2010 – Many of the recent job gains for CIOs and HR departments are temporary positions and U.S. business leaders don’t anticipate a return to hiring or budgets to levels prior to the recession, according to a new Garnter study.

Gartner released a survey of employment and departmental factors from 358 U.S.-based organizations. Among other findings, the survey showed that the recovery in IT jobs or an increase in head count from March 1, 2009 to Feb. 28, 2010 were primarily from short-term, temporary contractor positions rather than permanent staff positions.

Lily Mok, vice president at Gartner and lead analyst of the study by the leading information technology research and advisory company, noted that employers have been reluctant to fill vacancies or make new, permanent hires because of the sluggish economy.

“While we expect hiring activities to slowly pick up over the next 12-to-18 months as market conditions improve, we think it is unlikely that many IT organizations will return to their pre-recession staffing levels,” Mok said on a statement released with the study.

The median rate of increase in IT head count was 6.3 percent across all respondents. About 28 percent of those surveyed reported no change in IT head count for the year period in the study.

Reflecting employees’ continued fear of the uncertain market, the median IT voluntary turnover rate, including retirements, during the last 12-month period dropped to a record low of 3 percent.

“The employee groups at higher risk for turnover are the high performers and individuals with high in-demand or critical skills," said Diane Berry, managing vice president at Gartner. "Retention efforts at this time should be focused on identifying the profile of workforce you can't afford to lose, understanding what will keep them engaged and motivated, and addressing any potential issues and concerns that could lead to turnover."

The Gartner 2010 IT Market Compensation Study provides strategic and tactical benchmarking information for IT workforce management in the area of recruitment, retention, reward, recognition, work-life balance, career development and training programs. This study provides base salary, total cash compensation and short-term incentive/bonus data for 155 benchmark jobs that were grouped into 26 job families.

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