Top ten hiring and firing stories of 2009

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Five companies hiring

1. America, hell yeah

Not a company, per se, but good old Uncle Sam is on a hiring spree. Research suggests that the US will be filling IT positions in the coming months, as the number of positions expected to be created could begin to outpace anticipated job cuts in some industries. The sectors planning the most hires include the retail, government and non-profit, and enterprise and leisure industries.

2. Microsoft fosters UK jobs

At a time when most companies are firing, Microsoft announced a scheme to help 500,000 UK people into work. The Britain Works campaign provides free IT skills training, and aims to help persuade the partners it trades with to employ people looking for jobs. As part of the campaign, a new apprenticeship scheme will be launched, aiming to create more than 700 IT apprentices by September 2010, and more than 3,000 over the three year campaign.

3. Facebook loves a recession

Facebook, the world's most loved social network, plans to increase its head count by as much as 50 percent by the end of 2009. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in an interview with Bloomberg that the recession has helped Facebook, because there are a significant number of talented engineers and developers looking for work. "No one else has been hiring," said Zuckerberg. "It's been a great environment for us because the economy has helped out."

4. Home Office wants IT 007

Fancy yourself as the next James Bond? The Government is on the hunt for IT experts that can help fight terrorists and cyber criminals. The Home Office announced a number of initiatives to tackle malicious hackers and online crime in 2009.

The newly created Office for Cyber Security in the Cabinet Office, which is attached to GCHQ's headquarters, provides "co-ordinated protection" of the UK’s critical IT systems. Computer experts are needed that can actively monitor, analyse and counter hostile computer-based assaults.

And on a local level, police are creating regional cybercrime squads that work in a similar way to the anti-terror squads, linking up several police forces.

The Police Central e-crime Unit has been tasked to co-ordinate these efforts and develop the overall response to cybercrime. The unit, which has a £7.4 million budget for the next three years, is always looking for business experts and consultants, (although on a volunteer basis).

5. Google is buying and hiring

Google has announced the worst of the recession is over and the world's most used search engine is stepping up its hiring efforts. "We're very optimistic about the future. We now have the business confidence to invest heavily in the next phase of innovation," Google CEO Eric Schmidt said in October.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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