Demand for tech professionals will remain a bright spot as 2012 begins, according to nearly 1,200 IT-focused hiring managers and recruiters surveyed by IT jobs portal Dice. Some 65 percent of these hiring professionals said their companies or clients will look to add technology pros in the first half of 2012, with about a quarter (27 percent) of those hiring looking to expand their staffs by more than 20 percent in the six months ahead, the report found.
This positive hiring forecast is nearly identical to the midyear prediction that tech hiring managers and recruiters gave in May about the second half of 2011. The report noted tech professionals with six to 10 years of experience are highly sought after, followed by those with two to five years in the trenches.
"The tech recruiting market is active, although the pace of improvement has been impacted by broader economic concerns," said Alice Hill, managing director of Dice.com. "Many companies are chasing mid-career talent. The elevated economic uncertainty makes it tougher for hiring managers to lure tech professionals into leaving their current position."
Rising salaries for new hires is one plan that many companies are apparently using. More than four in 10 (42 percent) hiring managers and recruiters predict that salaries for new hires will grow in the coming year, which represents a slight drop from 47 percent in May 2011, but still nearly a dozen percentage points higher than the results of any hiring survey since June 2008.
Of those respondents with open positions to fill, 48 percent reported that the time to fill those jobs has grown longer relative to the year before. Nearly six in 10 (57 percent) of those who said it takes longer to hire new tech professionals attributed this delay to a shortage of qualified tech talent, while 31 percent attribute the slowdown to concerns about the economy.
The report also noted the risk of layoffs continues to be remote. For corporate hiring managers who recruit for their own needs, just 16 percent believe that layoffs are likely in the first six months of 2012. Although there is less concern about tech professionals leaving their own position, 38 percent of hiring managers and recruiters expect that voluntary departures will increase in 2012, which compares with 43 percent who registered concerns in mid-2011.
Dice surveyed human resource managers and recruiters from every region of the country who primarily hire or recruit technology professionals from Nov. 14 to Nov. 18, to compile the report. Nearly 1,200 responded to the email survey, with 44 percent identified as those recruiting for their own needs. Of that group, 33 percent had more than 500 employees.