While many jobs sectors and regions continue to deal with historically high records of unemployment, the tech industry and corresponding IT jobs market has been a notable bright spot, and hiring indicators are likely to stay positive in 2013, according to a survey conducted by IT career services specialist Dice.com.
However, the brightness looks poised to dim a bit, at least in comparison to the outlook for technology job market of six months ago, when 73 percent of hiring managers said they expected to be adding tech workers during the second half of 2012. In the latest study, which was released Dec. 10, nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of hiring managers and recruiters said that their companies or clients would likely add new technology workers in the first six months of the new year.
"Tempered optimism. That's how I'd describe the state of technology recruiting as we move into the new year," Alice Hill, managing director with Dice.com, said in a statement. "For every pair of companies likely to staff up in 2013, there's a company saying they're not looking to grow their technology workforce in the immediate future. So there will be good job opportunities and there will be hiring, but we're expecting steady, modest growth, not a snowball gaining speed into an avalanche."
From a regional perspective, the largest change in the past six months is from hiring pros in the West, where 64 percent of respondents said they anticipate staff additions to start in 2013, compared with 81 percent who said they felt that way about the second half of 2012.When asked if the time to fill open technology positions had changed compared with last year, more than half the respondents (55 percent) said it had lengthened, including 16 percent who labeled the change "substantial."
Nearly half (47 percent) of the hiring managers pointed to an inability to find qualified applicants, while another third (33 percent) cited a desire to wait for "the perfect match," which could account for the slower hiring process, the report noted.
Survey results also indicated that qualified IT professionals who have found employment are happy to stay where they are at the moment. Seven out of 10 respondents said voluntary departures hadn't risen at their companies or with their clients during the past year. When asked about the pace of new job applications, more than half (54 percent) said they hadn't seen a spike in new applicants as compared with six months ago. However, more than half (53 percent) of hiring managers and recruiters said candidates are asking for more money as compared to six months ago.
The survey was conducted from Nov. 14 to Nov. 20, and included input from 1,000 human resource managers, recruiters, consulting and staffing companies from every region of the country who primarily hire or recruit technology professionals. Just under half (48 percent) identified themselves as recruiting for their own needs. Of that group, 25 percent had more than 500 employees.