Two-thirds of hiring managers to increase IT staff in next 6 months: survey

Dice survey of 1,000 recruiters shows most planning new hires, but level is down slightly from 2012.
Written by Joe McKendrick, Contributing Writer

Demand continues to be red hot for technology skills. Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of hiring managers and recruiters in a new survey say that their companies or clients will likely add new technology workers in the first six months of the new year.

That's the word from online recruiting site Dice, which just released results of a hiring survey of more than 1,000 technology-focused hiring managers and recruiters. By comparison, in a study for all types of business jobs, 47% anticipated adding staff to start 2013.

The 64 percent level for IT hiring plans is actually down modestly from six months ago, when 73 percent of hiring managers expected to be adding tech workers during the second half of 2012.  From a regional perspective the largest change over the past six months is from hiring pros headquartered in the West where six in 10 (64 percent) anticipate staff additions to start 2013, as compared to eight in 10 (81 percent) who felt that way about the second half of 2012.

Could the slightly muted IT hiring plans be a reflection of fear of the "Fiscal Cliff," which caused many organizations to hold off on their projections for the year ahead?  Possibly. Alice Hill, managing director of Dice.com, calls the overall tone of the current IT hiring seen “tempered optimism." 

Still, difficulties in finding the right skills for various IT projects is taking its toll -- many organizations are feeling the effects, making it a seller's market for many IT professionals. Asked if the time to fill open technology positions had changed compared to last year, more than half the respondents (55%) said it had lengthened (including 16 percent who labeled the change “substantial”). Accounting for the slower hiring process, nearly half the hiring managers (47 percent) pointed to an inability to find qualified applicants, while another third (33 percent) cited a desire to wait for “the perfect match.”

This may help to put upward pressure on IT salaries. Once a candidate is identified, 53 percent of hiring managers and recruiters said candidates are asking for more money, as compared to six months ago. And, more than one-third (39 percent) of technology hiring professionals said they are seeing more counteroffers than in the previous six months. as a result, 28 percent of hiring professionals noting they’ve experienced an increase in technology professionals rejecting job offers in the last six months.

IT professionals themselves seem happy to stay where they are as well, Dice reports. Seven out of 10 respondents said voluntary departures hadn’t risen at their company or with their clients during the past year. 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 to six months ago. Employers may be getting the message and providing for more opportunities and rewards to talented staff. Let's hope.

 (Source: Dice survey of 1,000 human resource managers, recruiters, consulting and staffing companies, November 2012.)

(Thumbnail photo: US Bureau of labor Statistics.)

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