The job market for technology professionals has been a bright spot amid what economic-types typically have termed a modest recovery. That “bright spot” status should remain true into 2013, according to more than 1,000 technology-focused hiring managers and recruiters surveyed by Dice.
Nearly two-thirds (64%) of hiring managers and recruiters say that their companies or clients will likely add new technology workers in the first six months of the new year. In a comparable study of hiring managers and recruiters that recruit for many roles, just 47 percent anticipated adding staff to start 2013.
However, the brightness looks poised to dim a bit, at least in comparison to the technology job market of 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%) anticipate staff additions to start 2013, as compared to eight in 10 (81%) who felt that way about the second half of 2012.
“Tempered optimism. That’s how I’d describe the state of technology recruiting as we move into the New Year,” said Alice Hill, Managing Director of Dice.com. “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.”
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%) pointed to an inability to find qualified applicants, while another third (33%) cited a desire to wait for “the perfect match.”
Likewise, there is no haste by qualified technology professionals to move on in their careers. Seven out of 10 respondents said voluntary departures hadn’t risen at their company or with their clients during the past year. And asked about the pace of new job applications, more than half (54%) said they hadn’t seen a spike in new applicants as compared to six months ago.
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%) of technology hiring professionals said they are seeing more counteroffers than in the previous six months. Those factors combined appear to be impacting recruiting, with 28 percent of hiring professionals noting they’ve experienced an increase in technology professionals rejecting job offers in the last six months.
About the Survey
From November 14 to November 20, 2012, Dice surveyed human resource managers, recruiters, consulting and staffing companies from every region of the country who primarily hire or recruit technology professionals. More than 1,000 responded to the survey, with 48 percent identified as recruiting for their own needs. Of that group, 25 percent had more than 500 employees.