According to Dice’s semi-annual survey, hiring managers who specialize in recruiting technology professionals are somewhat more bearish on hiring candidates in 2017.
Some 68 percent of those managers anticipated more hiring in the first half of 2017 compared to the second half of 2016—a very solid number, but also a 10 point drop from last year’s survey.
Employers in the broader economy who recruit across industries expressed similar reservations, with 56 percent saying they planned on increased hiring over the next several months—a five-point dip from November 2015, according to the similar survey from DHI Group, Dice’s parent company.
In tech, some 50 percent of hiring managers indicated that the time to fill open positions had also lengthened relative to last year (another 33 percent said there’d been no change at all). Around 59 percent of those managers also said that salaries for new hires were trending higher than last year—a good sign for tech pros.
That lengthening of hiring time is due to several factors, most notably an inability to find qualified professionals to fill open positions; many hiring managers are also waiting for the candidates with the perfect combination of skills. Relatively few hiring managers attributed the extension to economic caution or worries over market disruption.
In order to attract top candidates, tech recruiters are offering everything from sign-on bonuses (49 percent) to paying for relocation (48 percent) and free medical/dental insurance (30 percent). Another 56 percent indicated their organizations offered a bevy of employee perks, including free food and gym memberships.
What does this mean for tech pros? With salaries ticking upwards, and employers willing to offer a variety of perks in order to secure the services to top talent, it’s a good time to be looking for a new position—a sentiment borne out by the high turnover rate in tech, as tech pros leave their current jobs in search of richer opportunities. But with many hiring managers indicating that they’re holding out for the ideal candidate, tech pros putting themselves on the market will need to have the right combination of skills and experience if they want to land their dream position.
“While there are many good economic signs for tech professionals looking for a new job, hiring managers are telling us that they’re focusing on those who really fit the roles,” said Bob Melk, president of Dice. “Tech pros must still work to keep their skills up-to-date and be armed with salary and market data to lead the conversation during the interview process and get the salary they desire.”
Dice’s survey took place from Oct. 31 through Nov. 11, 2016, and involved 618 hiring professionals who recruit for a variety of industries, along with 785 who focused on filling technology positions.