January 2015: Talent Tussle

Low unemployment rates and in high demand, tech professionals not only have the power to negotiate, but they have the ability to be selective. As a result, companies are finding landing top tech talent is not an easy feat. Dice asked customers which positions are most difficult-to-fill. And it seems as though companies’ top hiring priorities prove to be the tough recruits.


Topping the list is a must-have for any company wanting to build new products or develop proprietary internal systems: software developers/engineers. As technology evolves, these “creators” are key to helping company systems stay current—and companies know it. With a third quarter unemployment rate of 2.6 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, it’s no surprise these professionals are hard to find. Unemployment for software developers/engineers is just shy of half the total national unemployment rate (6.1%) recorded during the same time frame. High on company wish lists, hiring managers need to move quickly when they find a potential fit for this position.

At number two is the number one most requested skill on Dice, with more than 16,000 positions on any given day. It’s Java, and demand for it is only heating up. Java was named one of the Top 10 skills hiring managers search for when in the market for cloud candidates, according to our November report. And considering it’s a basis for so many open source projects, demand for tech pros with this programming language doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon.

Security professionals (#4) also rank high on hiring managers’ list, both in terms of demand and difficulty to fill. Dice job postings for security professionals are up year-over-year, with cybersecurity up 91 percent and information security up 48 percent. Companies need professionals who can help oversee and protect their proprietary information from misuse or security leaks.

Rounding out the Top 5 are .NET professionals (#3) and sales (#5) professionals. For companies still waiting or in the process of transitioning to a Microsoft services platform, a .NET professional is important to have in your back pocket. And as companies start to ramp up their product development initiatives, sales professionals who can successfully deliver their products to market are key. The challenge is finding professionals who can understand the product, communicate and close deals in a highly-competitive market with a narrow-talent pool.

To mitigate the tough recruiting environment, companies must set themselves apart, whether that be through compensation or unique perks, to lure candidates with these in-demand skills. If they don’t, their competitors will.

Shravan Goli
President, Dice