July 2012: Top 10 Tech Talent Gaps


Finding certain hard-to-find, skilled technology professionals continues to be a battle.

The most difficult hires to find and secure among today’s pool of tech candidates: Java developers, mobile developers, .NET developers and software developers. Those positions are cited by hiring managers and recruiters about double or triple the frequency of other skill sets in the employment marketplace.

Many of the top 10 positions have figured prominently on the list each time we’ve asked America’s tech hiring managers and recruiters for their toughest openings to fill. This raises a particular question: Why isn’t the market fixing the talent gaps?

In some cases such as mobile developers, the market is expanding faster than the talent pool can adapt. That in turn impacts software developers who can fairly transition into the mobile space. Still, not all the positions or skillsets on the list are in the “sexiest” corners of the tech employment market.

There are other factors too. Technology hiring managers largely want journeymen, not apprentices. Asked for experience preference, corporate hiring managers most frequently say IT pros with two to five years in the workforce, followed by those with six to 10 years’ experience. Competition is fierce when companies are all chasing the same talent, making positions hard-to-fill.

Developing talent from within? Formal training in technology is very hit or miss. Companies have been shifting the responsibility for training their employees to the individual for decades. Hiring managers say they expect tech professionals to stay with their firm about three years. That makes it tough to cross-train, retrain, or train at all.

Finally, even with an unemployment rate for technology professionals hovering around 3.5 percent, bold hiring decisions are not on the agenda. Companies are largely sticking to their terms. Sometimes the pay is unacceptable. Sometimes the requirements are for fantasy candidates. And, sometimes talent remains as elusive as the next great idea to fix our tech talent gaps.

Alice Hill
Managing Director, Dice.com

*A single job posting may reflect more than one skill, location or type of position; therefore total figures for those attributes may be greater than total jobs posted.