Companies Look To Accelerate Tech Hiring A Bit
July 14, 2014 Timothy Prickett Morgan
Every six months, the market researchers at online headhunting firm Dice take the pulse in the technology market by surveying hiring managers and recruiters who work this field. Based on the latest survey results, which were just released in June, it looks like the job market for techies is doing alright.
Dice got survey responses from 737 people, including human resource managers, recruiters, and consulting and staffing companies from all around the United States between May 12 and 16. Of these, a little more than a third said they were looking for techies for their own needs and about a fifth were working for companies who had more than 500 employees.
Interestingly, about a third of hiring managers said that more of their techies were seeking better opportunities outside of their current companies, but this is down from the 42 percent rate cited by hiring managers as 2013 came to a close. (This statistic doesn’t give us a sense of the turnover rate across all companies, but rather qualifies a company as either seeing higher turnover rate compared to a prior period. It would be better to know what percentage of employees are leaving and what open jobs are available at each firm and then aggregate this information to get a better sense of what is going on–and where in terms of industry, geography, and job type.) About the same percentage (32 percent) of hiring managers said that more tech candidates were rejecting offers compared to six months ago. And, no surprises, 61 percent of hiring managers said that candidates were asking for more money than they were demanding six months ago.
There are opportunities in the tech sector for qualified candidates, and in areas where there is demand, this is putting upward pressure on salaries. About 70 percent of hiring managers said that they would be hiring more people in the second half of the year than they did in the first half, which is more or less the same percentage who said they would hire more people in the first half of 2014 compared to the second half of 2013. That would seem to imply that there is an acceleration of hiring in the tech sector, but again, this is a survey that is counting hiring managers, not the number of people they hired (or didn’t). It would be interesting to have managers actually put numbers on their guesses and the correlate this with actual hired each quarter to see how good the hiring managers are at predicting their own behavior and projections for staffing needs at their companies. There is no question that hiring and firing are difficult to predict.
The good news is that 79 percent of those surveyed by Dice say that layoffs in the IT department are unlikely in the next six months. As for hiring, only about 20 percent of managers are looking for fresh blood with under two years of experience. About 59 percent said they were seeking people with between two and five years of experience, 71 percent said they wanted people with between six and ten years of experience, and 37 percent said they wanted folks with more than ten years of experience.
The Dice site currently has 179 job openings for an RPG programmer, and a total of 223 positions that mention IBM i by name. There are 245 positions that mention “AS400” and 216 that mention “AS/400.” Another 186 mention “iSeries” and there is obviously some overlap in those jobs because some mention the many different names of the platform to make sure candidates can find them. These are out of a pool of 78,338 tech jobs in its database that run that gamut in the data centers of America. Just to give you a sense of it, there were 5,056 jobs that had Python in the job description, another 8,042 jobs that had C# in the help wanted ad, and 16,586 than had Java. There are probably something on the order of a few hundred thousand RPG programmers in the world and around 9 million to 10 million Java programmers, and the job opening counts reflect this reality.