IT hiring to increase while recruiting challenges remain in 2016

To keep up with the competition, hiring managers are sweetening the deals for tech candidates

IT hiring to increase while recruiting challenges remain in 2016
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IT managers responsible for finding new talent can expect a busy first half of the year, according to the latest forecast for tech hiring. 

A solid 78 percent of hiring managers anticipate bringing on more tech people in the first six months of 2016 compared to the second half of 2015, reports tech career site Dice. Among those who see more hiring on the horizon, 71 percent plan to boost their teams by 11 percent or more. 

Meanwhile, it doesn't appear to be getting any easier to find skilled talent. Nearly half (49 percent) of hiring managers said the time to fill open positions has lengthened relative to last year, Dice reports. 

"The environment for a talent crisis in tech has been growing over the past few years, and as the level of interest in technology professionals rises, it doesn't appear the challenging recruitment market will lighten any time soon," said Bob Melk, president of Dice, in a statement.

One thing that's changing is companies' interest in people with less experience. In the latest survey, 27 percent of hiring managers said they plan to hire entry-level candidates, up nine points from last year, and 62 percent said they want candidates with two to five years of experience, up eight points from 2014. 

To keep up with the competition, companies are sweetening the deals for employees. Just over half of respondents (53 percent) say they're providing more perks, such as free lunches and gym memberships. Other recruiting tactics that are being offered more frequently today than a year ago include: sign-on bonuses (cited by 48 percent), paying relocation costs (48 percent), free medical and dental insurance (28 percent), company-paid mobile or car plan (20 percent), and unlimited vacation (13 percent). 

A minority of hiring managers are having greater success with the offers they're making: 20 percent say they're seeing more candidates accepting offers this year as compared to last, up four points year-over-year.

Meanwhile, 64 percent of hiring managers and recruiters say salary guidelines have prevented positions available now from being filled, a jump from the 58 percent who said this last year. 

Survey responses are split on the issue of counteroffers. Roughly 43 percent said yes, they're seeing more counteroffers from candidates' existing employers or offering more counteroffers to retain staff; 38 percent said no. 

Dice's data is based on a November survey of human resource managers, recruiters, consulting and staffing companies. Among 397 respondents, 37 percent said they recruit for their own corporate needs. Nearly a quarter (23 percent) work for companies with more than 500 employees.

This story, "IT hiring to increase while recruiting challenges remain in 2016" was originally published by Network World.

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