The Rising Demand for Tech Talent

How you can win the battle for tech talent
“The Rising Demand for Tech Talent” report from Dice highlights trends in technology job postings and recruitment activity over the past year. With employers across the country moving tech projects to the front burner, steady improvements in IT hiring are evident in all major markets.

This hiring environment is good news for recruiters who are adept at delivering candidates with hard-to-find skill-sets. But it’s about more than just highly targeted recruiting. Employers will need to put together more creative offers to attract the best candidates. As well, they may want to reconsider the incentives in place for top tech professionals so they aren’t poached by competitors.

Unemployment Trends
The unemployment rate for technology professionals has been generally half the rate of the overall labor market in the U.S., according the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Unemployment rates: Overall U.S. and Computer/Mathematical
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics. Overall U.S. unemployment rate is seasonally adjusted. Computer/math unemployment rate is not.

Tech Job Postings by Position Type
Overall technology job postings on Dice have grown 30% year/year, reflecting increased recruitment activity and the dynamic need for tech professionals. The demand for full-time hires is growing faster than the rate of contract demand (35% vs. 22%) illustrating that employers are gaining confidence in their business outlook.

This resurgence of full-time hiring amplifies the challenge of retaining top tech talent.

Available Tech Jobs
* Jobs posted on Dice as of March 1, 2011. 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. ^ Source: 2010-11 Dice Tech Salary Survey.

Tech Job Postings by Region
The East and West Coasts continue to dominate the number of tech job postings, which is impacted greatly by the large metropolitan areas of New York, Washington D.C., San Francisco/Silicon Valley and Los Angeles.

Percentage Job Postings by Region

The North Central and South Central regions have shown the largest growth over the last year with increases of 43% and 39% respectively. Strong job posting gains in Chicago, Detroit and the state of Ohio have helped fuel growth in the North Central region.

Job Posting Trends
* Jobs posted on Dice as of February 1, 2011. ^ Source: 2010-11 Dice Tech Salary Survey.

Top Tech Metro Areas
Every major metropolitan market in the U.S. has more job postings on Dice this year than last, resulting in increased activity for HR professionals and recruiters in filling open requisitions. Silicon Valley, Chicago and Seattle have shown the biggest gains in the top 10 markets with tech openings up 40% or more over last year.

Top Tech Metro Areas

Most Common Tech Skills
Java/J2EE, Oracle and C languages have topped the list of most common tech skills found in Dice job postings for quite some time. Positions requiring these skills are also among those reported as the most difficult-to-fill among HR professionals and recruiters, because they say there are not enough candidates in the market and too many openings. The boom in cloud-based applications is likely one factor driving the demand for JavaScript, up 86% year/year.

Most Common Tech Skills
* Jobs posted on Dice as of February 1, 2011. ^ Source: 2010-11 Dice Tech Salary Survey.

Fastest-Growing Tech Skills
With tech job postings on Dice up 30% year/year, many technology skill-sets have grown at more than twice the market rate. Cloud computing is still in relative infancy but it tops the list in growth with openings up nearly two-fold over the last year. The importance of reducing hardware and operating costs is driving the need for those with virtualization experience, specifically VMware, helping this skill come in at #2 on the list.

Skill requests had to appear in at least 1,000 job postings on any given day to qualify for analysis.

Fastest Growing Tech Skills

Top-Paying Tech Skills
Certain hard-to-find skills-sets and experience will command premium salaries from employers. Advanced Business Application Programming, which is used with SAP’s business application systems, has topped the list of highest-paying skill-sets in the Dice Salary Survey for the last three years.

Top Paying Tech Skills
* Jobs posted on Dice as of February 1, 2011. ^ Source: 2010-11 Dice Tech Salary Survey.

In Summary
When the economy took its downturn, many tech professionals were cautious and chose to stay with their current employers. During tough times, people stick with what they know.

Now it’s evident by the positive trends in job postings on Dice that recruitment activity is picking up in the tech sector.

Forward-thinking companies will not only need to have a more aggressive plan in place for attracting top candidates, but also to keep current employees happy and satisfied.

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