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Renewed Confidence in Hiring Offers Brighter Employment Outlook in the First Half of 2011, Find Dice Holdings' Survey

(December 3, 2010)

Skills shortages mounting; nearly half of hiring managers expect voluntary employee departures to rise next year

After ten consecutive months of private sector employment growth, half of employers and recruiters anticipate more professionals will be hired in the first half of 2011 than the previous six months, according to a new survey by Dice Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: DHX), a leading provider of specialized career websites for professional communities.

This result closely mirrors findings six months ago which are being reflected in the general labor market - with private employers adding 132,000 jobs per month on average since July, as compared to just 98,000 new positions per month in the first half of 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Evidence is mounting that the pace of hiring is being impacted by a shortage of skilled professionals to fill the available positions. When hiring managers and recruiters report the time to fill positions is lengthening, the majority (52%) say the inability to find qualified professionals is the number one reason. This is a reversal of six months ago when caution related to the economy anchored the top spot.

"The labor market is improving, but employment is still not growing as quickly as in previous recoveries," said Scot Melland, Chairman, President & CEO of Dice Holdings, Inc. "However, with skills shortages starting to emerge and voluntary departures on the rise, 2011 will likely be a busy year for hiring managers and employers."

Nearly half (47%) of hiring managers and recruiters expect voluntary employee departures to increase next year. Likewise, building or replacing staff is likely to become more expensive, with more than a quarter of respondents (29%) indicating salaries for new hires are increasing as compared to last year.

"Companies need to be in front of the departure wave by ensuring top talent and critical employees are content and productive," furthered Mr. Melland. "Recruitment activity continues to increase and the lure of better career opportunities and higher compensation is becoming more visible."

For those planning to make more hires in the first half of 2011, 50 percent project they will add up to 10 percent more employees compared with the second half of 2010, while 31 percent plan to increase hiring by 11-20 percent. There was no discernable difference in hiring expectations between larger companies (500+ employees) and those with fewer than 500 employees.

About the survey
From November 8 to November 14, 2010, Dice Holdings surveyed U.S. companies, government entities and recruiting firms from every region of the country who hire or recruit a variety of professionals. Companies from nearly every industry responded including agriculture, consulting, healthcare, financial services, manufacturing, non-profits, technology and retail. Nearly 1,100 responded to the email survey with 74 percent identified as companies that recruit for their own needs. Of that group, nearly half (47%) had more than 500 employees.

Survey Results

Table 1: Do you anticipate you or your clients hiring more professionals in the first half of 2011 than the second half of 2010?

Yes, substantially      11%
Yes, slightly 39%
No 50%

Table 2: If you or your clients have positions to fill, has the time to fill open positions changed relative to last year?

November 2010      May 2010
Yes, it has substantially lengthened      10% 12%
Yes, it has slightly lengthened 28% 20%
No 42% 42%
Yes, it has slightly shortened 17% 21%
Yes, it has substantially shortened 3% 5%

Table 3: What best describes the reason for the lengthening of time to fill a position?

November 2010      May 2010
There is no urgency to fill open positions      12% 14%
Caution related to the economy 32% 44%
Inability to find qualified professionals to fill open positions      52% 37%
I don't know 4% 5%

Table 4: Do you believe that voluntary departures will increase at your company or your clients' companies in 2011?

Yes      47%
No 53%

Table 5: What trend do you see in salaries for new hires?

November 2010      May 2010
They are significantly higher than last year      ccc cccc
They are slightly higher than last year 2% 2%
No 27% 23%
They are the same as last year 55% 53%
They are slightly less than last year 13% 18%
They are significantly less than last year 3% 4%

Table 6: How many more professionals do you intend to hire in the first half of 2011 than the second half of 2010?

They are significantly less than last year
November 2010
1 - 10% more 50%
11 - 20% more 31%
21 - 30% more 12%
31 - 40% more 3%
41 - 50% more 3%
More than 50% 1%

For additional information go to or contact
Jennifer Bewley, 212-448-8288, dicemedia @

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