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The Dice Report

(June 8, 2011) The competition for technology talent continues to escalate, despite a surge in hiring that has pushed the tech unemployment rate below four percent. According to nearly 900 hiring managers and recruiters that source, recruit and hire IT professionals, 65 percent anticipate hiring more technology professionals in the second half of 2011 than the preceding six months.

The growth has reached a level where positions are staying open for months due to a shortage of qualified technology professionals. Of those respondents who report the time to fill a position is lengthening, 63 percent attribute talent shortages as the primary reason which compares to just 46 percent who felt that way six months ago.

Hiring managers and recruiters located in the East and Midwest were particularly mindful of local tech talent shortages, as about two-thirds of respondents from those areas are hiring IT professionals from outside their local talent pool to try and satisfy demand. The most difficult positions to fill today? In the East, it's java, mobile developers, SAP, security clearances and .net, while the Midwest adds Sharepoint to the list.

The tighter market is having an impact on the pay front - nearly half (47%) of hiring managers and recruiters noted pay was slightly or significantly increasing for new hires, up from 29 percent six months ago.

"Technology professionals are the basis for innovation, efficiency and creating an agile workplace," said Tom Silver, SVP, North America of Dice. "Now is the time to ask for more money. Negotiate hard at the outset of a new job because that initial salary may set the base for the next three years."

One-third of corporate recruiters (34%) anticipate tapping outside resources to find tech talent more frequently in the second half of the year than the previous six months, that's up from just 29 percent in November. And, companies want to hire technology professionals with experience. Six to ten years of IT experience is the most prominent choice, followed by two to five years and then by professionals with 10 years or more of experience.

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