Employers are Optimistic, Hiring More, and Paying More for Select Entry-level Talent

By Chelsea Babin

Hiring is about to get a lot more challenging. According to a recent survey conducted by Dice that included over 400 hiring professionals from U.S. companies, 65% said they expect to hire more people this year. To put that in context, the same group was surveyed in December of 2016 and only 56% of hiring managers were anticipating hiring more employees.

According to Michael Durney, the President and CEO of the DHI Group, “it would seem that whatever concern was paralyzing employers’ hiring earlier in the year has since abated. Now, it’s a hurry-up-and-wait situation; hiring managers are combating lengthy fill times as professionals ponder choosing the ideal employer.” The same Dice survey found that around 46% of those hiring managers suggested that the time needed to fill their open positions had lengthened relative to last year. Around 47% also said they were unable to find qualified candidates. This pattern is well documented, the latest data available to the DHI-DFH Measure of National Vacancy Duration from April of this year found that the average job in the U.S. took 30.5 days to fill.

In order to attract the right talent and try to shorten that average 30.5-day search for the right employee, companies are raising salaries and offering creative benefits to entice top technical talent. Additionally, as salaries for technical professionals rise, those salary increases have begun to impact entry-level talent as well. Recent graduates with less than two years of professional experience and technical skills like JSon, Scrum, RESTful, Agile, AWS, JQuery, JIRA, or Python can expect entry-level salaries over the $60,000 mark according to a recent Dice Salary Survey. Other entry-level skill sets that are highly paid and in demand earning above $55,000 a year include JavaScript, SDLC, CSS, HTML5, .Net, SQL, MySQL, Linux, SaaS, QA, Data Analysis, and Sharepoint. These in-demand skill sets are often more challenging to find which is why they’re earning such stellar salaries even at the entry level.

While employers are starting to deal with longer employee searches overall, they’re far longer for those looking for qualified technical professionals. And although employers are optimistic, they’re also realizing that they’ll need to raise salaries in order to attract the right candidates—including entry-level candidates with particularly useful technical skills.