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Dice Holdings Reveals Mixed Outlook for Hiring Based on Mid-Year Employment Survey

Half of Those Surveyed Plan to Scale Back Hiring, and 60 Percent say They Cannot Predict When Hiring Will Return to Normal

97 Percent of Companies Indicate New Hires are Receiving the Same or More pay Than Last Year

NEW YORK, June 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Dice Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: DHX), a leading provider of specialized career websites for professional communities, today announced the results of an employment survey that paints a picture of a very mixed hiring environment, with slightly more than half of the respondents saying they will scale back hiring plans for the next six months.

With the economy limping along, and many indicators pointing to tepid growth at best, Dice Holdings' recent survey of hiring companies and recruiters found that on many key issues employers are split nearly 50-50. Some 52 percent of respondents indicated they would cut back their hiring for the next six months, while 43 percent reported they would not change their current plans and five percent are unsure. Large companies, those with more than 500 employees, were slightly more negative than other respondents, with 58 percent saying they plan to cut back hiring this year.

The results were equally mixed regarding when respondents believed they would see hiring return to normal - 34 percent predicted by the second half of 2009, but the majority of respondents, 60 percent, indicated that they are not sure and are waiting to see how the economy evolves.

"We're seeing a mixed and uncertain hiring environment," said Scot Melland, Chairman, President and CEO of Dice Holdings, Inc. "Roughly half of employers are sticking with their hiring plans, but with a degree of caution and hesitancy you might expect, given the lukewarm economy," said Melland. "At the same time, the majority of companies do not appear to be forecasting a dire turn for the worse any time soon."

While the survey results appear to reflect a degree of caution, most respondents - 64 percent - thought layoffs unlikely. And in keeping with the high level of uncertainty, 16 percent of respondents indicated they did not know whether layoffs were likely or not.

Less than one in 10 companies - seven percent - believe layoffs are very likely in the next six months, while another 13 percent believe layoffs are likely. Companies expecting layoffs represented a broad spectrum of industries, including telecom, technology, retail, manufacturing, and finance.

But while hiring continues, 41 percent of respondents say that the time it takes to fill open positions is longer than it was last year, while nearly half - 49 percent - see no change. Interestingly, the major reason for the extended period to hire people isn't concern about the economy or a lack of urgency to fill a position. It's finding the right people. Nearly six in 10 respondents, 59 percent, said what's slowing down the process is the inability to find qualified candidates for the job.

"Even in this economy, for certain types of skilled positions such as engineers and accounting professionals, there is a talent shortage. The message we're receiving from employers is that good people are being hired and paid appropriately," said Melland. "Companies must compete for talent, and they recognize they have to compensate professionals based on the competition for their skills as well as a general increase in the cost of living."

Those companies that have not scaled back hiring plans continue to pay competitive salaries. For new hires, 97 percent of respondents indicated salaries are equal to or above last year. The lure of dollars is not enough, however, to attract a higher number of candidates than usual. Only 51 percent of companies are seeing more candidates apply for jobs.

"In an economic slowdown, people tend to stick with their current employers, and even though there may be opportunities elsewhere, they don't necessarily jump at the chance to change jobs," said Melland.

About the survey

In late May 2008, Dice Holdings surveyed U.S. companies and recruiting firms from every region of the country who hire or recruit a variety of professionals. More than 1,100 responded to the email survey with 81 percent identified as companies that recruit for their own needs. Of that group, nearly half had more than 500 employees.

Survey Results

Table 1: Has the current economic environment caused you or your clients to scale back hiring plans for the next six months?

    Yes, substantially             15%
    Yes, slightly                  37%
    No                             43%
    I'm not sure                    5%

Table 2: When do you envision that your hiring or your clients' hiring will return to normal levels?

    Fourth quarter of 2008                             16%
    First half of 2009                                 18%
    Second half of 2009                                 6%
    Not sure - we'll have to wait and see how the      60%
     economy evolves

Table 3: How likely do you think layoffs are in the next six months at your organization, or if you are a recruiter at your clients' organizations?

    Very likely                      7%
    Likely                          13%
    Not likely                      64%
    I don't know                    16%

Table 4: If you or your clients have positions to fill, has the time to fill open positions changed relative to last year?

    Yes, it has substantially lengthened          11%
    Yes, it has slightly lengthened               30%
    No                                            49%
    Yes, it has slightly shortened                 8%
    Yes, it has substantially shortened            2%

Table 5: What best describes the reason for the time to fill a position lengthening?

    There is no urgency to fill open positions                   12%
    Slight caution related to the economy                        26%
    Inability to find qualified professionals                    59%
     to fill open positions
    I don't know                                                  3%

Table 6: What trend do you see in salaries for new hires?

    They are significantly higher than last year         4%
    They are slightly higher than last year             48%
    They are the same as last year                      45%
    They are slightly less than last year                3%
    They are significantly less than last year           0%

Table 7: Are you seeing an increase in the number of candidates applying for positions?

    Yes, significantly   17%
    Yes, but slightly    34%
    No                   49%

About Dice Holdings, Inc.

Dice Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: DHX) is a leading provider of specialized career websites for professional communities, including technology and engineering, capital markets and financial services, accounting and finance, and security clearance. Our mission is to help our customers source and hire the most qualified professionals in select and highly skilled occupations, and to help those professionals find the best job opportunities in their respective fields and further their careers. For more than 17 years, we have built our company by providing our customers with quick and easy access to high-quality, unique professional communities and offering those communities access to highly relevant career opportunities and information. Today, we serve multiple markets in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia.

ICR Inc.
James McCusker, 203-682-8245, james.mccusker@icrinc.com
Matt Lindberg, 203-682-8214, matt.lindberg@icrinc.com

SOURCE Dice Holdings, Inc.

Web site: http://www.diceholdingsinc.com /