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Hiring Managers' Plans Surprisingly Steadfast: Modest Job Gains Expected in Early 2012

NEW YORK , Nov. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- With the nation's economy restrained by elevated uncertainty, America's recruiters and hiring managers still foresee a solid hiring picture for the first six months of the year ahead, according to a national survey conducted by Dice Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: DHX), a leading provider of specialized career websites for professional communities.

Nearly half (47%) of hiring managers and recruiters say they plan additional hiring during the first half of 2012, as compared to the second half of 2011. This result is close to the mid-2011 forecast when 51 percent of hiring managers and recruiters noted they were stepping up hiring in the next six months. In fact, hiring managers and recruiters have been split on the pace of hiring for more than a year – with the respondent majority back and forth between slightly faster and slower hiring.

Asked how the current economy has impacted their hiring goals for the six months ahead, 43 percent of hiring professionals say their companies' and clients' plans remain unchanged. By contrast, 21 percent are increasing hiring indicating their view on the economy is more constructive. Another 30 percent report having adjusted their hiring plans downward.

"With so much uncertainty in the air when it comes to the economy and job creation, it's a surprisingly positive sign that nearly half of respondents are optimistic about hiring at the start of 2012," said Scot Melland, Chairman, President and CEO of Dice Holdings, Inc. "Although modest in size, we've added private-sector jobs for 20 months now, and that modest job growth looks set to continue. We need to focus on removing any hurdles that impede companies from investing in America's talent."

Nearly four in 10 companies (39%) report longer timelines for employee acquisition – based on a dearth of qualified candidates (60%) and an abundance of caution brought on by economic uncertainty (26%). This difficulty finding the right people to fill positions comes even as a clear majority of companies surveyed (55%) report getting more applications for open positions than compared to the previous six months.

Layoffs continue to look unlikely as 2012 begins. Compared to mid-2011, when 12 percent of respondents saw layoffs as at least likely, 15 percent cited that possibility for the first six months of 2012. It appears that caution is creeping into respondents' thoughts about voluntary departures. While 48 percent predicted more employees would leave their companies in the latter half of 2011, only 40 percent predicted an increase in attrition in 2012.

About the survey

From November 14 to November 18, 2011 , 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. More than 1,000 hiring professionals responded to the email survey, with 74 percent identified as working for companies that recruit for their own needs. Of that group, 45 percent had more than 500 employees.

Survey Results

Table 1: Do you anticipate you or your clients hiring more professionals in the first half of 2012 than the second half of 2011?

Yes, substantially

13%

Yes, slightly

34%

No

53%

Table 2: Has the current economic environment caused you or your clients to change hiring plans for the next six months?

November 2011

May 2011

Yes, substantially increased hiring plans

4%

7%

Yes, slightly increased hiring plans

17%

22%

No change

43%

45%

Yes, slightly decreased hiring plans

24%

15%

Yes, substantially decreased hiring plans

6%

5%

I'm not sure

6%

6%

Table 3: If you or your clients have positions to fill, has the time to fill open positions changed relative to last year?

November 2011

May 2011

Yes, it has substantially lengthened

10%

9%

Yes, it has slightly lengthened

29%

30%

No

46%

43%

Yes, it has slightly shortened

13%

15%

Yes, it has substantially shortened

2%

3%

Table 4: What best describes the reason for time to fill lengthening?

November 2011

May 2011

There is no urgency to fill open positions

9%

9%

Caution related to the economy

26%

21%

Inability to find qualified professionals to fill open positions

60%

64%

I don't know

5%

6%

Table 5: Are you seeing an increase in the number of candidates applying for positions as compared to six months ago?

November 2011

May 2011

Yes, significantly

19%

18%

Yes, but slightly

36%

32%

No

45%

50%

Table 6: 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?

November 2011

May 2011

Very likely

3%

2%

Likely

12%

10%

Not likely

67%

71%

I don't know

18%

17%

Table 7: Do you believe that voluntary departures will increase at your company or your clients' companies in 2012?

Yes

40%

No

60%

About Dice Holdings, Inc.

Dice Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: DHX) is a leading provider of specialized career websites for professional communities, including technology and engineering, financial services, energy, healthcare, 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 21 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 primarily in North America , Europe , the Middle East , Asia and Australia .

Media Contacts:
Jennifer Bewley or Rachel Ceccarelli
Dice Holdings, Inc.
212-448-8288
dicemedia@dice.com

SOURCE Dice Holdings, Inc.