Hiring Picture Appears to be Brightening

June 1, 2010 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – As more “help wanted” signs get tacked up on the front door at the nation’s workplaces, a new survey finds 52% of employers and recruiters are set to hire more people in the second half of 2010 than in the first half.

A news release by Dice Holdings, a provider of career Web sites, said 49% of respondents project they will add up to 10% more employees compared with the first half of 2010, while 28% plan to increase hiring by 11%-20%.

Twenty-six percent of respondents said the time it takes to fill new positions is starting to shorten slightly (21%) or substantially (5%). Although still a minority, this is the strongest reading since the survey began two years ago. One of the key reasons: an increase in recruiting for new positions, cited by 20% of respondents, up from 9% last November, indicating a greater urgency to build staff, according to the survey.

“Businesses seem to be gradually loosening their grip on the hiring process as the economy improves,” said Scot Melland, Chairman, President and CEO of Dice Holdings, Inc., in the news release “At the same time, professionals are more willing to jump ship now. As the employment cycle strengthens, companies are likely to find it more challenging to keep their top talent.”

A quarter of employers and recruiters see salaries for new hires rising, compared to 10% reporting salary increases for new hires six months ago. Additionally, nearly seven in ten of those surveyed (69%) believe that layoffs are not likely to occur at their companies within the next six months, an improvement over 61% reporting that last November. Finally, one-third of employers and recruiters are seeing flat or declining numbers of candidates applying for positions, compared to just 17% six months ago.

When it comes to experience, more companies are reporting hiring both at the entry level and for seasoned professionals (10+ years experience) than six months ago.

From May 20 to May 24, 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. Nearly 800 responded to the e-mail survey, with 74% identified as companies that recruit for their own needs.