Yesterday the folks at Dice.com released their 'The Rising Demand for Tech Talent - Spring 2011' report, which highlights trends in the tech job market, as indicated by job postings on the Dice.com site over the last year.
These kinds of reports from large job boards like Dice.com are instructive; while we can postulate or rely on anecdotal evidence about the condition and situation of certain labor markets, the Dice data provides more quantitative data about the tech labor market that can be used to help explain the actions we see from candidates and employees, and help inform strategies for recruiting, retention, and compensation.
Dice tagged the Spring 2011 report 'Rising Demand', and a closer look at the data justifies that label.
Figure 1 - Tech Job Postings by Position Type
Nice, overall growth in posted positions of 30%, with stronger growth in Full-Time gigs (35%). More overall opportunities for tech professionals will tend to make filling your specific tech positions more difficult, and also provide even more impetus to your current staff that may have been reluctant (or unable) to seek other opportunities to consider making a move.
Taking a closer look at the overall numbers, we see increases in tech job postings across most major tech markets.
Figure 2 - Job posting growth by area
If you are a technical recruiter or corporate tech manager in say Washington or even Chicago and have been wondering why it seems so much harder to fill that ABAP developer spot, maybe you shouldn't be wondering anymore. Markets like Chicago, Seattle, and Atlanta are all seeing significant increased in tech positions (again, as posted on Dice.com).
So maybe this data is just re-stating the obvious - the tech labor market is improving, it is getting more difficult to find people with the right tech skills in many markets, and those curious recent voluntary departures from your IT staff may all of a sudden make more sense.
But aggregated job board data is not just useful in looking at macro trends in posted positions, these tech jobs are all looking for sets of specific skills, and examining the trends in the kinds of technical skills that companies are advertising for can give us some clues about the trends in enterprise IT priorities and needs in the coming months.
Figure 3 - Trends in Desired Skills
Again, maybe not earth-shattering news, everyone knows the Cloud is hot. Heck, when Microsoft is running mass-market TV commercials about 'The Cloud' you know it has arrived. But having some real data helps the recruiter better understand the market, and the HR leader assess what these changing (and clearly improving) markets may mean for workforce planning and strategy. Talent markets are constantly shifting and evolving, if you buy into the whole 'War for Talent' metaphor, then arming yourself with some data is a necessary condition of engagement.
Thanks to the folks at Dice.com for sharing this data, hopefully you don't mind that I re-used much of it here (probably should have checked first).
I encourage you to check out the full report here.