NEW YORK, June 8, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — A record number of hiring managers in the U.S. anticipate more hiring in the next six months, according to the semi-annual hiring survey from DHI Group, Inc. (NYSE: DHX), a leading online career resource and talent acquisition platform for technology professionals and other select professional communities. The expected rise in hiring comes at a time when unemployment is low and demand for skilled professionals is high, driving competition in the recruitment market amongst employers.

Today, 65 percent of hiring managers expect more hiring, three percentage points above June last year. The uptick in expectations for this year comes after a dip just six months ago when 56 percent of hiring managers who recruit for a variety of professionals anticipated adding more employees to their organizations.

“The survey last year hit during a tumultuous political season in America and prior to the election of Donald Trump as president. It would seem that whatever concern was paralyzing employers’ hiring earlier in the year has since abated,” said Michael Durney, President and CEO of DHI Group, Inc. “Now, it’s a hurry-up-and-wait situation; hiring managers are combating lengthy fill times as professionals ponder choosing the ideal employer. Recruiters are needing to employ creative tactics to attract skilled candidates.”

Almost half (46%) of hiring managers note the time to fill open positions has lengthened relative to last year, primarily driven by the inability to find qualified candidates (47%) and becoming more discernable while waiting for the perfect match (28%).

DHI Group’s proprietary labor market report, DHI Hiring Indicators, echoes this sentiment among employers. In April 2017 (latest data available), the DHI-DFH Measure of National Vacancy Duration found the average job in the U.S. took 30.5 days to fill, a record high and nearly a full day above the previous high in April 2016.

“The time to fill open positions is at peak levels and the pressure is on for America’s employers. Offering competitive pay, excellent benefits and employee perks is essential for any company who wants to attract skilled tech talent,” said Mr. Durney.

Recruiting budgets are expected to be more robust than last year, according to 35 percent of respondents. Companies are receiving the message on recruiting tactics, but not necessarily regarding pay. More than half (55%) of hiring managers anticipate salaries for new hires to trend upwards relative to last year; however, that’s dipped from the past two surveys (November and June 2016) when 58 percent of respondents expected higher salaries.

On the other hand, certain recruiting strategies are being leveraged more frequently as employers are eager to get talent in the door. The most common is more firms paying for relocation (53% in May 2017, compared to 50% in November 2016) and there’s a rise in companies offering employee perks like free lunches, snacks, gym memberships and unlimited vacations (45% in today versus 44% in November 2016) as a competitive advantage—although today perks are the norm and any firm not offering them are in the minority.

Sourcing and building a bench of talent continues to be a priority for many companies, as 76 percent of hiring managers say it’s more important than a year ago. Many hiring managers broaden their search (51%) beyond local talent when a position is difficult to fill. Recruiters are managing expectations, too—only 26 percent say they keep positions open until the perfect match is found, a tick down compared to the 32 percent who said this six months ago.

“In order for companies to get ahead, recruitment has to be regarded as a continual process and they need to have an ongoing conversation with prospects. Recruiters today know the best way to be efficient is by understanding the talent they want to attract and creating highly targeted messaging, like through Lengo, to promote the employer brand,” said Mr. Durney. “Employers who do this will build value in their brand and assemble a solid pipeline of star talent.”

About the Survey

From May 22 through May 26, 2017, DHI Group, Inc. surveyed U.S. companies, government entities and recruiting firms from every region of the country who hire or recruit a variety of professionals. Overall, 407 hiring professionals responded with 55 percent identifying themselves as working for companies that recruit for their own needs in sectors such as healthcare, technology, energy, manufacturing, defense, education and financial services. A third (32%) worked at companies with more than 500 employees.