Hiring Expectations Slow, But There’s Hope on the Horizon

William Shakespeare once said, “Expectation is the root of all heartache.” If that’s true, the hearts of IT professionals who expected strong hiring in the first half of 2009 might need a little mending.

According to a report from career Web site Dice.com, seven out of 10 IT recruiters surveyed in the last half of 2008 planned to curtail their hiring in the next several months as they expected the market to slow down. The sampling included more than 1,000 corporate hiring managers and recruiting, staffing and consulting companies. This represented an increase from five out of 10 in a previous report.

“We were disappointed, but we were not surprised,” said Tom Silver, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Dice.com. “We do attribute the decline in jobs largely to the economy. Certainly, we’re seeing a series of things that are unprecedented in terms of the downturn. Interestingly enough, if you look back historically at the job count over the last 12 months, we were relatively flat in the January-through-August time frame. But when we really started to see things decline was mid-September.”

Some of the larger tech centers such as Silicon Valley and New York City have seen a fairly significant drop-off, Silver said.

“They’re down by about 40 to 50 percent year over year,” he said.

However, some markets remain strong. In Washington, for example, the job count was relatively normal for January 2009 compared to January 2008, perhaps because the government has been hiring. And…


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