Which IT employees are toughest to hire and keep now?

As the economy recovers, competition for IT talent is heating up. What skills in particular are in the highest demand?

There have already been some signs of the increasing demand for IT employees, and now there’s another in the form of a recent survey from tech job board Dice.com.

Of the 900 hiring managers surveyed, 65% said their companies plan on hiring more tech employees over the next six months than they did during the first half of the year.

Because of the increased demand, it’s taken longer for companies to fill open IT positions, with 63% of hiring managers blaming the higher demand for people with certain tech skills.

What skills are most companies looking for? The most in-demand employees are those with experience in:

  1. Java
  2. Mobile development
  3. .net, and
  4. SAP.

In some parts of the country, many businesses have had a hard enough time finding qualified applicants that they’ve begun targeting people outside their geographic areas.

Another thing many companies have had to do: increase pay. Almost half (47%) of respondents said starting salaries for new hires have increased since the beginning of the year.

To avoid losing top IT talent to competitors, managers should take another look at compensation figures for IT jobs in their markets and make sure what their companies are offering is still competitive.

And if your IT employees are in danger of leaving, it may help to increase low-cost benefits such as flex-time and telecommuting opportunities if possible.

As for finding new hires in the competitive market, experts recommend starting an internship program to get early access to new computer science graduates.

What has your company done to be more attractive to current and potential IT employees? Share your experience in the comments section below.