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    2013’s Highest and Lowest Recruiting Priorities

    With tech hiring on a steady growth path during the first half of 2013, companies and recruiters say they have a virtually unchanged set of hiring priorities for the year. But, there is one new entrant that didn’t even make the top 10 list last year – data analysts or analytic talent.

    While every employee potentially adds value to a company, not every skillset is the same. A simple, intuitive rule of thumb, as evidenced by responses from the nearly 1,100 tech-focused hiring pros recently surveyed by Dice: The less evolved the set of skills, the less experienced the employee, the lower on the priority list when it comes to hiring in the tech department.

    This slideshow features 2013’s five highest tech hiring priorities, as well as five low-priority hires for the year, as identified by Dice.com.

    2013's Highest and Lowest Recruiting Priorities - slide 1

    Click through for 2013’s five highest tech hiring priorities, as well as five low-priority hires for the year, as identified by Dice.com.

    2013's Highest and Lowest Recruiting Priorities - slide 2

    What’s not new is the continuing demand for developers – the closer to the application, the stronger the job market. Atop the priorities list for the second consecutive year: Hiring Java/J2EE developers. More than one in five of the 77,000 jobs posted on Dice contained some mention of the need for java know-how. The bottom line: If you’re looking to hire veteran Java-fluent talent, expect plenty of competition for the human equivalent of the iPad Mini, this year’s “tech gadget everyone has to have.”

    2013's Highest and Lowest Recruiting Priorities - slide 3

    Speaking of hand-held devices, mobile developers jumped up a notch to number two on this year’s tech hiring list. No surprise there, of course: With smartphones, iOS, Droid devices and apps on a fast upward trajectory, mobile development skills should continue to see skyrocketing demand as we move toward mid-decade.

    2013's Highest and Lowest Recruiting Priorities - slide 4

    .NET professionals ranked third (up from the fourth spot last year).

    2013's Highest and Lowest Recruiting Priorities - slide 5

    Despite many tech professionals feeling Big Data is played out, hiring managers and recruiters disagree and they ranked data professionals in the spotlight at number four on the list of top priorities. Harnessing information for business gains is becoming a core skill and a necessary investment companies are willing to make – particularly when data professionals have excellent communications skills. That’s driving Big Data job postings on Dice to more than triple year/year.

    2013's Highest and Lowest Recruiting Priorities - slide 6

    In the fifth spot, software developers (slipping down from second place in 2012).

    2013's Highest and Lowest Recruiting Priorities - slide 7

    As in every other niche, tech professionals have to start somewhere. Anecdotally, recruiters and hiring managers reminded Dice that first-rung hires not only need core attributes like passion, creativity and self-motivation, they can also need a bachelor’s degree and more than a passing familiarity with advanced skills.

    2013's Highest and Lowest Recruiting Priorities - slide 8

    Every process, every product is only as desirable as it ranks high in quality. QA-related job postings remain plentiful on Dice as 2013 begins. The moral to the story: Right now if you’re an QA professional, even in places where the job market might look relatively tougher, it’s still pretty good.

    2013's Highest and Lowest Recruiting Priorities - slide 9

    This ranking comes with a caveat: While online and mobile development opportunities have exploded, getting all the attention among the tech-focused, mainframes remain indispensable to huge government agencies, Fortune 100 financial institutions and the world’s largest airlines. While the need for new hires has dwindled, the need is still palpable – and likely to grow as a generation of mainframe programmers hits retirement age.

    2013's Highest and Lowest Recruiting Priorities - slide 10

    The unemployment rate for computer support specialists was six percent in the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While that’s the highest rate amongst tech professionals, it’s been improving. There’s a caveat: As more companies shift to the cloud for IT needs and more support staff work in the field using mobile devices, this skill set will evolve, amping up the need for quality hires to service end users.

    2013's Highest and Lowest Recruiting Priorities - slide 11

    While hiring pros say finding the sets of helping hands to work behind the scenes ranks as their lowest priority entering 2013, that doesn’t mean the hiring criteria isn’t demanding – everything from Lotus Notes to Excel to SAP invoice-processing skills. Just because becoming a PowerPoint “power user” is easier to do than developing the next PowerPoint program, doesn’t mean these cogs in the machine aren’t vital.

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