June 2, 2010 – Fifty-two percent of employers and recruiters anticipate hiring more career professionals in the second half of 2010 than they did in the first half of the year, according to a new survey by Career site Dice Holdings, Inc. And of those intending to make more hires, nearly half (49 percent) project they will add up to 10 percent more employees compared with the first half of 2010, while 28 percent plan to increase hiring by up to 20 percent. More employers and recruiters (26 percent) report the time it takes to fill new positions is starting to shorten slightly (21 percent) or substantially (five percent). Although still a minority, this is the strongest reading since the survey began two years ago. One of the key reasons: an increase in recruiting for new positions, cited by 20 percent of respondents, up from nine percent last November, indicating a greater urgency to build staff. “Businesses seem to be gradually loosening their grip on the hiring process as the economy improves,” said Scot Melland, chairman, president and CEO of Dice. “At the same time, professionals are more willing to jump ship now. As the employment cycle strengthens, companies are likely to find it more challenging to keep their top talent.” The survey also found that a quarter of employers and recruiters see salaries for new hires rising, compared to just 10 percent reporting salary increases for new hires six months ago. Additionally, nearly seven in 10 of those surveyed (69 percent) believe that layoffs are not likely to occur at their companies within the next six months, an improvement over 61 percent reporting that last November. Finally, a full one-third of employers and recruiters are seeing flat or declining numbers of candidates applying for positions, compared to just 17 percent six months ago.