Employers are more optimistic about hiring, according to the latest edition of a semi-annual survey conducted by Dice. Some 65 percent of hiring managers said they expect more hiring—a notable uptick from December 2016, when 56 percent of hiring managers anticipated adding employees. It’s also an increase of three percentage points from Dice’s mid-year 2016 survey. The survey included 407 hiring professionals from U.S. companies, government entities, and recruiting firms. A third of respondents worked at companies with more than 500 employees. “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, which owns Dice. "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.” Around 46 percent of those hiring managers suggested that the time needed to fill open positions had lengthened relative to last year. Some 47 percent cited an inability to find qualified candidates; another 28 percent said they were waiting for the perfect candidate for the role. According to the latest data available to the DHI-DFH Measure of National Vacancy Duration, from April 2017, the average job in the U.S. took 30.5 days to fill—a record high. In response to these pressures, a subset of recruiters (35 percent) report budgets more robust in 2017. In the quest to lure the right candidates, 55 percent of hiring managers anticipate that salaries for new hires will trend higher than in 2016. More than half of firms are also displaying a willingness to pay for candidates’ relocation, while 45 percent are offering perks such as free food and unlimited vacations. In the tech industry, where unemployment remains notably lower than the national average, many tech pros are already aware of the hunger for talent, especially in “hot” sub-industries such as machine learning and artificial intelligence. That’s good news when it comes to landing new positions and higher salaries—but as the data from this survey suggests, hiring managers are on the lookout for “perfect” candidates with exactly the right mix of qualifications. If tech pros want to keep getting hired, they need to keep their skills up-to-date.