PhotoIf you'll be job-hunting next year, your chances of success will likely be about the same as they were this year.

A national survey conducted by Dice Holdings, Inc., a provider of specialized Websites for professional communities, shows hiring professionals anticipate continued job creation in the first half of 2013 at a solid -- but not stellar -- pace.

Nearly half (46%) of hiring managers and recruiters expect additional hiring during the first half of 2013, compared with the second half of 2012. This stands as virtually identical to the expectations for the first half of 2012 when hiring managers were asked to weigh in a year ago. And it's a tick downward from the prior survey, conducted in May 2012, when a majority of hiring pros (51%) expected that there would be additional hiring during the last six months of this year.

Holding the line

A plurality or 44 percent of hiring managers and recruiters say current economic conditions are having no impact on their hiring plans. It appears the continued split on the pace of recruiting reflects the broad uncertainty that companies have been operating under for more than a year.

"As opposed to a fresh start, employers and employees seem to be entering 2013 ready to hold on to the status quo. While it may feel like a good amount of running in place, it's important to remember more than 1.3 million private sector jobs have been created this year and business conditions point to continued modest job growth," said Scot Melland, chairman, president & CEO of Dice Holdings. "If greater confidence returns, I firmly believe hiring managers and professionals will be emboldened to act more decisively."

Pay raises possible

For the first time in more than a year, a majority of corporate hiring managers (55%) expect current employees will receive a raise in the year ahead. This uptick does not appear to be due to an increase in voluntary departures, as more than two-thirds of corporate respondents (68%) say they saw no increase in voluntary departures in the workplace during 2012, compared to slightly more than six in 10 (64%) who said that when asked six months ago.

While salaries appear to be trending slightly upward for most existing staffers, compensation for new hires appears to be more in question. Fewer hiring managers and recruiters (43%) expect to offer higher initial salaries for new recruits during the first six months of 2013 than held that expectation during the latter half of 2012.

Offers rejected

In turn, more companies and recruiters are seeing increases in candidates rejecting offers (22%) than seeing a jump in professionals accepting offers (15%) when judging their current recruiting experience versus the last six months.

When asked why professionals are choosing to leave their current position, hiring managers and recruiters tagged increasing salaries and better career opportunities elsewhere as the top reasons, followed by better job title or promotion, the opportunity for better work/life balance and flexible work schedules.

Among hiring professionals who envision bringing on new staff in early 2013, one level of experience looks to be improving: Nearly four in 10 respondents (38%) say they envision hiring entry-level staffers in early 2013, up from one-third (33%) who envisioned making entry-level hires during the second half of 2012. However, more hiring managers expect to fill positions requiring two to five years of experience and six to 10 years of experience to start 2013.  

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