Demand for hi-tech engineers rose 15.5 percent in the first quarter of 2012, compared with the preceding quarter, according to a survey by Ethnosia Human Resources Ltd. The hiring comes amid a good mood in the industry with exits totaling hundreds of millions of dollars.

“The recession everyone feared would come happily has not arrived to Israel’s hi-tech industry,” said Ethnosia CEO Eyal Solomon. “Instead of falling demand, we’re seeing the opposite. Foreign investors want to increase their investments in Israeli companies.” He said he believes that the latest exits in hi-tech in Israel and other countries are giving the industry a new boost.

Salaries in the software market are stabling, and demand for employees is up 1.5% among small- and mid-sized Internet companies. “We’re seeing strong demand for software engineers, especially by SaaS, virtualization, cloud computing, and mobile companies. These jobs require previous experience in Android and iOS-based operating systems,” said Ethnosia software division manager Daniel Aloni. There is also demand for engineers and managers with experience in Agile and Scrum environments.

Demand for software testing employees is up 11%. Companies are seeking Java and C# code writers. Demand for Linux environment IT systems engineers is up 14%.

Ethnosia also surveyed salaries by job and sector. The average salary of CEOs and vice presidents rose 6% in the first quarter, over the preceding quarter, and demand for them rose 16%, especially demand for vice president development, vice president sales, and CEOs for Internet companies.

“We saw demand for hardware engineers, algorithm engineers, and systems engineers rise by over 13% in the first quarter, especially by mobile communications, Infiniband, and computer vision companies. Recent mergers and acquisitions by semiconductor companies have left few companies in the field, and they are competing for the same target audience,” said Solomon.

Salaries in the life sciences and pharmaceuticals industries are stable, except for a 1.5% decline in salaries for quality engineers, despite a 15% jump in demand for them in the first quarter over the preceding quarter.

Demand for sales staff by pharmaceutical, bio-pharmaceutical and medical devices companies is up 6%.

Demand for product managers is up by more than 9%, but demand for senior sales managers is down by 5%. Most hiring is by software and Internet companies, with the strong growth – 22% – for internet marketing managers.

However, demand for production employees was 11% lower in the first quarter than in the preceding quarter, due to the steady transfer of production centers to the Far East. In contrast, demand for supply chain and operations employees is rising.

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