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Silicon Valley needs you, but isn't willing to pay enough

There may be a gold rush in the tech industry, but hiring managers say they can't pay enough to entice employees.

The typical benefits in Silicon Valley now include free massages and five-star meals, and generous vacation benefits. Above, Facebook's corporate campus.

It's never been a better time to be a computer coder. But talk to hiring managers and you hear a different story.

First the good news: A record 78 percent of hiring managers throughout the tech industry say they plan on hiring more people in the first half of 2016 than they did in the second half of this year, according to a survey by Dice, a tech job website. And 71 percent of companies said they plan to bolster their tech teams by double-digit percentages or more.

Seems like good news, but there's a glitch: Dice says there isn't enough talent to fill all those positions and the people applying for jobs are asking for salaries above what many managers can pay.

Nearly two-thirds of those hiring managers and recruiters said the salary guidelines at their companies prevent positions from being filled. What that means is they can't pay prospective employees enough to sign on the dotted line. That's up from 58 percent last year.

"It doesn't appear the challenging recruitment market will lighten anytime soon," Bob Melk, president of Dice, said in a statement.

There are two ways to read the survey. On one hand, it's a sign the tech industry's innovation engine still needs new bodies, and that the gold rush that has come to define the latest Internet boom continues.

But it could be a sign that employees may be expecting too much, and that they want more than the stock options, six-figure salaries and famous perks like free food, transportation and beer bashes that tech is offering up today. If companies aren't willing to pay, someone is, though. Nearly half of the hiring managers surveyed said they encounter more counteroffers than they did just six months ago.

So what convinces an employee to join a company? Sign-on bonuses and relocation expenses are key, recruiters said. Those "sweeteners" appear to be working. For now.