IT job seekers get personal: survey

IT job seekers get personal: survey

Employers need to move with the times

IT professionals are more likely to rely on personal and word of mouth-based referrals when searching for a new role rather than turning to social networking sites, according to new research.

Recruitment firm Greythorn surveyed 2922 IT professionals, with 65 per cent viewing word of mouth, personal and internal referrals as a “very important or vital” source when job hunting.

About 35 per cent see online social networking portals and forums as very important.

When looking for a new role, the research showed 84 per cent of IT professionals hold online job advertising in the highest regard, but only 11 per cent of IT professionals rated newspaper and press advertising as “very important or vital” as a job seeking source.

Greythorn managing director, Richard Fischer, said the research reflects the level of fundamental change IT professionals have had to undergo in order to maintain their business relevance.

“Today’s IT professional bears no resemblance to the socially awkward, reclusive stereotype that has been common in the past,” Fisher said. “Today’s IT professional is a confident business-savvy operator that demonstrates strong technical and communications skills.”

Fischer said the research should act as a warning to employers whose methods of attraction have not “moved with the times”.

“It’s simple - if you’re an IT employer and your recruitment strategy centres around print advertising, you’re not really in the game,” he said.

“As the IT skills shortage strengthens we will no doubt see candidates once again getting on the front foot and actively seeking their next opportunity. It’s those employers and recruiters that understand the psychology of the new IT professional and are able to develop real and personal relationships with the IT community that will succeed.”

Fischer said recruiting the best IT talent is no longer about having the best brand, the largest budget or the most advanced technology.

“There is now a personal element that means it’s essential to spend quality face-to-face time with a candidate. Having the ability to build a strong level of trust with a candidate in a short period of time is essential,” he said.

“Unfortunately many internal recruitment functions and generalist recruitment firms don’t possess these attributes and they are slow to respond. Our research shows companies who rely on passive recruitment methods will fail to attract the best IT talent.”

Greythorn’s advice to it professionals:

  • Don’t wait – be proactive in seeking out your next opportunity, engage a specialist IT recruiter that understands your skills and the IT employment market.
  • Utilise your own networks – let your contacts know what you are looking for in regards to next steps.
  • Don’t undersell your skills – IT skills are in high demand at the moment, so keep yours up to date and take every opportunity to promote yourself.
  • Choose networking media carefully – you’re a professional, so choose a professional networking medium such as LinkedIn. Steer away from the more socially focused networking sites (ie. Facebook) for job seeking purposes.
  • Maximise your exposure – attend industry and networking events and look for opportunities to engage with industry leaders.

Greythorn’s advice to IT employers:

  • Actively approach target candidates, don’t rely on passive recruitment methods like print media and job boards.
  • Diversify your recruitment strategy – be prepared to take a personal approach to recruiting.
  • Develop an understanding of how the target candidate thinks before taking action.
  • Spend sufficient time understanding each employment offering and identifying key selling points of each specific role.
  • Engage a recruitment firm with a depth of specialist knowledge.
  • Be prepared to impress.

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