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Study Finds that Eight out of 10 Happily Employed IT Professionals are Open to New Work Opportunities; Negative Posts Could Kill a Job Opportunity

Aug 27, 2014 | HANOVER, MD | For media inquiries, please contact us at

Hanover, Md. – August 27, 2014 – TEKsystems®, a leading provider of IT staffing solutions, IT talent management expertise and IT services, today released the results of its new study focused on new and emerging hiring trends affecting the IT industry. The survey represents the views of more than 400 IT leaders and 900 IT professionals in North America.

Key highlights from the survey include:

Download a pdf of the full results here.

State of the Job Market

  • Vast Majority of IT Professionals Open to New Opportunities; Job Solicitations and Searches on the Rise
    • Eight out of 10 (81 percent) IT professionals indicate that they are open to new job opportunities even when happily employed and not actively seeking another job.
    • IT professionals are receiving an average of 34 solicitations per week—a significant increase from a 2012 survey that indicated IT professionals were receiving an average of 23 solicitations per week.
    • Seventy-seven percent of IT professionals report that they submit more than 10 resumes in a given week, with 21 percent reporting that they submit more than 40 resumes.

Combining these factors, organizations should be concerned about staff volatility.  Appropriately, IT leaders seem to be aware of this issue, with 92 percent reporting that they believe their IT professionals are open to new opportunities regardless of being satisfied with their current position.

  • IT Leaders Facing a Deluge of Mismatched and Falsified Resumes; Lax on Verifying Claims
    • Seventy-three percent of IT leaders report that they receive more than 10 resumes in a given week for open IT positions, with 18 percent saying that they receive more than 40 resumes. Furthermore, 56 percent report that more than half of the resumes received are unqualified for the open position.
    • Seventy-six percent of IT leaders believe that IT resumes exaggerate a candidate’s true experience. In fact, 60 percent of IT professionals agree that resumes contain exaggerations and buzzwords not reflective of a candidate’s true experience.
    • Slightly less than a third (31 percent) of IT leaders indicate they always validate references, and 41 percent indicate that they sometimes or rarely validate references. IT professionals seem to be aware of this lack of verification, with only 11 percent indicating they believe IT leaders always validate references.

These findings indicate that a perfect storm is developing which could cause companies to make inappropriate hires. With the Harvard Business Review reporting that 80 percent of employee turnover is caused by mistakes made during hiring, IT leaders should pause and consider ways in which they can improve their processes upfront and save time and resources that would be lost refilling positions in the future.

  • In Relying on Job Boards, IT Professionals Misaligning Their Search Efforts
    • More than 80 percent of IT leaders view networking and recruiting firms as the most effective means to finding qualified candidates, while the use of job boards ranks near the bottom, at 43 percent.
    • Comparatively, 70 percent of IT professionals believe third-party online job boards are the most effective, followed by professional or personal networks (69 percent) and recruiting and staffing firms (61 percent).
    • The majority (52 percent) of IT leaders report that by the time they post a job on an external job board, they have already started the process of finding and reaching out to candidates.

A disconnect in how IT professionals find relevant job opportunities appears to be forming due to their heavy reliance on online job boards. Especially concerning is that IT leaders indicate that when opportunities have posted to online job boards, discussions have likely already started with their preferred candidate. This misalignment could prevent IT professionals from securing job opportunities suitable for their skills and experience.

Impact of Social Media

  • IT Leaders and IT Professionals Leveraging Social Media to Check Each Other Out
    • Sixty-eight percent of IT leaders report that they use social media to source candidates and 82 percent indicate that they use it to screen candidates. IT leaders rank screening candidates, validating resume claims and sourcing qualified candidates as the top  reasons for using social media.
    • Seventy-five percent of IT professionals are using social media to source job opportunities and potential employers, while 85 percent use social media during their screening process.
    • IT professionals indicate their top reasons for using social media during the screening process are learning more about the company culture and products/services it produces, viewing job descriptions and potential job openings, and checking the validity and credibility of a company.

Overall these numbers indicate that IT professionals are relying more heavily on social media than IT leaders—but not by a wide margin. For both groups, once the initial discovery of opportunities and/or candidates has taken place, usage increases in regard to screening and examining personal or corporate backgrounds.

  • Negative Social Media Posts Detrimental to Job Opportunity
    • Sixty-eight percent of IT leaders say they would eliminate a candidate from consideration for a single negative comment about their current employer.
    • Sixty-three percent of IT professionals report that if they observe between one and five negative posts about a potential employer, it would cause them to eliminate that company from consideration.

With social media use continually becoming more widespread, it is important for potential employees and companies to understand how their own reputations can be affected by negative online posts. Online behavior can put candidates at a disadvantage when being compared to similarly skilled competition.

“Like any part of the IT field, the ways in which IT professionals seek and are evaluated for job openings continue to evolve. Job seekers who do not adapt and adopt emerging tools like social media to identify appropriate opportunities will find it much more difficult to stay competitive with their peers,” said TEKsystems Market Research Manager Jason Hayman. “While job boards are certainly still an important part of any job search, an overreliance on them not only limits the pool of positions that candidates can apply for, but also decreases the likelihood of finding opportunities that are truly a good fit for applicants’ skills, experience and personality.”

TEKsystems’ Jason Hayman is available for additional commentary. For more information about the survey or to schedule an interview, please contact Rick McLaughlin (

About TEKsystems

People are at the heart of every successful business initiative. At TEKsystems, an Allegis Group company, we understand people. Every year we deploy more than 80,000 IT professionals at 6,000 client sites across North America, Europe and Asia. Our deep insights into IT human capital management enable us to help our clients achieve their business goals–while optimizing their IT workforce strategies. We provide IT staffing solutions and IT services to help our clients plan, build and run their critical business initiatives. Through our range of quality-focused delivery models, we meet our clients where they are, and take them where they want to go, the way they want to get there.