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HANOVER, MD – July 28, 2009 – In the world of contract employment, IT consultants are rightfully concerned about maintaining a steady stream of income. So it isn’t surprising that consistent communication, continuous employment, and multiple job opportunities are key drivers behind consultant loyalty.
TEKsystems, the leading provider of technical staffing and services, recently developed a market research survey to better understand the drivers of IT consultant loyalty. The survey was conducted by an independent research firm through a web survey with approximately 6,000 consultants from the United States and Canada.
Consultants were asked which attributes have the most influence on their decision when choosing a staffing firm. The characteristics the contractors identified are outlined below.
Compensation and benefits: As would be expected, compensation and benefits are factored into the consultant’s decision to use or continue to use a recruiting firm. Companies that offer fair pay and great benefits will be more likely to win the hearts of consultants. The importance of benefits increased in 2009 versus 2008. The economic situation likely contributed to this increase as benefits were cut or eliminated due to layoffs.
An informed recruiter: Consultants get frustrated when recruiters know very little about a position. It isn’t fair to expect consultants to make a decision about an assignment they know little about. More importantly, when recruiters don’t know much about the job, they are less likely to pinpoint which consultants in their network would be best suited for the assignment.
Multiple job opportunities: It is also important for recruiters to share multiple job opportunities with consultants, rather than trying to fit them into a single job. Similar to any job search, people need to know they have options so they can choose the one that they like best. Consultants will favor the recruiting company that can offer several choices that give them more opportunities to be consistently employed.
A caring recruiter: Other attributes consultants expect of recruiters include providing interview feedback and taking a sincere interest in advancing their career. Recruiters show they are serious about helping the consultant advance their career when they take time to solicit feedback from the hiring organization and share it with the individual. Moreover, interview feedback helps the consultant identify areas of improvement for future interviews as well as give the individual an update on where the client stands in the hiring process.
Frequent communication: Consultants want recruiters who stay in touch throughout the duration of their assignment. Recruiters who check-in regularly know what the consultant likes and dislikes about the assignment and when the project will end. This knowledge will help the recruiter address the consultant’s concerns and identify opportunities that interest the consultant so the recruiter can assist in keeping the consultant continuously employed.
Ability to remain consistently employed: Even though most consultants recognize the benefits that come from contract work, most of them are worried about consistent employment. As long as employment opportunities are steady, consultants are more open to contract work. The characteristics that drive consultant loyalty are important to achieving consistent employment.
Tania Lavin, head of TEKsystems’ market research division, summarized the findings, stating: “The basic drivers of value, including benefits and compensation, are always important. But earning loyalty from a consultant requires much more. Consultants want recruiters who offer the full package. They are looking for a career advocate who can provide excellent customer service, communicate frequently, share multiple job opportunities, and are committed to keeping consultants employed.”
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