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TEKsystems Survey Reveals IT Job Seekers Crave a More Personal Touch in the Job Search Process

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About TEKsystems

People are at the heart of every successful business initiative. At TEKsystems, 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, IT talent management expertise 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.

HANOVER, MD – January 24, 2012 –TEKsystems®, a leading provider of IT staffing solutions, IT talent management expertise and IT services, today announced recent findings from its quarterly IT Professional Perspectives Survey (ITPPS). This quarter’s survey investigates effective sourcing strategies by examining how IT professionals look for jobs, what challenges they face and what makes certain IT job opportunities stand out. The survey reflects the views of 2,424 IT professionals in the fourth quarter of 2011.

The Job Search Starts with Self-Awareness
IT professionals report the number one action they take when considering a career change is to reassess their skills, goals and interests. Following this self-assessment, they begin searching online job boards and company websites for available job opportunities, with 96% utilizing online job boards. Once potential opportunities are identified, the majority of IT professionals (72%) begin networking with professional communities outside of their current company and researching industries with high demand for IT talent.

“As IT professionals go through their own process of job searching, organizations should go through a similar self-evaluation to determine what skills, knowledge and abilities enable people to excel within their organization,” says TEKsystems Director, Rachel Russell. “Job boards are the quickest way for IT professionals to feel like they’re getting out there and searching for a job. But given that so many people are on the job boards, it’s a hard place to stand out. Job boards also present challenges to employers due to the abundance of resumes and the tendency for skill exaggeration on resumes. The unrivaled leader in terms of effective job search tactics is networking. Credible referrals from people you trust are the best avenue to a new job that’s a truly good fit.”

The Most Trusted Resources Address Key Job Search Challenges
IT professionals primarily look for clear and realistic views of a job opportunity and feedback throughout the hiring process—91% and 88% of respondents, respectively, say these two pieces of information are helpful in attracting them to an opportunity. Additionally, 68% of IT professionals indicate that obtaining feedback throughout the hiring process is the most difficult challenge they face when looking for a new job.

When asked who they consult with most frequently during the job search process, 59% of IT professionals report the number one resource they confer with is a recruiter, followed by colleagues (54%), friends (53%) and their networking communities (46%).

“Really great recruiters engage their client’s hiring managers to understand their priorities, the business problems they’re trying to solve, the culture of the team, the perks in working for the client’s company and the intangibles that will really make a job opportunity stand out,” comments Russell. “This insight enables the recruiter to vet candidates appropriately and to share valuable information IT professionals want to know as they weigh their options. The process of gathering this insight also builds a rapport with the hiring managers and is helpful in ensuring the recruiter can collect necessary feedback on each job applicant’s candidacy.”

Details Help to Cut through the Noise
According to the survey, IT professionals receive 23 recruiting solicitations, on average, per week. The top criterion that provokes a return call or message from IT professionals is whether or not the recruiter’s message includes detailed information about the job (role, responsibilities, team dynamics, culture, stakeholders, etc.). Eighty-eight percent of IT professionals say that this insight compels them to return a recruiter’s solicitation. Other factors that prompt IT professionals to respond include the recruiter being very professional (69%) and the recruiter working for a high-profile, respected company (65%).

“You cannot automate the process of hiring human beings. IT professionals want to talk with someone who can shed real light on an opportunity rather than just sharing what’s written on the job description. Many IT hiring managers are just too busy to make all these calls and share all this information themselves; and a job board, of course, cannot speak to potential candidates. That’s where great recruiters come in,” states Russell. “The best recruiters take the time to get to know the client and the candidate in detail. He or she with the most intelligence wins the matchmaking process.”

Open the Gates to Great Candidates
Forty-five percent of respondents indicate they have 10 or more high-quality, similarly experienced professionals in their network that they could refer. Sixty-five percent say they would feel compelled to give their recruiter a referral if they had a positive experience with that recruiter. Additionally, 57% say if the recruiter is able to provide good insights on the job opportunity (the team, the projects, roles/responsibilities), they would give them a referral.

“Referrals are one of the best ways to find quality people. Great recruiters know this and build their referral networks by caring about the job seeker’s experience as much as the client’s. Partnering with recruiting agencies that live this practice greatly improves your odds of finding high-quality IT professionals quickly,” continues Russell.

Employee Value Proposition (EVP)
Eighty-one percent of IT professionals say the number one condition they consider when deciding to remain with their current employer or seek opportunities elsewhere is the opportunity to develop and enhance their skills. The second condition respondents consider is the opportunity for career advancement (76%). The third most-considered condition is compensation (75%).

Other conditions IT professionals consider as they evaluate potential career moves include benefits (71%), whether the position is permanent or temporary (71%) and location and commute (69%).

“The bottom line is that IT professionals want more than money when they’re looking for new career opportunities. A great recruiter takes the time to consult with a client and build a clear EVP based on what’s uniquely great about working for the client’s organization,” says Russell. “Understanding what IT job seekers want and what companies are offering means a recruiter can find better people, faster. Critical decision factors like development opportunities and a defined career path do not come out in a job description—they come out as result of conversation and engagement.”