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Exploring the Consultant’s Overall Dissatisfaction with the IT Staffing Industry

Even though the potential for higher pay and more flexibility increase IT contract work’s appeal, poor service from some IT recruiting companies gives the temporary industry a bad reputation among IT professionals.

The Situation

In the staffing world, it is chilling to see how many recruiters focus on making their commission more than helping people accomplish their professional career goals. While these recruiters may be personable, they tend to approach their placement services more like a transaction than a consultative partnership. Consequently, consultants involved can feel they are treated more like a commodity than a talented individual.

The recruiting mentality of “get a req, fill a req” is dangerous as it clouds a recruiter’s ability to address the main issue at stake: the client and the consultant are both in need of a highly customized service. The client is seeking an employee to support her critical projects and work well within her distinct IT culture. The consultant is seeking a new challenge that aligns to his personal and professional skills, goals, and interests. Both, moreover, want to rely on their recruiter to do more than make a match; they want their recruiter to help manage the dynamics of that match once made. A successful recruiter, therefore, is one whose passion for the job translates into high-contact and tailored service, before and after the placement.

And the Survey Says

Consultants’ dissatisfaction with the staffing industry covers every stage in the recruiting process.

What? Just one Opportunity?

Before placement, consultants are frustrated because many recruiters present them with a single job opportunity. This practice can be irritating for several reasons. First, the job may or may not be a good match for the consultant. If the recruiter begins a recruiting conversation by sharing the details of the req rather than inquiring about the consultant’s skills, goals, and interests, the recruiter’s priorities are clearly more focused on the recruiter’s needs rather than the consultant’s best interests.

Another reason consultants dislike being presented with a single opportunity is because they want options. Anyone with a phone and a phone book can start a recruiting business. Thus, to feel secure that a recruiting company can really advance IT careers, IT consultants want to know the company has multiple opportunities available.

Lack of Information

Even worse than recruiters who just present a single job are recruiters who present a single job poorly. Consultants want their recruiters to have details about the open positions. Who will I report to? What is the person like? Who else is on the team? What are the goals of the project I will support? What type of visibility will I get? It is obvious when a recruiter is recruiting off of a job description alone. Good consultants do not want to waste their time interviewing only to find that a position is not what their recruiter guessed it was.

Another frustration consultants express involves the lack of feedback they receive after interviewing. Customers have too many candidates to manageably provide everyone with feedback. The best recruiters partner with customers to limit the number of candidates they receive through thoroughly understanding the position’s requirements and heavily career opportunities, appropriate action, and sincere interest in advancing their career.

How Can Recruiting Companies Remedy the Situation?

Staffing companies that adjust their recruiting processes to encompass the entire consultant experience will be most successful in reversing the increase in consultant dissatisfaction. Changes must address pre-placement activities like ensuring recruiters take a consultant-centric approach, know the requirement details, and have interview feedback processes in place. They must also include post-placement contact and redeployment processes.


Pre-placement homework and post-placement contact will not magically change the consultant’s perception of any one recruiter, staffing firm, or the industry. However, consistent delivery of activities that contribute to the consultant’s experience and satisfaction should begin to slowly uncover other areas for improvement, which will gradually change the image of contract work and staffing firms.

TEKsystems’ Survey

TEKsystems, the leading provider of IT staffing and services, surveys its customer and consultant populations annually to better understand drivers of satisfaction and identify areas for improvement. The extensive surveys were developed by TEKsystems and conducted by an independent research firm through a web survey. More than 1,600 buyers and nearly 6,000 consultants from across the United States and Canada responded.

About TEKsystems®

People are at the heart of every successful business initiative. At TEKsystems, we understand people. Every year we deploy over 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.

TEKsystems. Our people make IT possible.