Job solicitations multiply for tech talent

Tech pros receive, on average, 34 solicitations per week, according to IT staffing provider TEKsystems.

Most happily employed IT pros would consider a new job opportunity -- and there are plenty more to consider these days as recruiters struggle to fill in-demand positions.

New survey data shows 81% of IT pros are open to new job opportunities even when they're not actively seeking another job. IT staffing provider TEKsystems found that IT pros, on average, receive 34 solicitations per week. That's an increase of 48% compared to 2012, when employees averaged 23 solicitations per week.

"Most of the data really wasn't unexpected. It's more a validation of what we see on a daily basis in the IT staffing industry," says Jason Hayman, market research manager at TEKsystems. "We know competition for talent is fierce. We know employers really need to work harder than ever to retain their best and brightest. We know that time, money, and resources are often wasted during the hiring process."

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TEKsystems polled 400 IT leaders and 900 IT professionals in North America for its survey. Among IT pros surveyed, 77% submit more than 10 resumes in a given week, and 21% submit more than 40 resumes.

IT leaders seem to be aware of the potential for poaching: 92% said they believe their IT staffers are open to new opportunities, even if they're satisfied with their current position.

Employees are "getting bombarded with Tweets, Facebook posts, LinkedIn messages, and e-mails," Hayman says. "Employers have to work twice as hard now to make sure they're retaining their brightest."

On the hiring side, recruiters and hiring managers face a flood of mismatched and falsified resumes. More than half of resumes received are unqualified for the open position, say 56% of IT leaders. In addition, 76% believe that IT resumes exaggerate a candidate's true experience.

Other findings from TEKsystems' survey include:

Reference checking is far from universal: 31% of IT leaders say they always validate references; 41% sometimes or rarely validate references. That's no surprise to IT pros -- only 11% think IT leaders always validate references.

Job fillers and job hunters rely on different search tools: More than 80% of IT leaders view networking and recruiting firms as the most effective means of finding qualified candidates, while the use of job boards ranks near the bottom, at 43%. IT pros, on the other hand, say third-party online job boards are the most effective (cited by 70%), followed by professional or personal networks (69%) and recruiting and staffing firms (61%).

Social media use is prevalent: 68% of IT leaders use social media to source candidates, and 82% use it to screen candidates. On the job-hunting side, 75% of IT pros use social media to source job opportunities and potential employers, and 85% use it during their screening process.

Negative social media posts can derail a potential match: 68% of IT leaders say they would eliminate a candidate from consideration for a single negative comment about their current employer. On the other side of the table, 63% of IT pros would eliminate that company from consideration if they saw between one and five negative posts about a potential employer.

Speaking from the perspective of an IT staffing firm, Hayman recommends IT job seekers do more than simply search job boards for opportunities.

An IT recruiter may be able to get additional details about a job opportunity, for example, which can help ensure a candidate is going after a position that aligns with his or her skill sets, he says.

In addition, reaching out to professional and personal connections is important, Hayman says. These people can potentially shed light on an opportunity. "What's the culture like? What are the team dynamics? How does a company operate? These are things that might not be on a job board, or you can't really glean from reading a description."

Tags TEKsystemscareersIT management

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