Face-to-face meetings vital to IT hiring process

Survey finds as much as 75 percent of companies' hiring efforts are dedicated to face-to-face meetings

"In-person" meetings between employers and job seekers remain crucial to the IT hiring process, a recent survey indicates.

As much as 75 percent of companies' hiring efforts are dedicated to face-to-face meetings, the survey by CareerDoor indicates.

Around 10 percent of the time is spent screening potential employees' resumes.

Based in Toronto, CareerDoor produces job fairs.

The company says in person meetings are important, both to hiring managers and job seekers.

Those doing the hiring have an opportunity to assess applicants, while job seekers get a chance to highlight their skills, said Terri Joosten, CEO of CareerDoor. "An applicant may have a great skill set, but it could get lost in the resume pile even before he or she has a chance to speak to a hiring officer."

Joosten said the opportunity for direct contact with potential employers is one huge advantage job fairs offer over other hiring channels, such as online announcements, print ads, employment agency searches and heat hunting services.

CareerDoor and Computerworld's sister publication, ITWorldCanada.com, will be hosting the Greater Toronto Area Hi-Tech Career Fair in Thornhill, Ontario on November 15 and 16.

Smaller companies as well as Fortune 100 enterprises in the information technology field will be participating in the event.

Joosten said job fairs are an great venues to find out what IT jobs are hot and the types of skills employers are looking for.

One Canadian analyst agreed with Joosten's views, but added that job fairs should not be viewed as the only panacea for companies' hiring challenges.

"No one channel is a silver bullet," said Andy Woyzbun, lead analyst with Info-Tech Research Group based in Ontario. "Job fairs are one [among] a series of tools."

He said job fairs are ideal for candidates such as fresh graduates searching for junior or entry-level positions, because it offers these individuals a sense of what the market is like.

Companies looking to fill more senior positions would be better served by targeted ads or executive searches that help narrow the choices at the onset, said Woyzbun.

IT companies, he added, generally participate only in job fairs that are specific to the industry. "Events that have a very wide focus would be a waste of time."

Woyzbun said IT companies can use job fairs to gain greater visibility and promote themselves.

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