A survey of 156 Australian IT professionals by technology recruitment company Diversiti has found that 72 per cent consider their skills to be "hot" or "in demand", and want recruitment companies to fulfill a role more akin to talent agents.
More than three quarters of respondents indicated they were planning to change, or would consider changing jobs, within the next year, resulting in a need for recruiters that can support and guide them as their careers progress.
Furthermore, at least 50 per cent had worked for three or four different companies in the past five years, with most changing jobs every twelve to eighteen months.
Diversiti's NSW general manager Robert Stummer said that today's IT candidates are increasingly business oriented, highly skilled and savvy.
"This new generation is challenging the status quo and demanding a fresh approach to the traditional employment relationship and job seeking process. They don't want to be placed in the next role that arises in a recruiter's books," he said.
According to Diversiti,78 per cent of those surveyed saw a need for recruiters to act as "talent agents" working on their behalf, able to provide long-term career support and guidance to help meet their ambitions.
"In this skills deficient market, IT professionals want to deal with recruiters who are willing to provide a 'talent agent' role," Stummer said.
"This means providing ongoing advice, counselling and job recommendations, and placement to support their individual professional ambitions. Simply put, these IT professionals know they are in demand and they want every avenue explored for them now and in the future."
According to one respondent, "there is a serious shortage of skilled people but there are also some highly skilled people who are working outside their key areas because there is little done to match skill sets of individuals with employers' requirements,".
Another said "I think that having a person who understands who and what you are about is more important than just looking at your resume. I think that traditional recruiters don't really look between the lines and where someone doesn't have the exact criteria line by line from their client brief doesn't get a chance. Having a talent agent will allow the individual the chance to get to know their talents that they are touting [so] they are more likely to get it right the first time."
According to Stummer, recruiters should explore in-depth a candidates individual skills, attributes and interests, as well as ask questions and give honest advice about their long and short-term career goals.
"A genuine 'talent agent' appreciates that it is all about relationship building, not job filling. There is a real appetite among IT professionals for long-term career guidance, and they are not afraid to spell out what they want," he said.
Stummer said smart employers and recruiters that can help fulfill the career aspirations of IT candidates by matching their skills, goals and culture with the "best fit" role and organisation will improve engagement and retention levels, thereby achieving the best outcome for all parties.