Recently, it seems like every job search website and magazine has published some kind of survey about the state of IT staffing solutions. While each survey tends to have its own focus, there are some clear trends in staffing solutions that can be garnered from the responses of job seekers, IT hiring managers, and top IT staffing firms. Those trends include:
- An increased focus on core skills and the ability to apply those skills to tightly-managed projects.
- Increased compensation for candidates with sought-after skills – and more competition for the best jobs.
- More use of social media as a recruiting tool (97% already use LinkedIn, 51% say they plan to add Facebook, and 49% say they plan to use Twitter).
One of the big challenges ahead, according to multiple surveys of all three groups, is the need to help existing clients recruit contingent workers outside of their home state(s) – which is one reason why top IT staffing firms like InfoVision offer more than just contingent IT staffing solutions. In fact, InfoVision is proud to be an award-winning IT staffing firm as well as a resource development organization (RDO) that can deliver a turn-key solution from an on or off-short development lab.
Staffing solutions that require relocation continue to be a problem for job seekers and IT hiring managers, as companies are reluctant to offer the generous relocation packages that were common before the recession and job seekers are reluctant to move outside their home area for fear of future lay-offs. It seems that confidence in the economy is returning, but more slowly than hoped.
One thing that might surprise job seekers is that both hiring managers and top IT staffing firms report that online job and career sites continue to rank as the “least effective source of high-quality candidates” when compared to social media, referrals, networking, and in-house candidate databases. So if you’re looking for the best IT job or career, don’t rely solely on the job boards. Reach out to former classmates, co-workers, and friends in the industry, and become more active in local and regional networking groups where you can make the kind of contacts who can help you make the right connection when it counts.
But one finding that shouldn’t come as any surprise to hiring managers or job seekers is that there continues to be a gap between the salary requirements that top candidates have and the continuing squeeze on salaries and IT budgets faced by IT hiring managers. In fact, after a shortage of candidates with the most sought-after skills, the problem cited next by IT staffing firms surveyed is “unrealistic client expectations”, with 26.5% saying that there is a continuing gap between client offers and candidate salary requirements.
In some parts of the country – Silicon Valley, Boston, New York City – the gap has led to an increase in the number of unfilled positions, and some other areas aren’t far behind. This may be one reason for the rise in recruiters’ interest in social networks like Facebook and Twitter. LinkedIn and the job sites, of course, tend to attract active candidates – those who are searching for a new position right now.
Facebook and Twitter, which are often considered more personal, are a way for recruiters to identify candidates who are more passive. They’re not looking for a position right now – but if approached about a great job that offers real advantages, they wouldn’t say no, either.