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Issue No.

1, March 2016
...........................................................................

IT Talent Acquisition;
the candidates view

Contents
1. Where do IT candidates look
for new jobs?
2. What stops IT candidates
responding to your adverts?
3. How do IT candidates prefer
to be contacted?

This is the first in an annual report that looks at the


candidates view of acquisition and retention. Where
do candidates look for IT jobs, what makes them
apply, why do they leave and why do they stay?
Talent acquisition is often viewed from the recruiters perspective, but it can be
revealing to view it from the other side of the table - the candidate - and analyse
the differences.

4. What pushes IT staff to resign?

For example, in-house recruiters invest much in social media, listing it in 3rd place
for the amount of time and money they spend. Yet its not the first port of call for
IT candidates. As Chart I shows, few respond to IT jobs on Facebook or Twitter.

5. What would encourage IT staff


to stay?

More differences in outlook are revealed in the following pages.

6. Conclusion

Chart I - Have you responded to IT jobs advertised on social media?


IT job adverts on Twitter or Facebook
12%
Facebook only
13%
Facebook &
Twitter

75%
Not responded to
IT jobs on Twitter
or Facebook

Source: Curo Resourcing Ltd, 2015.


2016 Curo Resourcing Ltd

Source: Curo Resourcing Ltd, 2015. n = 400

IT Talent Acquisition; the candidates view


...........................................................................
1. Where do IT candidates look for new jobs?
IT candidates primarily use recruitment agencies and job boards to find new
positions, and our research among in-house recruiters shows they agree that
recruitment agencies are the most effective tool for finding good candidates.
However, in-house recruiters did not agree that job boards are an effective
channel, ranking it 5th out of 8 approaches.


Social media
is ranked last by
candidates as a
source of new job
opportunities

So if job boards are where IT candidates congregate, why are in-house recruiters
having so little success using this online talent channel? This is a question we will
attempt to answer in the next section.
Its interesting to note that social media is ranked last by candidates as a source
of new job opportunities.
Our in-house recruiter research showed that recruitment departments are
investing heavily in social resourcing, yet it appears this is not a place that
candidates visit frequently.
We decided to examine this dichotomy in more detail and discovered that job
seekers view LinkedIn, which is something of a hybrid, as separate from other
social media. Chart II suggests that while candidates are reasonably happy to
check LinkedIn (4th place), they are less likely to use social media (last place).
Chart II - How do IT candidates find new jobs?
Tools candidates use to get a new job

19

18
15

14

14

Link
e

dIn
pan
y we
bsit
Prin
es
ted
pub
lica
tion
s
Soc
ial m
edia

10

Com

ds
frien

rds
boa

job
ine

ral f
rom

Refe
r

ent
itm

Onl

There is a sister publication to


this report which examines
talent acquisition from a
different angle - the recruiters
view.
You can download the 8 page
report by clicking,
http://bit.ly/CuroReport7

Rec
ru

Report:
IT Talent Acquisition;
the recruiters view

age
nc y

11

Source:
CuroCuro
Resourcing
Ltd, 2015. n = 300
Source:
Associates,

However, it would appear there is a role for social media in recruitment. We asked
IT job seekers if they had ever monitored a company where they ideally wanted
to work, 30% said they had used either social or digital tools. So there may be a
place for social resourcing in attracting passive candidates.

IT Talent Acquisition; the candidates view


...........................................................................
2. What stops IT candidates responding to your adverts?
Its worth investigating the difference between the popularity of job boards with
candidates and their lack of effectiveness according to in-house recruiters.

Note also that having a famous brand name does not necessarily affect response
to job postings. It ranks in last place as the reason IT candidates do not respond
to recruitment adverts.
Chart III - Why IT candidates dont respond to job adverts?
IT job advert failures

21

18

16

No

mpa
n co

ach

ieve

men

ny

ts

n
how
ry s
sala

No

loca

l co

mpa

b ro

ny

le

now

22

Unk

23

Not

Salary is a factor in a candidates decision to apply, and we have seen response


rates increase by 20-25% when a salary, or salary range, is included in an advert.
But it is clearly not the main factor. Location seems to be equally, if not more
important, so could an offer of working from home improve the response to your
online advertising?

Unc
lear
jo


Having a
famous brand name
does not necessarily
affect response to
job postings

We asked IT candidates what prevents you from responding to a job advert.


Surprisingly, the most popular answer was lack of clarity about the role. Prior to
this research we would have assumed that not showing the salary would be the
main reason.

Source:
CuroCuro
Resourcing
Ltd, 2015.
Source:
Associates,
2015. n = 300

Job adverts are much like any other form of advertising and maybe lessons can
be learned from the marketing department.
One of the rules of marketing is to test, test and test again. Marketers
continuously test different advertisement headlines, different body copy or
emphasise different benefits, different formats and even different websites - all
to maximise the response.
So when was the last time you tested two different adverts for the same job and
analysed the results?

IT Talent Acquisition; the candidates view


...........................................................................
3. How do IT candidates prefer to be contacted?
Our research shows that candidates still prefer to be contacted by email,
telephone and text when you have a suitable vacancy. Some things never change.

Whatever channel you use, the offer to the candidate should be relevant to avoid
them switching off. Its not just about the 2% that say Yes, its also about the
98% that say No - the ones that unsubscribe, unfollow and refuse to take your
calls.
Chart IV - What channels do candidates prefer for contact?
Contact preferences for IT candidates

25

24

20

19

boo
k
Fac
e
Via

dIn
Via
L

inke

ge
essa

By t
ext
m

By t
e

leph

one

12

ail

LinkedIn is a more popular form of contact, but we would argue it is an exception;


part job board, part social media. Its position as a business platform may also
be a clue to its higher approval rating.

By e
m


Preference for
email and telephone
contact may be linked
to the need for
discretion and the
value of human
interaction

Interestingly, Facebook is their least favourite method of contact. This highlights


the need to carefully choose which platforms should be added to your social
resourcing programme.

Source:
Curo Resourcing Ltd, 2015.
Source: Curo Associates, 2015. n = 300

To make the job offer relevant you need good data; a deep understanding of
their preferences, needs and wants. But be careful the data you store does not
contravene Principle 3 of the Data Protection Act (i.e. that it is adequate, relevant
and not excessive). Respect the sensitive nature of candidate data.
The preference for email, telephone and text messages may be linked to the need
for discretion and the value of human interaction. Candidates may be at work, so
accessing emails or texts on their private mobile device has an advantage.
The telephone adds human interaction into the mix; the ability to have a
one-to-one, real-time conversation about a candidates big decision.
Previous research by Curo Resourcings marketing department has also shown
how telephone contact makes people feel more valued - an important element
in the recruitment process.
4

IT Talent Acquisition; the candidates view


...........................................................................
4. What pushes IT staff to resign?
We thought it would be interesting to compare what pushes people in the IT
department to resign compared to other departments. Note how low pay is
the primary reason for resignation in most departments except IT.


Low pay is the
primary reason for
resignation in most
departments...
except IT

In IT, it is limited career prospects or lack of promotion opportunities that make


staff consider leaving low pay is in 3rd place (see Chart V).
This could be because staff in the IT department are already relatively well paid
compared to most other departments, but may also be due to the type of person
that sits in IT. Technology is a complex and mentally demanding function, and
job satisfaction comes from challenging and stretching their minds.
Note how shortage of interesting work rises from 6th position to 4th when
comparing most departments (Chart VI) to the IT department (Chart V).
Chart V - Why do IT staff resign?
IT staff resignation
17

15

15

16

14

14

12

11

Low
pay
inte
rest
ing
wor
k
Hea
vy w
o
Trav
rklo
ellin
ad
g tim
e to
offic
e
Lac
k of
trai
ning

13

11

Poor management is an issue for all departments, but lack of training is not a
consideration for people in any department when looking for a new challenge.
But if these are issues that cause IT staff to resign, what would make them stay?
We examine this question in the next section.

Lim

Poo
r

man

Low
pay
a
gem
ited
ent
care
er p
Trav
rosp
ellin
ects
g tim
e to
offic
e
Hea
vy w
o
rklo
No
ad
inte
rest
ing
wor
k
Lac
k of
trai
ning

16

14

Source:
CuroCuro
Resourcing
Ltd, 2015.
2015. n = 300
Source:
Associates,

Non-IT staff resignation

18

14

No

Chart VI Why do non-IT staff resign?

Poo
r

Lim
ited
care
e

r pr
ops
e

cts
man
age
men
t

Source: Curo Associates, 2015. n = 1,065 votes

Source: Curo Resourcing Ltd, 2015

IT Talent Acquisition; the candidates view


...........................................................................
5. What would encourage IT staff to stay?
Just as career prospects would prompt people to leave it also encourages IT staff
to stay. However, a wage rise now becomes equally important (joint first position
in Chart VII).

Chart VII - Why do IT staff stay?


IT staff retention

17

17

15

15

14

13

nt

ana

gem
e

hom

from

of m
nge

Cha

Wor

king

trai

ning

ion

er IT

gnit

Furt
h

Rec
o

y
ng w
ork

one

rest
i

Mor
e

inte

Mor
em

od o

f pr
omo

tion

10

liho

The likelihood of promotion is one of the top factors, so perhaps introducing


additional layers into the IT department structure (and thereby increasing the
opportunities for stepping up the ladder) could retain staff.

Like

Low-cost
solutions, such as
a better spread
across the team of
interesting projects
and staff awards,
could reduce staff
turnover

It seems poor pay may not push IT staff to leave, but it could persuade them to
stay a little longer.

Source:
CuroCuro
Resourcing
Ltd, 2015.
2015 n = 300
Source:
Associates,

More interesting work and recognition for the quality of their work are in joint
2nd place. So low cost solutions, such as a better spread across the team of
interesting projects and staff awards, could help reduce staff turnover.
Often the more exciting IT projects are given to the same group of trusted IT
technicians, but asking other members of the team to assist gives everyone in
the department a chance feel involved.
Recognition for IT staff does not necessarily need to take the shape of formal
awards or certification. A simple recommendation on LinkedIn can go a long way
to making them feel valued.
Although management quality was an issue for all departments when
considering resignation, its less of an issue when considering to stay. Poor
management might make them leave, but a change may not keep them.

IT Talent Acquisition; the candidates view


...........................................................................
6. Conclusion
What is clear from this report, and its sister publication that looked at the views
of in-house recruiters, is that traditional forms of contact and hiring are still
welcomed by job seekers. A combination of traditional and new channels would
seem to be their preference.


Go where your
audience is now, but
be prepared to move
as they migrate to
new pastures

Recruitment agencies and job boards are where candidates congregate at the
moment, and email or telephone are the means of contact they prefer. Its a mix
of old and new.
If job boards are not currently working for you, then test different versions of the
same job vacancy so you constantly improve response. Test and learn.
Social media may still have some way to go, and its effectiveness may require
the social platforms to adapt, but now is the time to polish your social resourcing
skills and get a better understanding of how it can add value.
If social media (excluding LinkedIn) is not where candidates first look for new
jobs, then maybe it can be used as a database of potential candidates - it much
the same way that you search CVs on a job board.
As you prepare for the future, ensure your recruitment messages are mobile
optimised. Candidates are already using their mobile devices to search and
apply for vacancies and that will only increase.
Its clear from our research that IT staff are a different breed. They are less
likely to move to a new job for more money compared to employees in other
departments. Limited career prospects is what pushes them to resign.
In summary, go where your audience is now, but be prepared to move as they
migrate to new pastures. As IT is a vital department is all organisations, think
about implementing a special retention programme for them - one that offers
career advancement and recognition.
This report is a brief snapshot of our research. Microsoft Partners and
Microsoft Users wishing to discuss our findings in more detail can contact
Stuart Fuller, Head of Business Development, on 0845 094 4627 or email
stuart.fuller@curoresourcing.co.uk
If you would like to take part in next years research and receive the
subsequent report 2 weeks before official publication (and probably
ahead of your rivals), then please subscribe to our Curo Bulletin at
www.curoresourcing.co.uk/subscription

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2016 Curo Resourcing Ltd.


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Curo Resourcing Ltd.
Survey conducted December 2015, n = 300
First published March 2016, version 1.0

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