In 2017, we asked IT recruiters about their challenges. In 2019, their answers changed dramatically.



In 2017, we asked IT recruiters about their greatest challenge. In 2019, everything changed. 31st July 2019

The results of our research can be seen in Chart A. In 2017, competition for talent was the greatest recruitment challenge, yet it 2019 it’s in last place. Similarly, staff churn was at the back of the queue in 2017, yet it leaps into first place in 2019. So what is happening?

We believe the changes are two sides of the same coin. Our recent experience is that organisations are more confident they have the right tools to attract IT talent. They can compete.

The issue is that staff churn is remarkably high. Skills shortages and low unemployment* mean IT experts are in great demand and receiving regular job offers. They are frequently enticed to a new job.

Having an efficient recruitment engine is excellent, but not if you have to use it excessively to fill gaps in the IT Department.

Chart A – “What will be your greatest IT recruitment challenge in the next 12 months?”

Recruiter's View: Greatest challenges in IT recruitment

In-house recruiters vs hiring managers

The issues of staff churn and competition for talent are not as simple as they seem at first glance. There also appears to be a difference of opinion between in-house recruiters and hiring managers on the importance of each challenge.

Recruiters believe that reduced EU candidates because of Brexit is the greatest challenge (20% of in-house recruiters), but hiring managers put it 4th place. This could be because recruiters are at the front end of the recruitment process and see the reducing volume of EU applicants.

On the issue of staff churn, hiring managers regard it as the most significant challenge (30%) probably because they feel the pain more acutely. In-house recruiters put it in 5th place.

Finally, company culture. This is a strategic programme that is often owned by the HR & Recruitment Department. It’s only natural they consider it has high value and understand the challenges. Recruiters put it in 2nd place while hiring managers relegate it to 6th position.

There is much discussion online about the need for the Sales and Marketing Departments to be aligned. Our research highlights the need for in-house recruiters and hiring managers to do the same – and have more conversations to agree on the big issues.

There is more than one challenge

You’ll notice in Chart A that inefficient ATS (Applicant Tracking Software) has now become an issue. We believe this is more to do with the improvements in ATS rather than inefficiencies in existing platforms.

There have been many new entrants into the applicant tracking market. Each of them harnessing the benefits of Artificial Intelligence or connecting with other platforms such as LinkedIn or forming partnerships with relevant Apps. The result is that more sophisticated solutions are available, and recruiters are not happy with their legacy systems.

Interestingly, limited recruitment budget is also no longer a major worry, dropping from 2nd place in 2017 to 2nd from last in 2019. Our report ‘IT Talent Acquisition; the recruiter’s view’, suggests that hiring organisations are experimenting with different recruitment channels to get better ROI (Return on Investment).

As ROI improves, limited budgets will go further and hiring organisations will get more for their money (or decide to reduce budgets without impacting results).

You can download IT Talent Acquisition; the recruiter’s view now. Its sister publication with the candidate’s opinion is available in the knowledge section of this website.

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* The UK unemployment rate stood at 3.8% in May 2019, its lowest level since December 1974.

2019 Report: IT Talent Acquisition; the recruiter’s view

‘IT Talent Acquisition; the recruiter’s view’ includes figures on hot topics such as recruitment budgets, the most effective channels as well as highlighting the greatest challenges in IT recruitment and how they could be resolved. This 8-page report consists of 13 charts and tables plus valuable insight covering subjects such as…

• Which recruitment channels get the most investment?
• Which channels are most effective for IT vacancies?
• What are the most effective job boards?
• The most effective social media for IT vacancies
• What is the greatest IT recruitment challenge?

Download the free report now and gain a competitive advantage in the hunt for IT talent.

IT Talent Acquisition; the recruiter's view
Graham Smith

Author: Graham Smith

An award-winning, Marketing Director with over 25 years’ experience in direct marketing (including digital marketing, social media, marketing automation and direct mail)… the full marketing mix.

A Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and member of the Institute of Data Marketing (IDM), Graham was also part of the ‘GDPR Working Party’ at the Data Marketing Association (DMA) and was a Council member at the DMA for 3 years. He is a published author on the subject of marketing, his first book is titled ‘Telemarketing kills kittens‘.

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the view and opinion of Curo Services.

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