IT Recruiting Works Best Off Line

August 26, 2002
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GRAND RAPIDS — A recent poll suggests that when it comes to recruiting information technology (IT) professionals, many executives like low-tech.

Thirty-one percent of chief information officers (CIOs) surveyed said employee referrals are the most effective way to locate skilled technology talent, while 19 percent prefer IT staffing or recruiting firms.

Traditional classified print ads ranked third, with 17 percent of the response.

The survey was developed by RHI Consulting, a specialized consulting firm that provides information technology professionals on a project and full-time basis.

The survey by an independent research firm included responses from 1,400 CIOs taken from a stratified random sample of U.S. companies with more than 100 employees.

The survey asked, “Which of the following is the most effective way to find qualified candidates?”

Their responses were tabulated as follows:

  • Employee referrals, 31 percent

  • Staffing or recruiting firm, 19 percent

  • Classified advertising, 17 percent

  • On line postings, 9 percent

  • Job fairs, 7 percent

  • Company Web site posting 7 percent

  • Other, 5 percent

  • Don’t know/no answer, 5 percent

“Although it may seem surprising that IT executives are not relying more heavily on technology to recruit candidates, there is no substitute for peer-to-peer networking,” said Katherine Spencer Lee, executive director of RHI Consulting.

She said referrals offer hiring managers access to qualified professionals they might otherwise not reach. There also is an implied recommendation from the person providing the referral.

Lee said staffing firms offer similar advantages because they typically have a strong network of local industry contacts.

“This enables them to reach the hidden talent pool — individuals who are a match for the position but may not be actively sending out resumes or scanning classified ads.”

With more than 100 locations in North America, Europe and Australia, RHI provides technology professionals for IT initiatives ranging from e-business development and multiplatform systems integration to network engineering and technical support.

RHI Consulting offers online job search services at www.rhic.com           

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