IT directors are being advised to improve their recruitment practices in order to attract suitable candidates, despite the increased availability of IT staff.
With hi-tech firms laying off staff there has been an assumption that employers would find it easier to recruit skilled staff, explained David Inman, business development manager at recruitment software developer Qikker Solutions.
"There is a tendency for firms to believe that there is a large pool of available talent, and that they will be able to get the right candidates," he said.
Yet the IT recruitment market remains in the doldrums. High profile firms such as ICL and Cap Gemini have announced large job cuts, while recruitment agencies are struggling.
Recruitment specialist Glotel has seen profits struggle as demand has slumped. "The ongoing uncertainty in our markets gives little expectation for a recovery in the short term," said chairman Les Clark.
And attracting quality candidates remains a real problem for many businesses.
"Too many businesses take a reactive approach to recruitment. Many firms do not take employee churn into account in their business planning. They then have to rush the recruitment process," said Inman. "This makes it harder to get quality applicants."
Although firms may not currently be recruiting, they can take steps to improve their prospects of attracting candidates, according to Inman.
"We are seeing a greater use of online recruitment for IT staff. Firms can use their websites to raise their profile so that, when they have vacancies, people are more aware of how to apply," he said.
Traditionally, recruitment agencies are a popular source of IT staff, but a survey of human resource managers undertaken by Benchmark Research found that nearly three quarters of companies have not increased the number of agencies they use.
"This shows that firms have seen rationalising suppliers as a way of driving down recruitment costs," said Dusan Rnic, chief technology officer at recruitment specialists Netengines CTO. "This is not the way to get the best candidates. Firms need to have as large a pool as possible."
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