Tech Workers Reward the Personal Touch

Tech workers get an average of 23 recruiter inquiries a week — yes, a week, says a survey from TEKsystems, a global IT staffing and services firm.

That’s a remarkable number, which, even if is skewed by respondents with very in-demand skills, would still go a long way to explaining why you’re not getting calls back. In fact, the survey shows that IT professionals are picky about whose call they will return.

The best thing a recruiter can do when leaving a message or speaking with a potential candidate is to be as detailed about the job as possible. Hearing details about the specific job, the team, the nature of the work, and the company culture is the kind of information that would lead 88 percent of the survey respondents to return the call.

Less important, but still high on the list for the IT professionals surveyed, is the professionalism of the recruiter and the reputation of the company.

“The best recruiters take the time to get to know the client and the candidate in detail. He or she with the most intelligence wins the matchmaking process,” says TEKsystems Director, Rachel Russell.

The findings come from the company’s quarterly IT Professional Perspectives Survey, which surveyed 2,424 IT workers last quarter about how they look for jobs. First, when a tech worker begins to consider a new job, they take stock of their skills, goals, and interests. Then, 96 percent say they hit the job boards.

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“Job boards are the quickest way for IT professionals to feel like they’re getting out there and searching for a job,” says Russell. “But given that so many people are on the job boards, it’s a hard place to stand out.”

Perhaps knowing that, once a tech job seeker finds interesting opportunities, the next step for 72 percent of them is to network with other professionals. At some point, many will work with a recruiter. According to the survey, 59 percent say a recruiter is the main resource; 54 percent say colleagues; 53 percent say friends; and, 46 percent rely on their networks.

Recruiters who help job seekers, even if they don’t end up placing them, may still reap rewards. With 45 percent of the survey respondents saying they have 10 or more top professionals in their network, recruiters who remain accessible, helpful, and professional may be able to get a referral. The survey found 65 percent of IT professionals willing to share names if they had a positive experience with the recruiter.

John Zappe is the editor of and a contributing editor of John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.