The idea of hiring IT professionals that has developed in the market turns them into some kind of mythological creatures: it is believed that experienced IT specialists do not look for work for more than three days, they never respond to vacancies, and HRs catch candidates on Tinder and Instagram, because on recruiting no one sits on the platform anymore.
In reality, most of these ideas are myths: seniors often look for work longer than middles, job seekers actively write to recruiters, and they receive offers not even through Telegram, but through standard HeadHunter and Linkedin. To confirm this with numbers, we conducted a study among specialists in the database of our agency. Here I want to not only talk about its results and debunk popular stereotypes, but also try to explain why it is still so difficult for businesses to get the right candidate.
One of the most common misconceptions in IT recruiting is the time that job seekers spend looking for a job. For some reason, it is believed that if you do not give a specialist an offer today, then literally tomorrow he will be hunted down by competitors. At the same time, few people wonder what kind of rush forces a person to immediately grab an attractive offer (even assuming that he received ten of them in a week).
As it turned out as a result of our survey (1000 respondents) on the basis of IT specialists, almost a quarter of seniors spend a month or more searching for a job, 47% – two or three weeks. Survey results in our telegram channel turned out to be even more impressive: 38% of seniors take at least a month to choose an employer. For comparison: the majority of middles (42%) find a new place in 1-2 weeks.
This pattern is most likely due to the fact that seniors are very picky about finding an employer. As a rule, they look for vacancies in parallel with their main job, they are not in a hurry and look for what they like according to all criteria – since they can afford to choose. And by the way, if there are readers with a different point of view, it will be great to read about it in the comments.
The idea that seniors and middles don’t study vacancies, but only wait for offers from recruiters, is another myth. When asked whether the initiative usually comes from recruiters or themselves, almost half of our survey participants answered “about 50/50”. By the way, this option was chosen by both seniors, middles, and juniors: in other words, experienced specialists did not turn into a passive search, and beginners are also in demand on the market.
Yes, companies often have to work with specialists who are already employed and are not actively looking for. But the presence of work does not mean at all that a person is not ready for new proposals. So, 47% of our respondents periodically update their resume despite the fact that they are satisfied with their employer, and 9% update it in order to change the company in the future.
Recruiters on Tinder
Another popular legend has to do with candidate search channels. Companies vying with each other to talk about how they are creative in search of staff, and the Internet is full of articles about hiring specialists through Tinder, VKontakte and Instagram.
Undoubtedly, there are exceptions. But in global terms, these channels do not give any serious result. HeadHunter and Linkedin remain the main channels for job search among IT people. Of the participants in our survey, 91% have resumes on HeadHunter, 25% are posted on LinkedIn (you could choose several options), and 20% on other Russian aggregators.
But with the sources from which IT specialists receive job offers, the situation is more interesting: the first two places are also shared by HeadHunter (72%) and Linkedin (55%), but the third is occupied by recommendations (28%) – a method of finding personnel that is not popular only in the IT market.
Here the question arises: if IT specialists, like mere mortals, are open to offers, respond to vacancies, spend a lot of time searching and do not need to be caught on Tinder, then why do companies complain about problems with finding personnel and are ready to give an offer immediately at an interview , just to stake out a candidate?
I can highlight several reasons here. Firstly, the IT market is really experiencing a shortage of personnel, so it is quite difficult to find a specialist with the right skills, experience, and salary expectations. Secondly, the shortage of personnel allows IT specialists to be very picky about choosing an employer – and even if a person came to you for an interview and received an offer, this does not mean that he will accept it.
Another reason, which I have already mentioned in one of their columns, is less obvious: it’s a lengthy hiring process. Few people think that an offer is just the last step in the recruiting process, and specialists usually “fall off” at the previous stages. The time that passes from contact with the candidate to the submission of the resume to the manager, then from the submission of the resume to its consideration, from the consideration to the interview, and so on – all this, in my experience, can stretch for several weeks. Not surprisingly, the company loses the candidate – and not at all because he was instantly hunted by competitors, but because of weak internal processes.
Pros and cons
However, not all of what they say in the market about IT recruiting are myths. So, the thesis that specialists are not ready to consider vacancies without the possibility of remote work is quite fair. In the question about the conditions that will definitely force the candidate to refuse the offer, the most popular answer was the absence of a remote or hybrid work format. Moreover, for the sake of remote work, many applicants are even ready to choose a vacancy with a lower salary.
However, they are so categorically set on everything: 33% of the survey participants were ready to consider any formats of work. There are those who prefer to go to the office: according to my observations, most often these are juniors who want to gain experience faster.
In addition to the level of salary and remote work, when choosing an employer, IT specialists are guided by interesting tasks, a stack of technologies, the opportunity to gain new experience, a good team, the benefits and significance of the product.
We tried to exclude the salary factor so that the specialists could name the criteria that are really important for them – in addition to the monetary component. We had a question, under what condition of the two offers would a person agree to an offer with a lower salary. Most of the respondents chose the opportunity to gain experience and learn new things, in second place, predictably, was a convenient schedule and the presence of remote work, followed by a smaller load and the opportunity to take freelance. In general, this is logical: projects on the side will make up for the difference in wages or even provide more income.
Among the types of employing organizations, the majority of IT specialists prefer product companies, integrators received much fewer votes. This fully corresponds to the key criteria for choosing an employer, one of which, as we remember, is an interesting significant product. In other words, the ability to immerse yourself in work on something that is useful attracts people more than performing disparate tasks for clients. By the way, some survey participants even noted custom development as something that will make them refuse the vacancy.
But the industry in which the company operates is not fundamental for most IT specialists. The only thing that many agreed on was the unwillingness to get a job in state structures.
Craving for change
Now it is difficult to ignore the issue of relocation, so we finalized our study with the question of whether specialists are ready to move to another country for a new job. As a result, it turned out that the vast majority (70%) are considering the option of relocation when finding employment, but only 5% of respondents have actually moved (or are in the process of doing so).
As for the regions, about a third of specialists would like to get a job in a Western company, another third – in a Russian one, and for the rest it does not matter. The latter option can be associated with remote work, which allows you to work for almost any country without changing your place of residence. But the popularity of Western countries is more likely due to the level of salaries and future prospects.
The results of our survey generally show how an employer can attract candidates. For example, companies that cannot offer a large salary or are engaged in custom development can attract candidates with a convenient schedule, interesting tasks, a stack of technologies, the opportunity to learn new things, a team – in extreme cases, a small load that allows you to take freelance.
There is no point in being creative in the search for candidates: you can, as before, communicate with applicants on HeadHunter and LinkedIn, the main thing here is to speed up the hiring process so that the time between the first contact and the offer / refusal is minimized.