Chatrooms and blogs are route to find top IT talent

Recruiters need to be more creative if they want to attract the top talent in the IT industry, according recruitment media buyer Barkers.

Matt Alder, head of digital at Barkers, told a recent Future of IT Recruitment event in London that recruiters and employers need to start listening and taking part in the online "conversations" in chatrooms, blogs and forums to find out what candidates really think of their companies so that they can take appropriate action.

He describes the IT candidates of today as "knowing what they want, clicking what they see and taking the first good employer to get their act together."

Alder told Recruiter: "Recruiters are reasonably good at approaching good IT candidates, but they must be more proactive to find where new talent is and access them via new methods."

By researching blogs and micro-blogging networking sites, such as Twitter, recruiters can learn more about what the industry is thinking.

Alder added: "There is a lot of information online about who the big thinkers are, what the big issues are and which companies are causing waves, but recruitment firms are not engaging fully in the huge opportunities.

"There is so much more than searching for CVs online. IT candidates spend their lives online and discuss everything."

The relationship between recruiter and candidate has changed and the process has become commoditised, said Alder. Knowledge-rich and time-poor candidates have become more demanding and the process happens very quickly.

He added: "In the past it was thought employers with the fastest access and processing systems attracted the candidate, with creativity in recruitment advertising seen as a bolt-on, or 'nice to have'. But can you afford not to stand out in today's competitive marketplace?"

He said recruiters could learn from creative marketing campaigns such as the never-ending web-link from Orange or Cadbury's reintroduction of Wispa after noting the demand for the chocolate bar on blogs.

But he warned that recruiters need to be more sophisticated than just flooding social networking sites, which can cause resentment among web users.

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