Web 2.0 Tools Still Scarce in IT Recruiting

New steps are needed to attract entry-level IT workers and retain retirement-age staffers, but IT managers are slow to try Web 2.0 tools that could help.

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Low Tech, High Touch

There are also low-tech recruitment techniques that IT executives dont exploit nearly enough. One is piggybacking business trips with visits to colleges, says David Foote, chief research officer at Foote Partners LLC in New Canaan, Conn. Such visits give students a chance to quiz IT leaders about what its really like to work at a company, says Foote. Its consistently the best way to hire people out of school.

Tellabs Inc. CIO Jean Holley has used that technique. To help feed an internship program for college graduates with SAP, life-cycle development and broad-based Web skills, Holley and two colleagues visited the University of Missouri Rolla in March to conduct preliminary interviews with students enrolled in the schools MBA-ERP program. Getting an MBA intern is a little unique for us, but it maps to a need we have for ERP skills, says Holley, who nabbed an intern during the trip.

Engaging college students in programming and problem-solving contests has proved to be an effective exercise at Quicken Loans. Last winter, the IT department held a contest for college students to solve one of its business problems the need for an automated script that could search for specific text on the companys Web site. The contest, which required students to review source code and write code, generated dozens of entries and provided senior IT management with insight into the way potential employees think and how quickly they could solve problems, says CIO Frank Laura.

Laura looks at four criteria in job candidates: a cultural fit with Quicken Loans, a desire to learn, the ability to learn and technical skills, in that order.

We have a saying here, says Laura. Youre like a tree: Youre either growing or dying.

Slow on The Uptake

How difficult are you finding recruitment of recent college graduautes for IT compared with two years ago?
The same
Don't know
More difficult

Are you using any new tools or methods to find and recruit recent college grads for IT?

E-recruiting sites like Monster.com 32%
Professional networking sites like LinkedIn, Naymz 15%
Open-source community sites 10%
Blog-searching tools 4%
Social networking sites like MySpace, Facebook 11%
None of the above 52%

(Multiple responses allowed.)

Are you taking any steps to retain IT pros who are nearing traditional retirement age?

Flexible Schedules 19%
Part-time work options 12%
Contracting retired employees 9%
Increased compensation 9%
Training or professional development programs 9%
Bonuses for staying on 8%
Job sharing 5%
Delayed retirement plans 4%
Other 4%
No steps taken 60%

(Multiple responses allowed.)

Source: Computerworld Vital Signs survey of 233IT professionals, May-June 2007. Not all respondents answered all questions. Percentages may not add up to 100 because of rounding.

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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