IT recruitment: perks to lure staff

With skilled IT staff levels at their lowest in 35 years, employers are driving to come up with more flexible employment packages to attract employees, according to specialist recruitment agency, Hays Information Technology.

"Because of a shortage of skills in the market, candidates are now able to pick and choose a little bit more effectively as to where they want to go," said Hays' regional director, Peter Noblet.

"Of course they [employers] are in the driving seat - I mean, they're hiring at the end of the day," he said, "but they're having to work increasingly hard to convince candidates to come and work [for the company]."

Employers are adjusting to candidates' demands of a work-life balance and career opportunities, Noblet said.

According to Hays' October to December quarterly forecast of candidate trends, candidates are also seeking employers with company values that are congruent to their own, and that offer training programs and an ability to update their skills.

Noblet suggests that businesses should effectively communicate the employee benefits on offer, along with their long term aims and requirements when recruiting. Potential candidates should be made aware of superannuation policies, maternity and paternity leave and any additional perks, such as lower mortgage rates, he said.

"I'm not suggesting they have to oversell - I'm just suggesting that they ensure that the message comes across," he said. "Very often I would suggest that some companies' hiring managers are not aware of extra things like business perks and extras that are entered into an employee's package."

Meanwhile, job seekers are encouraged to be honest and upfront about their requirements and career goals. And while they should have a good understanding of what their skills are commanding in the market, candidates must keep realistic expectations of the options available to them.

"The majority of candidates maintain realistic expectations when searching for their next role," Noblet said. "However, there is a small percentage who misinterpret the skills shortage as an opportunity to receive inflated salaries.

"It's a two way street, it should be a mutual discussion between an employer and employee, not who's got the upper hand on this."

Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

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