IT specialists are in short supply. No wonder, the tables are turned: companies have to apply to candidates. Active sourcing is in vogue and promises quick success. However, recruiting with a direct approach also involves a number of pitfalls. Many IT specialists are increasingly annoyed by too many and unprofessional inquiries. What should they do?

Active Sourcing TipsActive sourcing of IT professionals. What you need to consider

As if we hadn't known it for a long time, a study by ICT-Berufsbildung has once again underscored the shortage of skilled workers in their industry: by 2026, the information and communications technology (ICT) sector will be short around 40,000 specialists. A frightening figure. Despite efforts in education and training, this demand cannot be met, the authors of the study state. But what are the important active sourcing tips?

Against this backdrop, there is a role reversal: Companies are searching social networks, resume databases and talent pools for suitable IT talent. And apply to them instead of the other way around. Active sourcing is becoming increasingly popular. It is true that the majority of candidates would like to be approached directly by companies: According to the "Recruiting Trends 2018" study by the University of Bamberg, 60 percent of respondents prefer to be contacted directly by employers. But in the highly competitive IT job market, it can be too much of a good thing.

"Many profiles are inundated with unprofessional direct requests"

The highly sought-after IT profiles in particular are inundated with inquiries - the professionals are becoming increasingly annoyed by this. Understandable: According to the University of Bamberg, a German IT company with more than 250 employees and sales of 50 million euros or more actively addresses an average of 13 IT profiles per day. About two-thirds of men are contacted by recruiting specialists at least once a month, while among women it is slightly more than half. Ilka Szentkiralyi, an expert in active sourcing, confirms: "In industries with a shortage of skilled workers such as IT, there is already an oversaturation of active sourcing activities on business networks. Many of the profiles are increasingly inundated with unprofessional direct inquiries and are already withdrawing from the usual sourcing channels."

If companies contact potential candidates too often, they demonstrably no longer apply there. In addition, they avoid the channels through which they were contacted too often and delete the inquiries directly without having read them. In an attempt to win over specialists, companies can scare them away - and suffer a loss of image. One in ten candidates talks negatively about companies that have contacted them too often. And four out of ten candidates are annoyed because the inquiries don't match their skills or are standardized contact requests.

Multiple mandates as a significant risk

"When companies award active sourcing mandates exclusively to a recruitment agency, it's a win-win: the company avoids multiple approaches and doesn't risk a loss of image, and candidates are approached specifically, not harassed."

Ilka Szentkiralyi, Recruitment Specialist at indivHR

We therefore provide the following active sourcing tips:

So has active sourcing already had its day with IT professionals? By no means, but: "Successful active sourcing requires experienced recruiters who have the necessary knowledge and time to deal with this task," says Gerhard Zeiner. But for many companies, especially SMEs, proper active sourcing is not even feasible in terms of resources. Those who cannot acquire the know-how internally in a specialist office should therefore not shy away from resorting to external experts. "It is better to entrust specialists with the matter instead of leaving a bad impression on candidates that often cannot be undone," says Gerhard Zeiner. However, another stumbling block lurks here. In an effort to fill vacancies as quickly as possible, some companies outsource their active sourcing mandates to multiple recruiters. The consequence: IT specialists are approached by different recruiters for the same company. It is understandable that the addressees are annoyed by this.

The same goes for the damage to the company's image. "When companies award active sourcing mandates exclusively to just one recruitment agency, it's a win-win situation for everyone: the company avoids multiple approaches and doesn't risk a loss of image, the candidates are addressed very specifically and not harassed. And the recruitment agency has time to sharpen the profile, search the network and make the approach targeted and personal," explains Nora Szentkiralyi, IT recruitment specialist at indivHR. It is true that a company with only one recruitment agency potentially needs a bit more patience. In return, it can be sure that there will be no multiple approaches - and the image will remain intact.


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