Chris Lowden

Chris Lowden from Nine Twenty Recruitment on how the quest for IT talent is more competitive than ever and why it is time to go ‘exclusive’ with your IT recruitment partner

At Nine Twenty, we have been sourcing IT and digital talent for high-growth SMEs for over 16 years. We have supported start-ups, helped them grow and supplied them with the digital talent they needed, all the way through to a successful exit.

The current Covid-19 crisis has accelerated the digital transformation of most businesses. And, of course, this makes the quest for IT talent more competitive than ever.

A common practice when using recruitment agencies is to engage multiple agencies at once to fill a limited number of roles. But when agencies are put in opposition to each other, the focus of the recruitment process moves from quality candidate selection to speed, candidate 'ownership' and aggressive, competitive tactics.

Chris Lowden

The upshot is a diminished selection process with limited focus on the candidate's cultural fit. For the hiring company, this can lead to duplicate CVs being submitted by different agencies and wasted time spent assessing candidates who have expressed no interest in working for it.

For this reason, it makes sense for both the prospective employer and the IT recruitment agency to establish an exclusive relationship. By establishing a degree of commitment on both sides it boosts the likelihood that the client will get the right person for the role.

Agree a fee
The idea of 'payment by results' is not the best way to engage with a specialist recruiter.  Working with a specialist IT recruitment partner on an exclusive basis - with a pre-agreed fee structure - makes more sense.

This is because it reduces the level of financial risk for the agency and so gives its consultants more time to understand the client's digital needs.

Getting to know you
If yours is a company in the process of building a digital team but is unknown to the IT and development community, there is another good reason to 'go exclusive' with your preferred IT recruitment partner.

With no profile amongst a targeted talent pool, you need to promote your organisation as an attractive place to work. You must build the profile of your brand as an employer.

Allowing your exclusive IT recruitment partner to promote your employer brand in a consistent manner makes the recruitment process smarter, more efficient and, ultimately, more successful in delivering the skills you need.

Demand for digital skills is only going to increase in the coming months and years. Competition for IT and software development talent will remain fierce, and it is time for employers to think through their use of recruitment agencies.

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