IT Hiring is Moving Full-Steam Ahead but More Tech Candidates are Rejecting Offers

By Chelsea Babin

IT employment has grown steadily by 2.88 percent since May 2013 and Mark Roberts, CEO of TechServe Alliance doesn’t see that ending anytime soon. Roberts said the, “demand for IT and engineering talent will remain robust for the foreseeable future.”

As job opportunities grow, IT professionals are experiencing one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country. In the first quarter of 2014, the unemployment rate for Information Technology professionals stood at a mere 2.7 percent. With a wealth of job openings and a shortage unemployed talent, competition for talented technical candidates is fierce. 32 percent of hiring managers and recruiters said more tech candidates are rejecting offers compared to 6 months ago. Why so many rejections?

One factor contributing to these rejections is a traditional hiring process that moves too slowly for such a competitive market. Some candidates are put through a phone screening, a technical interview, an initial in person interview and a final interview before an offer is made. While this extensive process may be thorough, it takes a lot of time. During this time a candidate may be interviewing at other companies. Offer rejections are likely if the initial company doesn’t stack up or is simply too slow to the offer.

As employment opportunity grows, not all IT professionals are eager to leave their current roles. One third of corporate hiring managers said technology professionals were leaving their current positions this year, a decrease from 42 percent leaving their positions in 2013. The reduction of candidates willing to leave their current companies coupled with employment growth is creating ample opportunity for the few IT professionals taking interviews. This often results in multiple interview, multiple offer situations. When a candidate receives multiple offers at least one offer will be rejected, possibly all offers if the candidate is already employed. They’ll compare the offers, their current position, and what they want out of a new opportunity and choose the best option for themselves.

Offer rejections may be based on the position’s lack of growth potential, benefits, or competitive salary. 59 percent of hiring managers say their positions are going unfilled based on the salary guidelines for the job. In such a competitive marketplace, 61 percent of candidates are asking for more money than they would have six months ago. Signs show this upward pressure on compensation will continue through 2014. Offering a competitive salary has become a necessity in IT in 2014.

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