Firms use new tactics in IT talent war

IT-dependent firms are increasingly advertising themselves to prospective workers before jobs actually fall vacant, says an agency that specialises in producing employment ads.

IT-dependent firms are increasingly advertising themselves to prospective workers before jobs actually fall vacant, says an agency that specialises in producing employment ads.

The Auckland-based Haines agency says traditionally recruitment was "reactive" in the sense that firms would only place a recruitment ad when they had a vacancy to fill. Now they are as likely to place ads to build brand loyalty and create "talent pools" for when they have a vacancy to fill.

Haines places "generic" advertisements for large-scale corporates, including Telecom, Vodafone, South Auckland Health and McDonald's, and smaller firms such as electronics companies. Haines operations director Vaughan Bradley says the shift is part of business efforts to “win the talent war” and create the impression they are great places to work. He says firms are also increasingly sponsoring students, offering internments, and will try almost anything to boost a company’s image to prospective IT candidates.

To reflect the shift in the job market, Haines has split itself into several divisions: Haines Evoke for employment branding campaigns, Haines E-Recruitment for online candidate management, Haines Express for advertisement production and placement and and nzjobs.co.nz, the company's online jobs board.

Partnering with US-based Hire.com, the agency resells an e-recruitment software product to help large organisations build "talent pools" through candidates filling in online profiles.

“What we do is profiles. CVs are a historic document, a marketing tool. Often the best candidates don’t have CVs as they are happy with their job, but they might take a minute out to fill in a profile [online],” says Bradley. “The average recruiting cycle was 60-90 days. E-recruitment cuts this by half or two-thirds."

Bradley says the Haines e-recruitment tool, launched two years ago, is used by Telecom, South Auckland Health and BNZ.

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