Over 70% of HR managers look for experience first to fill IT posts

More than seven out of 10 HR managers look for on the job experience when filling IT vacancies, with just 4% sourcing candidates through universities, research has shown.

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More than seven out of 10 HR managers look for on the job experience when filling IT vacancies, with just 4% sourcing candidates through universities, research has shown.

The survey of HR managers at 100 UK firms by IT staffing and services company FDM found that they rated experience far more highly than computing degrees, with 72% citing experience as the key factor. Only 12% said they would look to fill IT vacancies with an IT graduate given the choice.

Specialist IT recruitment companies were the preferred source of new IT talent, cited by a third of the HR managers, with 28% preferring to find candidates through online advertising and 7% choosing generic recruitment firms.

The businesses showed little interest in professional technical awards, with three quarters of the HR managers dismissing certifications in Java .NET and the Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer qualification.

FDM chief executive Rod Flavell said: “Antiquated syllabuses and ten year-old case studies simply don't cut it - especially in a fast moving sector like IT. It's time for the education sector to blow the dust off its courses and bring them up-to-speed with the needs of modern business.”

Businesses should engage with education providers to try to “sculpt” courses into something more useful, he added.

The survey findings also offered hints for IT professionals seeking new jobs. It found that applicants badly needed to improve their interview techniques, with 75% of HR managers noting that IT candidates had stronger CVs than interview skills.

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