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IT recruitment agencies: what they are and how they work

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IT recruitment agencies have gained prominence as IT job opportunities have surged in Europe and beyond. Over the past decade, the number of employed ICT specialists in the EU has grown by 57.8%, a rate nearly seven times higher than the overall employment increase of 8.8%.

We’ve prepared this article to shed light on how IT recruitment agencies work, demystifying some of the processes that may seem complex and confusing on the surface. We’ll look at the reasons why businesses and candidates choose to work with these agencies and go through the typical steps of a tech recruitment project.

What is an IT recruitment agency?

An IT or tech recruitment agency specializes in connecting tech professionals with job opportunities at companies that require IT talent.

On the client side, an IT recruitment agency works with various companies seeking IT professionals for different roles, including startups, small businesses, and large corporations.

On the candidate side, the agency's recruiters search for IT specialists to add to their candidate database and find the best open positions for them.

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What does a technical or IT recruiter do?

Technical or IT recruiters serve as a bridge between employers seeking IT talent and job seekers with the needed technical skills and qualifications.

Key responsibilities and activities of a technical or IT recruiter include:

  • Candidate sourcing. Recruiters actively search for potential IT candidates through various channels, such as job sites, social media, professional networks, and internal databases, identifying individuals with the qualifications needed for specific IT roles. They also build and maintain relationships with IT professionals for future recruitment needs.

  • Screening and evaluation. Tech recruiters assess candidates through resume reviews and interviews, evaluating technical skills, work experience, educational background, and cultural fit with the hiring company.

  • Interview coordination. Recruiters schedule interviews, provide interview tips, and facilitate communication between candidates and client companies.

  • Technical assessments. Sometimes, recruiters may conduct or facilitate technical evaluations or tests to verify a candidate's proficiency in specific programming languages, tools, or technologies.

  • Offer negotiation. IT recruiters often assist in negotiating salary, benefits, and other employment terms between the candidate and the client, ensuring a mutually satisfactory offer is made.

  • Compliance and administration: Tech recruiters handle administrative tasks related to recruitment, including background checks, reference checks, and onboarding.

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Why do companies use IT recruitment agencies?

Companies can choose to work with an IT recruitment agency for both temporary and permanent staffing needs. There are many reasons why businesses choose to work with IT recruitment agencies – instead of individual recruiters or their own HR departments:

  • Access to a broader talent pool. IT recruitment agencies maintain extensive databases of pre-screened IT professionals from a number of countries. This lets them quickly identify and connect companies with suitable candidates, including passive job seekers.

  • Time savings. IT recruitment agencies handle job postings, resume screening, and conducting interviews, allowing the company's internal HR and hiring teams to focus on their primary responsibilities. Also, IT recruitment agencies have a network of available candidates, which can help companies fill positions more quickly.

  • IT expertise. Tech recruitment agencies deeply understand the skills and qualifications required for various IT roles, which is particularly beneficial when hiring for highly technical positions.

  • Confidentiality. In some cases, companies may need to keep job openings confidential; IT recruitment agencies can maintain discretion throughout the hiring process.

  • Market insights. A professional IT recruitment agency can provide companies with insights into the current salary trends, competitive intelligence, and other job market-related information that can inform their hiring strategies.

  • Higher headhunting success rate. Recruitment agencies are more skilled and experienced in headhunting, which is often the quickest and most viable hiring method for winning the fierce battle for highly qualified IT employees.

  • Better hires and higher retention. IT recruitment agencies are skilled in candidate assessment and can reduce the risk of making a bad hire. Agencies can also enhance employee retention by ensuring candidates are a good fit for the company culture and values.

Companies can choose to work with local or international tech recruitment agencies, which differ in the scope of their operations and the range of opportunities they can offer. The choice between the two depends on the company’s business needs, geographical reach, and cultural and linguistic preferences.

The unique benefit of IT recruitment agency MateHR is that our work combines the best aspects of local and international recruitment agencies. We work on a global scale, but we partner with local recruiters in many regions, thus bringing the in-depth knowledge of individual local markets to the table.

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Why do candidates use IT recruitment agencies?

Most IT recruitment agencies operate as headhunters, meaning they approach candidates, not vice versa. However, once the contact is established, highly skilled IT candidates benefit from cooperating with tech recruiters for many reasons:

  • Market insights. IT recruitment agencies can provide the candidate with insights into the current salary trends, in-demand skills, employee benefits, and insider information about the work environment in different companies.

  • Time savings. Job search can be time-consuming, involving researching job openings, submitting applications, and attending interviews. IT recruitment agencies present candidates with opportunities that match their skills and preferences, saving them time and effort.

  • Guidance and recommendations. Tech recruiters can consult the candidates on resume optimization, interview preparation, and career development. They can help candidates present themselves more effectively to potential employers.

  • A wider range of opportunities. IT recruitment agencies have connections with multiple client companies, offering IT specialists access to a broader range of job opportunities than they might find through traditional job searches.

  • Matching with ideal employers. IT recruitment agencies can match candidates with companies that align with their values, work culture, and long-term career objectives.

  • Confidentiality. Candidates who are currently employed and exploring new job opportunities may appreciate the confidentiality that recruitment agencies can provide. Agencies can conduct job searches discreetly, helping candidates avoid potential conflicts with their current employers.

  • Reduced chance of ghosting. Tech recruiters continuously communicate with the hiring company, keeping the hiring process active and asking for regular updates. Thus, the risk of employer ghosting is reduced to a minimum.

  • Offer mediation. IT recruitment agencies can assist candidates with negotiating salary, benefits, and other employment terms. They act as intermediaries to ensure candidates receive competitive and fair compensation packages.

  • Relocation support. International IT recruitment agencies can provide valuable information and practical help in cases where candidates need to relocate for a new position.

Young lady in an on-site job interview in an office

What are the general steps of an IT recruitment project?

An IT recruitment project typically involves several key steps to successfully identify, attract, evaluate, and hire the right IT professionals for a job opening.

  1. Client consultation.

The client company or organization discusses its staffing needs with the recruitment agency. This includes defining the job role, qualifications, experience, required skills, and specific preferences or cultural fit considerations.

  1. Job analysis and profile creation.

Based on the client's requirements, the IT recruitment agency creates a detailed job profile outlining the position's responsibilities, qualifications, and expectations.

  1. Sourcing strategy.

IT recruiters determine the best approach to sourcing tech candidates. This can involve posting job vacancies on job boards, social media, the company's website and using their existing IT candidate database.

  1. Candidate sourcing.

Recruiters search for potential candidates through various channels, including job boards, professional networks, social media, and referrals. They may also reach out to passive candidates who aren’t actively job-seeking.

  1. Candidate screening and evaluation.

Resumes and applications are reviewed, and IT recruiters conduct initial screenings to assess candidates' qualifications and motivation. Some candidates may be invited for in-depth interviews.

  1. Technical assessments.

Depending on the role, candidates may undergo technical assessments or tests to evaluate their proficiency in specific technologies or skills relevant to the position.

  1. Candidate shortlisting.

Tech recruiters identify and shortlist candidates who meet the job requirements and align with the client's preferences and culture.

  1. Client presentation.

The shortlisted candidates are presented to the client for review. This may include sharing resumes, interview notes, and technical assessment results.

  1. Interview coordination.

It recruiters schedule interviews between the client and the shortlisted candidates, providing both parties with necessary details and interview guidance.

  1. Interview feedback and selection.

The client provides feedback on the candidates they interviewed and selected for further consideration.

  1. Reference and background checks.

Recruiters conduct reference and background checks on the selected tech candidate(s) to verify their work history, qualifications, and character.

  1. Offer negotiation.

Once a candidate is chosen, recruiters assist in negotiating the terms of employment, including salary, benefits, start date, and any other contract details.

  1. Offer acceptance.

The selected candidate accepts the offer, and the recruitment team ensures all necessary documentation is completed, such as employment contracts and legal requirements.

  1. Onboarding.

Recruiters may assist with onboarding, helping the candidate complete necessary paperwork, and ensuring a smooth transition into the new role.

  1. Project evaluation.

After the recruitment project is completed, the recruitment team and the client may evaluate the process, discussing what went well and identifying areas for improvement.

Working with an IT recruitment agency – the fastest way to hire

While Europe continues to deal with regional economic and geopolitical issues, skilled tech professionals are still in high demand. IT recruitment agencies help to bridge the gap between companies seeking IT talent and IT professionals looking for job opportunities.

The MateHR model with local recruiters in 40 countries allows companies to access the IT talent pool much more efficiently than any single agency. Get in touch, and we’ll find the most suitable recruitment strategy for your business needs.


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