Nearly one in three tech workers in the UK and Ireland find new jobs through a recruiter, according to new data from Stack Overflow.

Interestingly, personal contacts is the second largest source (18%) of new roles for developers, despite the stereotype that they’re not people’s people.

Job-seeking method Percentage
An external recruiter or headhunter 30.9%
A friend, family member, or former colleague 18%
A general purpose job board 13.4%
I was contacted directly by someone at the company (e.g. internal recruiter) 11.5%
Some other way 8.8%
Company website 6.7%
A career fair or on-campus recruiting event 6.1%
A tech-specific job board 4.6%

Stack Overflow data also reveals that tech workers switch jobs far more rapidly than the national average. While most British workers change jobs on average once every five years, over half (52.9%) of developers surveyed by Stack Overflow reported changing job in the past two years:

Last new job Percentage
Less than a year ago 32.5%
Between 1 and 2 years ago 20.4%
Between 2 and 4 years ago 20.9%
More than 4 years ago 23.8%
Not applicable / never 2.6%

Kevin Troy, Director of Insights at Stack Overflow, comments: “This data underlines the importance of recruiters to the job hunting process for tech workers. What’s really important is that recruiters and HR managers understand what matters the most to tech workers in the UK and Ireland, and adapt their processes to reflect that.

In many ways developers are no different from other specialist workers: they find jobs through their professional network and value personalised, one-to-one communication. Most of them would rather have a decent amount of paid holiday rather than gimmicks like bean-bags or ping-pong tables.”

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