Like many commission-based jobs, technical recruiting has a pretty low barrier to entry. Everything you need to know you can probably learn on the job and the payouts can be huge. At the same time, however, it is not an easy field to be successful in, in much the same way that consistent, high magnitude successes in sales are difficult. Confound that difficulty with the terror that comes with striking out on your own, and you’re in for a bumpy ride. Below, I’ll share the most salient things I’ve learned in the process of working as an IT recruiter.
Understand the tech position you are looking to fill
The first problem for many HR professionals and recruiters is understanding tech positions. HR professionals and recruiters who don’t have a tech background often struggle with understanding which skills are essential for a specific tech position they are looking to fill.
For example, do you need a back-end, front-end, or full-stack developer? What are the most important skills this developer should have? As the recruiter, you must know exactly which skills and experience you are looking for in your ideal candidate.
Once you’ve defined the most important skills for your open tech position, you need to write a perfect job description.
Get a good understanding of your candidates
The relationship between developers and recruiters is a rocky one because these two professional groups are very different from each other. To be successful in finding, attracting and hiring the best tech talent, you have to understand them. What is your ideal candidate like? You will find that out in the process of defining your candidate persona. Here is some additional information you might find useful!
- According to Stack Overflow’s Global Survey: Over 90% of tech talent is male
- About 3/4ths of professional developers are younger than 35
- Almost 90% of developers said they have taught themselves a new language outside of their formal education
- 57% of developers have less than 5 years of professional coding experience.
- Almost 90% of developers check in their code via Git
- Over 90% of developers are employed at least part-time
- Frequent job changes for developers are the norm – about half of developers have taken a new job within the past 2 years.
Invest in tooling as much as possible.
A lot of what you do in this business is administrative work. Anything you can invest in that will cut down on the manual aspect is going to save you time and keep you from forgetting stuff. Some of my favorite tools:
Trello is a task management app that gives you a visual overview of what is being worked on and who is working on it. It is best represented as a whiteboard filled with post-it notes. Each post-it represents a different task involved in the project.
Boomerang – this email tool will make you look to the world like you’re on top of it, even if you’re crumbling slowly on the inside.
Evernote – the be-all and end-all of note-taking. For the love of god, don’t take notes in a physical notebook. I did it for a while because I was worried about people hating hearing typing sounds over the phone. Taking notes you can’t search later is dumb.
Having an engineering background is hugely beneficial.
Even if you didn’t study it in school, take some time and take some online courses just to get an appreciation for what engineers do every day. The effects won’t be obvious immediately, but it’s going to change how you sound when you talk, give you more credibility, and set you apart from your competition.
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