I'm by no means old, but I have been in tech recruitment for many years. I remember the days when I had to outreach to candidates via ICQ.

Here are the 15 lessons I've learned about tech recruiting over the past decade:

  1. As a tech recruiter, one should be passionate about technology but must also love working with people. The rest can be learned…with time & practice.
  2. Most tech talent are passive candidates. Ergo, do not take rejections or radio silence personally. Assume that 95% of your messages/emails will go unanswered and go on from there. 
  3. Asking candidates questions is the best way to learn to speak tech (TDD, Microservices, Docker, etc.). Also, give GlossaryTech a shot.
  4. Laziness and ego are sometimes integral parts of a developer's psyche. Accept differences.
  5. Try to be unique in your outreach to tech candidates. LinkedIn InMails? Nope! Every day, about 200 new resumes are created on GitHub alone.
  6. Tech recruitment is not rocket science, but mastering all aspects of the industry will take a chunk of time.
  7. Sometimes negative connotations of recruiters can work in your favor. To "wow" candidates, you simply need to do your job slightly better, (or perhaps just differently), than your colleagues.
  8. Being quick to reply, sharing feedback, or sending a job offer is your responsibility, not your competitive advantage.
  9. Understanding the people who code, (their expectations, motives, etc.), will help you with your job. Knowing how to write a piece of code is a "nice to have" skill.
  10. It's certainly possible to build a strong personal brand as a tech recruiter. Just go beyond posts saying "Our company is hiring…"
  11. The best way to source software engineers is to support the communities they care about.
  12. Technology doesn't stand still; neither should you. No matter your experience, always consider yourself a student, and continue learning.
  13. Knowing what "ATS," "employer branding," "hiring funnel," and other industry-specific terms mean doesn't make you a good recruiter. You must be able to fill technical roles.
  14. Don't consider a tech recruiter role as the easiest "entrance" to the booming internet industry. Like any other profession, recruitment requires specific knowledge and skills. The devil is in the details.
  15. Last but not least, treating your potential hires with respect is always a winning strategy!


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Andrew Stetsenko
HR-Tech entrepreneur with a coding background. Founder of products like Relocate.me, CV Compiler, and GlossaryTech. I started working as a Tech Recruiter in 2009. I remember the days when I had to outreach to developers via ICQ :) In my off time, I'm a long-distance swimmer and coffee taster.