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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Asking candidates questions is the best way to learn to speak tech (TDD, Microservices, Docker, etc.). Also, give GlossaryTech a shot.
- Laziness and ego are sometimes integral parts of a developer's psyche. Accept differences.
- Try to be unique in your outreach to tech candidates. LinkedIn InMails? Nope! Every day, about 200 new resumes are created on GitHub alone.
- Tech recruitment is not rocket science, but mastering all aspects of the industry will take a chunk of time.
- 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.
- Being quick to reply, sharing feedback, or sending a job offer is your responsibility, not your competitive advantage.
- 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.
- It's certainly possible to build a strong personal brand as a tech recruiter. Just go beyond posts saying "Our company is hiring…"
- The best way to source software engineers is to support the communities they care about.
- Technology doesn't stand still; neither should you. No matter your experience, always consider yourself a student, and continue learning.
- 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.
- 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.
- Last but not least, treating your potential hires with respect is always a winning strategy!