IT recruitment has always been a lucrative business. Presently, the demand for developers and other tech professionals is increasing, and the industry anticipates it will rise further over the next ten years. Such demand presents a great opportunity for agency based technical recruiters to earn sizable commission cheques on top of their salaries.
That said, many newbie consultants are put off going into tech recruiting for various reasons, but that needn’t be the case. This article looks at the perceived obstacles to becoming a successful technical recruiter and how to overcome them. More importantly, we give our top tips on how to thrive in this compelling career.
Our Top 10 Tips for Becoming a Successful Technical Recruiter
1 – Don’t Be Afraid of the Jargon
Every recruitment sector has its quirks. Likewise, each client you deal with has a unique company culture and each job role requires a different skill set. In this respect recruiting for the technology sector is no different to any other. In fact, to a certain extent, the jargon you will come across when filling jobs in the tech sector can make things easier.
For example, the programming languages used by software developers can look pretty frightening to a complete newbie. However, the computer languages used by developers are pretty standard. Once you’ve learnt what they are, you will find yourself coming across the same languages for similar, future roles. Therefore, filling your first vacancy might be a challenge, but your job will likely become much easier over time.
2 – Accept That Every Day Will be a School Day
Technology moves at a fast pace, and so, therefore, will the tech skills your clients require. Therefore, when hiring developers and software engineers, you will need to stay up to date with the latest technological developments.
Stack Overflow is where talented tech professionals go to ask questions and share learning experiences. So if you have any questions that you’re too afraid to ask, you may find the answers by searching here. Even the most experienced recruiters will tell you that they learn something new in their job every day.
3 – Know Your Candidate
To find great technical talent, you need to know who they are and what makes them tick. So before you pick up the phone or login to LinkedIn to begin talking to potential candidates, take a step back. You must first understand what your ideal candidate looks like, their interests, motivations and so on. We often call this a candidate persona, and it will help you know where to look.
In the current market, where top tech talent is scarce, you will likely need to compromise somewhere. However, having a clear picture in your mind from the outset will give you a good starting point.
4 – Build Relationships
Most of an IT Recruitment Consultant’s job is about gathering the facts they need to match their candidate’s ambitions with their client’s requirements. People are generally more willing to part with this information if they like who they are speaking to. Therefore, it’s essential to build rapport with your candidates and clients.
An easy way to do this is to find common ground with the individuals you’re working with. Of course, you have a job to do, but making small talk can really help you as a technical recruiter.
Only discussing the content of people’s CVs day in and day out can become incredibly dull very quickly. However, people give away many details about what’s important to them when making small talk. So don’t be afraid to ask people how their weekend was or what kind of day they’re having. You never know where friendly chit chat might lead!
5 – Ask Lots of Questions
Being a technical recruiter involves asking lots of questions about the candidate’s current circumstances and future career aspirations. The more thorough your questioning, the better chance you stand of making a successful placement.
6 – Don’t be Scared of Making Mistakes
Everyone makes mistakes in recruitment, especially early on in their career, but this isn’t always such a bad thing. We all learn from experience, and making mistakes merely presents us with an opportunity to learn.
The important thing is that as soon as you realise you’ve mucked up, own up to it and ask for help asap. Remember: the mistakes we make in recruitment can have an impact on someone else’s career. Nobody will think any less of you for messing up but not owning up to it can cause big problems.
7 – Focus on Facts Rather Than Cliches
Avoid telling candidates that your job is a ‘fantastic opportunity to work in a ‘dynamic environment’; it just won’t wash. Instead, focus on the facts and let the candidate make up their own mind.
For example, what have previous employees at this company gone on to achieve later in their career? Alternatively, if it’s a new position, what kind of projects will they be working on if they accept this role? If you don’t know this kind of information, pick up the phone and speak to your client: They will be glad to see you’re taking such an interest in their vacancy.
8 – Never Assume Anything
Novice recruiters often seek excuses not to pick up the phone and call candidates. For example, if a job seems too far for them to travel to or too much of a step up.
But how do you know the answers to these questions if you don’t ask? What’s more, how frustrating will it be to learn of a competing consultant placing that candidate in the same job that you overlooked them for? Losing a candidate to a rival agency is a scenario we see all the time in recruitment. However, it’s easy to avoid if you pick up the phone and ask a simple question.
9 – Get Creative
Many talented professionals avoid LinkedIn simply because they get hounded by recruiters! Therefore, you may sometimes need to think outside the box to know where to find them. Thinking creatively in situations like this is what separates the successful recruiters from the average. Don’t worry, there are many tools of the trade that can help you find the tech talent you’re looking for.
10 – Understand the Job Description
When you get a job description from a client, it will often give a brief overview of the successful candidate’s job role and list specific skills and attributes they should have. That is often where it ends.
A list of wants from your client is not enough information for you to successfully sell the role to a candidate – and most likely why your client can’t fill it themselves! The thing is, people won’t switch jobs for what a company wants from them. Potential candidates will also want to know how the company will reward them and what their workplace culture is like.
If you receive a job description that’s missing vital information, pick up the phone and have a conversation with your client.
A Few Final Thoughts on Becoming a Successful Technical Recruiter
Technical recruitment is no different than recruiting for any other sector. Sure, it comes with its own jargon, but so does any other industry, such as healthcare or construction. The main attraction to tech recruitment is the salaries we deal with are higher than in many other professions. In turn, this means there is the potential for successful technical recruiters to earn a bigger chunk of commission with every placement they make.
We are always looking for ambitious individuals who are interested in tech recruitment. You can find out here more about what it’s like to be part of our team, or why not pick up the phone and let’s chat?
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