IT Recruiter. Usually seen by programmers as spamming Linkedin’s e-mail inbox and often calling with unwanted job offers. Is it really so? How to disenchant the myth that recruiters are usually young, inexperienced and poorly educated employees who only care about their bonuses?

How to successfully recruit employees for positions in the IT industry?

We suggest what elements are worth paying attention to when starting recruitment, how to prepare for it and what tools may be useful.

1. Knowledge of technology

Even though it seems fundamental to me, knowledge of technology is not obvious to every recruiter. Although we should not expect recruiters to know all the details of programmers’ work, fluency in general discussions with software developers is essential.

Starting with the famous “Java is not JavaScript”, i.e. knowledge of programming languages, through the software development cycle to general information related to the work of programmers (work methodology, application architecture, testing) – the recruiter must be able to freely provide information on these topics. Without it, the entire IT employee recruitment performed may not be perceived as professional.

Of course, there are questions that IT recruiters might not answer. We are not informed when the code goes into production or what the OPS layer looks like. There is nothing wrong with admitting that you are ignorant then – you can ask the manager for such details or tell the candidate to do it himself during the interview with the technician. One of the main sins of recruiters is making unrealistic promises. Our knowledge should allow us to conduct an honest conversation with the candidate, describing the technical aspects of the role. Unfortunately, not every recruitment agency offers comprehensive implementation into the world of technology. The Internet is always open to us, full of valuable sources, such as: Dictionary of IT terms.

2. Sourcing on LinkedIn

When starting work on a recruitment project in the IT industry, let’s think where and how to look for candidates. In which companies there are similar teams in which we can find specialists? Which organizations are culturally closest to us? Use market mapping. I always start by looking at who in the company was employed in a similar position. Hence, the path is straightforward to develop a candidate profile.

How do I start sourcing? The easiest way is to “use” the acquired contacts. Browse through your friends on LinkedIn, check your internal candidate database, and reach out to people who’ve already been interested in a similar role. The next step is to choose the best source. When looking for candidates for junior positions, manual testers or business roles – you can try to use advertisements. For other roles, direct contact works best, especially Linkedin. If you use a Premium account, you can organize your sourcing fantastically by working in Linkedin recruitment projects. This and the ‘open for new opportunities’ option allow for much more effective sourcing of developers. This variant shows us a list of people considering new job offers. Having this information will give you a huge advantage over your competitors.

What if we don’t have such an account?

Without an expanded recruitment account, we can still organize sourcing on LinkedIn well. How? Start by building a contact database by adding friends to your network. I am a supporter of adding candidates that I know personally and have already had contact with them in connection with recruitment.

Do you have a database with telephone numbers? Call candidates directly! However, it’s best if you first send an email or message on LinkedIn, and then arrange a phone call. Then you can safely submit all the information related to the position and recruitment for the IT position.

3. Other Sourcing Sources Useful in Recruiting IT Workers

Every recruiter in IT has heard about pulling candidates out of the ground. So where from? There are other sources, although I approach them with a lot of reserve – I do not encourage the use of semi-legal plugins and bots. Sometimes, however, LinkedIn is not enough. So where to look? For example on Github and Stackoverflow. Developers use these platforms to share their projects with the world. Using keywords we find IT specialists in a given field. For this solution you need to be familiar with technologies – for example on Stackoverflow “Java” can be marked as “jdk”, “jre”, “j2se”. However, if you feel up to it, try searching with SQL .

Sourcing tool sources are plentiful. However, it is worth trying something new, because we may come across interesting solutions that will help us increase efficiency in more difficult projects.

4. Measuring the effectiveness of your work

Collecting data on recruitment is a very broad topic. We do not need information related to company-wide processes to implement our own system. Data on the number of contracted candidates or the number of recommendations are the basic measures of our effectiveness. Success rate , i.e.% of employees (from sent CVs) allows us to plan our work. Knowing that we employ on average one in 5 recommended Java developers, we get the information that we need 15 applicants to close 3 positions. Going further – we can calculate how many calls / emails / messages on Linkedin will allow us to get the number of CVs. There is no room for recruitment in IT “by feel”. Without data, we don’t even know whether we are becoming more effective as recruiters or the opposite.

The IT recruitment data has one more very important function. Experienced recruiters will surely associate clients with extremely high expectations. It is difficult to find a full-stack with great knowledge of the latest technologies (e.g. Spring, Hibernate and Angular) adding a requirement like knowledge of machine learning technologies. We can take up such a challenge, but most likely we will waste time looking for a profile of developers, of whom there are only a handful on the market. By collecting data, we can provide the customer with reliable information and influence changes in the profile they are looking for. Then the hiring manager can give up some requirements or leave them optional. Similarly, with the changes to the “forks”. We will not find a Java developer with many years of experience offering low salary and shift work. Based on a sufficiently large sample, we can present feedback to the hiring manager from the market and thus influence the implementation of changes.

Another advantage of collecting data is information about candidate sources and methods of contact . If 5 out of 100 candidates responded – we are doing something wrong. Maybe you should construct the message differently send the message again? Each specialization in IT has its own rules, so we will use different tools for different recruitments. But how do you know which will work without collecting data?

5. Knowledge of the market

“A good recruiter is known by how well he knows the market in which he is recruiting.” A good IT recruiter is one who shows a natural curiosity. He reads industry articles and is up to date with all reports. He knows what companies open on the market, where to look for good specialists. He goes to meet-ups and talks a lot with candidates. A competing company laid off its entire developer department? Your friend told you about organizational changes in his company? Such information is worth its weight in gold in the IT world. Thanks to them, it is easier to find people willing to talk to recruiters. Observe the market and cultivate this curiosity. Although it is easier for experienced recruiters, everyone should gather market information.

Technical news is also important. For example – when looking for a React Native technology developer, a good IT recruiter knows that it is a hybrid technology and how it differs from native technology. A very good recruiter in an interview with the candidate will know the arguments for / against both solutions. When it comes to new solutions such as Flutter or React Native, candidates tend to be skeptical. Only when we play the role of a candidate are we able to understand their concerns, answer questions and establish a partnership relationship.

6. Candidate experience and feedback

Changing jobs is a very important event in everyone’s life. Just remember your own recruitment. I still remember the nervousness accompanying the meetings and the stress of waiting for the recruitment result. What if no result ?

Recruiters carrying out projects for external clients will not always get feedback. We know there are situations that will delay the decision-making process. I understand the nervousness of candidates who do not receive feedback after the recruitment process is completed. In the context of technical positions, this is crucial – such feedback can shape the entire career of a programmer. We reject someone because they have no experience in working in an Agile environment? Does not speak English fluently? Can’t cope with distributed systems? Or maybe there were no objections to the technical aspects but there were problems with cultural fit? There can be many reasons for rejection. Each feedback is worth its weight in gold, because such information gives the candidate a clue on how to prepare for recruitment for the future and improve their skills.

In the IT world, candidates don’t accept the first better job. How they perceive the recruitment process – whether they have support from the company or receive feedback – may affect the final decision to accept the offer. Regardless, we should make sure that the candidate is informed about his status in the recruitment process. If we know the specificity of the client and we know that we will wait 2 weeks for the recruitment result, we should provide this information to the candidate and be in constant contact with him during this time.

7. Recruiter’s IT Personal Brand

I could write a lot about personal branding of recruiters – for the purposes of this article I will limit myself to what it is. In short, a personal brand is what the people say behind your back. How we are perceived by the external environment, both by famous people and by those with whom we are just establishing business relations. Associations your person awakens in others.

How to ensure good personal branding? By acting in line with the previous six points! How we work, whether we are effective, whether we are good partners for both clients and candidates – all these factors affect our brand. The candidate, efficiently guided through the process, will remember us positively, maybe he will come back to us one day. And will the person to whom we did not provide feedback, or we postponed the conversation 3 times be willing to start another cooperation? Remember that an element of personal branding is also how we present ourselves in social media and what network of contacts we have. A well-created profile on LinkedIn and active participation in industry events make us associated more closely with our profession, and that’s what we want.

An IT recruiter must be smart and willing to learn

The job of an IT recruiter is very demanding. Strong competition makes each project a challenge and each candidate – worth its weight in gold. Therefore, the most important thing is a qualitative approach to recruitment. Being a good recruiter means constantly learning and gaining new skills. The world of technology is changing very dynamically, and we, IT recruiters, should always be up to date. However, in order to be up to date, you must not stop reading. Therefore, the next entries in the series for IT recruiters will be released very soon – make sure you don’t miss them! Please visit our Facebook and Linkedin, where we keep you informed about the latest articles.

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