Best practices in recruiting result in a competitive advantage in business. Effective technical recruiters find the best candidates before competitors in the least amount of time, attract diverse workers, develop a strong candidate pipeline, stay in contact with top candidates, and save money. Top results like these require top recruiting practices.
Social media, advances in recruiting technology, and the Internet have all made technical recruiters jobs easier and more complicated at the same time. Recruiters have more ways to reach out and find, contact, and engage top candidates, but may still fall victim to some bad recruiting habits that should be avoided.
I recently had a conversation with a Java Developer named Ronnie. I asked him to tell me, from his perspective as a candidate, what annoys him about technical recruiters. See if you recognize these bad habits in your recruiting practices: not giving enough detail about the position, not getting back to candidates after interviews, not preparing candidates before sending them to interview with hiring managers.
Inquiring Minds Want to Know
Here is what Ronnie had to say about the need for details:
“If you’re like most busy technical recruiters, you may be happy to track me down as a top IT candidate for a rush job order and contact me as soon as possible.
That’s usually cool with me. I love hearing about new opportunities and exploring my options, although some of my co-workers don’t like recruiter solicitations. I don’t mind them at all. I like to hear about what’s out there and know that I’ve got the attention of people who need my skills and experience.
But when I take the time to talk to a recruiter, it’s because I’m curious, I’m interested, and I want to know about the opening. I want to know a lot more than just surface information like technical terms, job titles, and essential functions.
I assume that best practices for technical recruiters include engaging candidates and building relationships with them, which is the opposite of what just reading a job description to me will achieve. With so many ways to learn about and communicate with candidates like me, including LinkedIn, Facebook, Stack Overflow, GitHub, and many other social aggregators, technical forums, and social media platforms, please give me detailed information about the job. I want to know things like what the company culture is like, what kinds of projects the person in the position would work on, and how big or small the work group is.”
Don’t Leave Me Hanging!
“Technical recruiters, please don’t disappear after you contact me and I’ve gone through an initial interview with you or your team. It’s very frustrating to take the time with a technical recruiter and then be left hanging to wonder if this was a waste of my time or a legitimate employment opportunity. Let me know why I’m not a good fit for your job at least, instead of just never calling again. If you don’t get input from your team or your hiring manager about my initial interaction with your company, I will think a lot of things about you as one of the technical recruiters who contacted me and my decision to try to work with you to explore the opportunity, and they probably won’t be good things.
When technical recruiters don’t follow up with me shortly after our initial interaction, I may lose interest in the opening or figure that I’ve lost it anyway because you haven’t stayed in good communication with me. Or I may end up calling you to follow up and then regretting it, because I’ll feel like I’m going to look desperate or needy. None of these are good things for the relationship. And I may end up talking to my friends and colleagues about it, or writing about it online for others to read.
Good communication is the best way technical recruiters can build a relationship with me as a top IT candidate, even if I pass on your current opening.”
Don’t Leave Me Unprepared
Ronnie concluded with the following:
“When I make the decision to work with technical recruiters, talk to you on the phone, interview with you and your team, and get the go ahead to interview with the hiring manager, I still need something from you: preparation. Help me prepare for the interview with the hiring manager by giving me the job requirements and job description so I know what programming languages are required.
I also need to know the expectations for the person in the position when technical recruiters send me to interview. If I’m a hard-core developer with no designs on management, but the position requires someone with leadership experience looking for advancement opportunities, and that will come out in the interview. Then either I or the hiring manager or possibly both of us will be disappointed and not think highly of you.”
Ronnie, on behalf of me and all of the other technical recruiters out there, thanks for the words of wisdom. We shall try to do the right thing and make you proud!
Andrew Greenberg’s roots in recruiting date back to 1996. He has experience both on the agency-side and corporate-side of the staffing business, with a focus in the financial services space at companies like Bloomberg and UBS. He also has core experience with information technology staffing, and has worked for major software companies such as SAP Business Objects and IBM/Informix Software. To get in touch with Andrew, you can reach him by email or by phone at (800) 797-6160.