By: Heidi Lynn Kurter
Recruiters are typically naturally outgoing and extroverted individuals with the drive to find right fitting candidates for roles they’re trying to fill. Their ability to connect and build relationships is what makes them the best people for their job. While this comes naturally for common positions such as sales and customer-facing roles, the real challenge comes for technical driven positions. Candidates with technical backgrounds lean favorably on hard skills and often times are more introverted.
This poses a challenge for human resource professionals due to their lack of technical knowledge when it comes to sourcing and recruiting candidates. As the key point of contact, it’s crucial recruiters can build a relationship and share common ground with talent through technical knowledge.
Here are three secrets to capturing the attention and creating a lasting impression for today’s top tech talent
Position Yourself As An Expert
It’s easy to forget technical roles are by nature more introverted and less competitive. This common mistake can be detrimental to the reputation and success of a recruiter. When a prospective candidate senses a recruiter doesn’t know what they’re talking about and their only focus is making their quota, it creates tension between them and the recruiter.
Jeremy Rose, Director, Certa Hosting, asserts “ the most important aspect of a recruiter is understanding the people they’re going to recruit .” Being proactive and getting familiar with technical resources such as GitHub , LinkedIn LNKD +0%
In an industry where demand for tech talent is rapidly rising, recruiters should strive to stand out among their competition. Their goal should be positioning themselves as an expert in their field. They can start by taking advantage of LinkedIn Learning courses, conducting research and attending conferences and networking events to gain a deeper understanding of what they’re looking for. Staying up to date on trade publications is another way to stay abreast of the latest industry news and stay in the know. This has a dual effect as it keeps their name at the top of mind in the community while developing their skills as a recruiter.
Speak Their Language
Most talent with strong technical backgrounds aren’t actively seeking out new positions. This is because they’re already in high demand and have had the opportunity to make the choice of the type of company they want to work for, challenging recruiters and HR professionals to get creative with their approach when sourcing and prospecting. To find the best talent, recruiters have to put themselves directly in front of them. They can do this by attending hack-a-thons, industry events and leveraging networking tools such as LinkedIn.
Barbara Bruno led a LinkedIn Learning Course, “Technical Recruiting”, where she mentioned college graduates receive around 20 offers from companies putting their newly acquired tech skills in high demand. If recent college graduates are receiving a high volume of offers with little to no experience, one can only imagine the volume experienced professionals receive on a daily basis. This is typically why they keep their social media profiles vague, to keep the overwhelm of messages and requests out. If recruiters want to stand out from the other messages, they have to speak the candidate’s language and avoid an instant sales pitch.
Start by conducting background research on the candidate beyond their resume. Get familiar with their online portfolios, LinkedIn profiles, GitHub activity and weave in the information gained into the initial pitch. Capture their attention making them want to learn more. Once they engage and show they’re interested, use a “what’s in it for me” approach by selling them on how valuable their experience and background is and how this position is a better fit for them based on their needs.
An often-overlooked strategy is asking current employees for referrals. Current employees have a network of talent sitting right inside of their social circle. Asking for an introduction helps bridge the gap and eliminate time wasted by putting quality candidates right in front of them.
Empower Efficiency with Automation
To help strengthen the role of the recruiter in business, companies should prioritize the investment into tools and resources that support the internal network of their HR team. Most HR professionals fear artificial intelligence (AI) will replace them but Head of Business Development at GetICV, Amit Mizrahi, counters this myth asserting AI helps “empower recruiters to focus on what really matters – finding the right cultural fit for the company and having the best people onboarding for teams.”
Automating HR practices and partnering with AI can increase sourcing and recruiting efficiency by finding and connecting to the best talent quickly, providing screening solutions freeing up recruiter’s time and utilizing systems, keywords and processes without the need for extensive tech knowledge.
Resumes are filled with dozens of technical terms but when it comes down to a candidate’s actual amount of experience in each skill, typically they’ve barely scratched the surface. Most people believe they’re more qualified than they really are. It’s important to ask the right questions and filter out the qualified from the inexperienced. Software programs and tests can assist in thoroughly assessing skillsets to determine which skills they’re proficient in and if they’re aligned with the skillset required for the position.
Technical recruiting is a sales position. It requires recruiters to perform various duties with a strong emphasis on selling the benefits, culture and position to a candidate that is most likely being sought after by competitors. To be the best tech recruiter, it requires a fierce dedication to understanding the language and technology and being able to confidently speak about it in a way that relates to the candidate.
Recruiters should strive to build and maintain a strong reputation in the industry where talent is naturally attracted to them deeming them the recruiter of choice. They can do this by building a community and positioning themselves as an expert by staying on top of tech trends, attending events and remaining visible with daily content and articles posted to their social media pages.
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