3 Tips for Recruiters

Posted on Monday August 19, 2013

If you are in the Tech Industry then you are no stranger to recruiters. Not a day goes by where I do not receive an email or a LinkedIn request from a recruiter who is hiring. Our Industry is extremely competitive and everyone is looking to hire the best.

Unfortunately, recruiters get things wrong most of the time. Instead of coming off as interested, they quickly come off as spammy. There is even a website dedicated to avoiding most recruiters.

Here are three tips I would give to any recruiter who is looking to hire in our industry.

1. Make It Personal

The worst recruiters copy and paste blanket emails to candidates with names swapped out via find and replace but great recruiters take the time to court potential candidates.

Let’s face it, we all want to be a part of a chase. Whether we are doing the chasing or being chased, it’s fun and exciting.

When I was trying to get the eye of my wife back in our dating days, I did not search the internet for a romantic email or date idea rather I took the time to think about her and made all of those things personal.

When you are pursuing candidates, try to gather as much information about them as you can. Read their blog and tweets to figure out what makes them tick.

If you find a candidate that is a huge New England Patriots fan, perhaps mail them a Patriots hat with a hand written note expressing your interest to talk and interview.

If that is too forward for you, shoot them an email noting a recent event they attended or were a part of. Anything you can do to make the first interaction personal will help you avoid the spam folder.

2. Know What You Are Asking For

Thankfully our industry is becoming less about buzzwords and more about substance. Recruiters actually know what a GitHub account is. But just because a person has GitHub account does not mean they are the right person for the position you are hiring.

Do a little homework here. Ask some detail about what the position requires whether that be programming languages, frameworks and how those match up with the required results.

From there, learn how to browse someone’s GitHub profile. Learn what a star is and how that indicates something good. Grab a few repositories the candidate has contributed to and ask a Developer to see what their thoughts are.

Just a little bit of work here will save you a lot of work on the backend, not to mention your employer the time of interviewing a candidate who is not the right one.

3. Don’t Ask Me To Do Your Job

We all know you get paid when someone is hired. By asking me to refer others to you implies that you are trying to get me to work for you for free.

If you want a reference from me, be willing to make it worth my time. Otherwise you just come off as a person who has some ends and they are looking for the means. Our interaction becomes a transaction and for most that is empty, shallow and not profitable.

I know this writing is a departure from the norm but I want this process to be better for everyone involved. If recruiters could take a moment and consider these three things, I think the conversation moves forward for everyone. What about you?