Recruiting Tips for Recruiters

Posted on Wednesday, May 13, 2020 in eng-mgmt

Since I started my professional life, several years ago, I've dealt with technical recruiters, that's great, right? I'm able to improve my quality of life, grow in a career path, and pursue interesting projects.

Unfortunately, my day to day experience with recruiters is not always great, usually, it takes a lot of time to filter interesting offers from less interesting ones. Based on my experience, I'll try and give a few hints on what makes the recruiting/sourcing process more enjoyable for engineers, engineering managers, product managers, and UX specialists, and hopefully with better results for recruiters.

Instead of ranting about a specific situation on Twitter, I thought it might be useful to describe what "good recruiting" looks like for me.

Let's start:

  1. Do your homework: most engineers and engineering managers I know maintain some kind of blog, Github profile, or LinkedIn profile. Some engineers give talks at local Meetups. They have invested a lot of time publicly sharing some of their work. It is nice to deal with recruiters that have taken their time reviewing that public information if recruiting is a numbers game, you'll drastically increase your chance of screening the right candidates if you do a little research beforehand. And... please, please, please, get the name right in your first contact you wouldn't believe me how many recruiters call me by another name...

  2. Be expressive with the job description: No, I'm not interested in a position I know nothing about, giving out my number to "know more", is not practical to anyone. Tell as much as you can about the position, the team, the kind of projects. The more information a possible candidate knows about the position the more interested (or not) they can be about continue the selection process. You want a software engineer to work on the frontend with React in a team of three? Say so. Do you want to fill a management position? Tell about the project, the team, the stakeholders. We all value our time, the more information you can give in your first contacts the better for everyone.

  3. Mention the company you're recruiting for: This might sound silly, but unless it is obvious who your employer is, it is important to mention the company that you're recruiting for. People usually want to research the company online. If you "don't reveal" the company you're recruiting for, it looks shady and for most of us that's an automated "no follow".

    2.1 What about the phone screen? The phone screen comes in after the candidate is interested in "knowing more" about the position or project, not before. I have received tens of messages from recruiters that demand my phone number before they give me any information about the position they want to fill. If you want to do a quick phone screen, mention it as part of the general information about the position you give in your first contact.

  4. Understand the position you're trying to fill: It is a common mistake to ask candidates for +5 years experience in technologies that have existed only for two years or to confuse Java with Javascript. You must understand the position so you can ask the right questions and don't seem clueless to candidates. The more you understand the position, the more questions you can answer... which takes me to the next point.

  5. Be present: You must accompany the candidates through the process, just finding a possible candidate is only the first step. Be there to answer the questions the candidate could have about the process, explain the selection process so there are no doubts, and give useful feedback if the candidate is not selected for any reason. Remember, you are the face of the company you work for, a good recruiting experience leaves the candidate excited to work with you. Just don't disappear.

  6. Be excited about the project: Some recruiters don't show any excitement or interest in the position they're recruiting for... I'm sorry, but if it isn't important to you, why should I be interested?

  7. What's the compensation package/salary range: Let's face it, money is important, people want to know if it is worth it to do a selection process and to invest time in interviews. If you're aware that your compensation package is lower than others, I'm sure the company would have a way to balance that. Don't be obscure with salary ranges.

We could resume all these tips with a simple one Respect everybody's time.

Is there any other tip you think is important? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks Chris for taking your time proofreading this article.