What is The Job of an IT Recruiter?
Working as a recruiter can be a hectic but highly enjoyable role for the right person. There are a lot of daily tasks involved and if being compared with other sectors, is like a mixture of HR and
sales together. In this job the main outcome essentially is to match the right candidates with the right job, but the hiring manager for the company makes the final hire decision.
First off - Job Opportunities
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The first activity of a recruiter is to secure access to a role within a company that you can actively work on. This either happens when an existing client calls with a demand for a specific
skill set, or by finding the job via business development tactics or referrals.
Once you’ve got a client that needs help with a role, now you must get as much useful information as possible in order to help you with the sourcing. It is usually at this stage that you would have a screening call with the hiring manager and ask questions around specific technologies, requirements, salary, aims of hire, projected start date etc.
Having had a detailed conversation with the hiring manager regarding their hire needs for the role, now you can make better decisions when you begin to dive into the sourcing.
Finding the talent for tech companies
As you’ve now got a deep understanding of the job at hand, your attention must turn to the market and begin your engagements with numerous potential candidates. There are various
ways to find talented professionals, each bringing their own successes depending on how effectively you use them.
- Advertising - Obvious, but important. Using jobs boards such as LinkedIn, Indeed & Monster to post adverts on is an excellent way of finding actively looking candidates. Although you will get many applications to sieve through, it is still important to use because there are always some talented individuals on the active market.
- Network - The longer you are doing this job then the wider reaching your network will be. For example If you are looking for a skilled Project Manager for a job you are hiring for currently, perhaps you had a similar one a couple of months earlier and a lot of the candidates you engaged with would have similar skillsets.
- Sourcing - This is where you must use your headhunting skills, start digging on the internet and start banging on the dialer. Again using tools like LinkedIn & Indeed is invaluable here, as you can find candidates based on companies, skills, keywords and location. Start with the ideal candidate (as per screening call) and work through all the profiles that match. Then you can start putting together a talent pool.
- Referrals are also very helpful when running out of suitable candidates in your region. Speak with candidates who seemed like a good fit but weren’t on the market for a new role. Most of these candidates will have friends and colleagues within the industry so you never know!
A lot of the scouting work has now hopefully been done and it’s time to start speaking with the candidates that have come together as a result of your research and sourcing. An initial
screening call is usually the first thing you will do and in this you can qualify the candidate as per clients needs, as well as address whether or not this role is of interest to the candidate. It is
important that the job satisfies the needs of both the client AND the candidate and doing this properly at the beginning avoids any early resignations by newly made hires.
Here it is important to assess everything from technical skills to cultural fit and get any other information such as salary expectations and career goals also. If the candidate seems like a good match and is happy to progress, then you can begin the process of trying to arrange an interview.
In normal times, meeting face to face is important for candidates that you are sending across to clients. This gives the client a bit more reassurance that you have screened all candidates
properly and likewise shows the candidate that you are a professional and want to help them progress as best as you can. Thank god we still have Zoom & Microsoft Teams!
Pitching to the client
Now that you have a few suitable candidates, it’s time to showcase to the client what you have come up with. All those you present will be interested, qualified and culturally competent for the
new position that’s being filled, but you also have to explain why. Let the client know in a short paragraph that John has X, Y & Z and is comfortable leading teams of up to 12 Engineers as he was doing this for the past 3 years, for example. Other things to include are salary expectations, availability, core competencies & tech stack.
Also give details here of anything else that might impact the decision such as John having a requirement to work from home twice a week. The more transparency you give the client about the candidate the better, but also don’t overload with information just give them the important bits.
Starting the interview process
The client has seen what talent you’ve found on the market and now they want to begin interviewing them. They already have a lot on their plate so won’t be readily available. You must arrange (or ideally have pre-arranged) some interview time slots that suit them. Present these times to the candidate to see which best suits and if they don’t work then you need to find a time that does.
Preparing the candidate for an interview is essential. If the interview is a Java technical test, then the candidate should know well in advance. They should be fine either way but if you are
mentally prepared for something often it can help calm the nerves and hence give a better interview.
After the interview it’s best to speak with both the candidate and the client to collect the initial feedback. The hiring manager will usually have a very decent idea of whether or not the candidate will progress but often may need to confer with colleagues. The candidate as well should have a better idea of their desire to progress having learnt more about the job and company.
Once things have gotten this far, negotiations begin and the client wants to hire one of the candidates you have put through their process. The recruiters work here is far from done and
often you are up against revised expectations as well as the potential of them having another offer on the table.
You must listen carefully to both the candidate and the client at this stage and act as the mediator between them until hopefully a decision is made. Perhaps the candidate has decided
he wants an extra 10k, or perhaps the client has under offered by 10k?
The main thing is to take note of all these expectations and weigh up the pros and cons to each of them. The job may be 10k less than the other offer, but the travel distance, benefits and bonus are in fact a lot better with this offer. Likewise to the client, although the candidate is asking for a little more, do you think the fact that he has X,Y & Z makes him worth the extra
Once both parties have all the information they need, then it’s simply a case of playing the waiting game. Keep in touch with the candidate as often as you feel is required but also allow
them to make their decision without being bombarded.
You are not going to make the final decision as a recruiter, what you can do is provide information, ask questions and influence the decision to some extent. At the end of the day if
you’ve done the initial steps correctly, the offer stage should be successful in most cases, but the reality is that things change constantly and sometimes you can never be fully prepared.
Other activities of an IT recruiter
Up until this point, the end to end hiring process has been discussed but there are numerous other tasks that recruiters perform behind the scenes.
Much like any job, having market insights is vital in recruitment so they are constantly upskilling their knowledge of particular areas. If you are hiring project managers then you should know
exactly what they do on a day to day, what certifications they should have and what characteristics they should have in order to be successful for a role. Furthermore, we use the data that we accumulate over the years to find trends in recruitment such as a candidate’s reasons for leaving a certain company or industry for example. This information helps massively
with finding better candidates in the future as we have data helps with finding peoples motivations.
Other tasks include marketing (writing blogs, articles for the website etc), Business development, drafting reports for clients and constant upskilling (e-learning etc).