Simpsons character Helen Lovejoy is right. A lot of chatter about software developers’ best qualities, recruiting processes, and HR in general…
But nobody thinks of the poor recruiters who spend their time and energy on finding the most talented programmers!
So, in today’s article, we’re going to give them the attention they deserve.
Who are they? What do they do? But above all, what are the essential characteristics of an excellent IT recruiter? This is our finest selection:
- Technical expertise
- Community participation
The role of an IT recruiter
IT recruiters, as you might expect, are basically recruiters who specialize in information technology.
Captain Obvious vibes detected.
The responsibilities of an IT recruiter are not unlike those of their colleagues in other fields: they involve finding and contacting potential candidates, organizing interviews, and selecting the most promising talents.
In-house vs freelance and agency recruiters
Recruiters can work for a single company as “in-house” professionals, or operate for multiple clients as independents or members of recruiting agencies.
Larger and more prominent companies tend to hire one or more full-time in-house recruiters, who will work closely with the HR department and guide candidates through the recruitment process.
These professionals are required to be competent in a wide range of technologies and roles, having to select employees for numerous company positions. They also must have a clear understanding of their company’s needs and culture in order to operate properly.
The bad side of internal recruiters is that they should face various administrative and routine tasks, which usually slow down the acquisition of new skills and career growth in general. On the other hand, they can enjoy a fixed salary and relative economic stability.
Freelancers and agencies
Anyone who works as a freelance professional or for a recruiting agency enjoys much more flexibility and control over their career. By working for many clients on different projects, these recruiters gain experience quickly and this often results in rapid career advancement.
Such advantage is maximized by working in an agency rather than as a “pure” independent, thanks to the support of more experienced colleagues.
At the same time, however, this kind of job is known to be much more stressful. The pace is tighter and the earnings, although potentially greater than operating in-house, could be less stable as they are mainly based on commissions.
Another flaw is the lower relevance of these recruiters in the final hiring decision. In fact, freelance and agency recruiters are only marginally involved in the interview stage and can only offer suggestions, while the final decision rests with HR managers.
What you need to be a cool IT recruiter
Whether you are in the first or second category, being a good IT recruiter requires some fundamental qualities, certainly technical but first of all human.
Let’s talk about them in detail!
This concept is so trivial that I didn’t plan on adding it to the list.
But yesterday I heard an interviewer dismiss a (not too good) English-speaking applicant in Zoom with something like “at this point, it’s not even worth continuing the conversation”.
So let’s face it clearly. The first requirement of an excellent IT recruiter is a high level of professionalism.
Ps: it was not our company
Ps 2: what an a ** hole
Recruiters are the company’s business card
Recruiters should always maintain professional and impeccable behavior because they are the IT company’s ambassadors and represent the first point of contact between their team and the candidates.
And you know… the first impression is crucial. You may not want to recruit a candidate now, but you also don’t want that person to go around complaining about their experience with your company.
You could even need him/her in a different moment or for a different role. Right?
Dealing with people and behaving appropriately is not just a matter of professionalism. Or at least it shouldn’t. It also involves a good dose of empathy.
This quality is essential for at least two reasons. The first and most utilitarian is that it allows us to understand who is sitting in front of us.
What does the candidate think and feel? What makes him feel more comfortable about him?
This can give us useful insights to decide how the interview will flow and to understand if we have found the right person for our company.
Be kind to candidates
The second reason is that an empathic recruiter will be able to put himself or herself in the candidates’ shoes, be more understanding and treat them with respect even (and especially) when we have to dismiss them.
We are all humans and we’ll never know if someone just had a bad day, is severely underqualified for the role, or is simply a sociopath… like many developers.
As mentioned earlier, If you turn down a candidate rudely, he could badmouth and ruin the reputation of your company.
He might even be a serial killer and “have you for dinner”. So don’t make him angry.