How to be a better technical recruiter

by Courtney Schwikkard

Tech recruiters are the gatekeepers of the tech industry. They get to decide which candidates have a shot at getting hired, and which ones don’t.

If you’re looking to break into a technical recruitment career or just want to know how to be a better technical recruiter, let’s discuss some foundational tips as well as how seasoned tech recruiters can stand out from the crowd.

How is technical recruiting different from general talent recruiting

Before we dive in, let’s first establish how technical recruiting is different from general talent recruiting.

General recruiting 

General talent recruiting is a broad term that covers a wide range of roles. It’s a good starting point for people who want to get into recruiting, but don’t know what role they want to specialize in just yet. General recruiting can also be a good fit for people who are looking to work in different roles over time or those who enjoy being generalists and working with all types of candidates and clients.

Technical recruiting

If you are interested in becoming a recruiter in the ever-adapting world of tech, then you should know that it is a heavily specialized field. Technical recruiters need to deeply understand their company’s needs as well as the needs of potential candidates. They must also be able to identify trends and keep up with changes in technology so they can position themselves for success.

If all this sounds like what you’re looking for, then let’s take a look at some important aspects to keep in mind.

Foundational Tips to be a Successful Technical Recruiter

If you are just starting out as a tech recruiter, it’s critical to make sure you’ve got the foundation right:

Understand the process

First things first: understand the entire process. The recruiting process is one big cycle, and a good recruiter needs to understand the whole thing and be hands-on every step of the way.

This means knowing how to source the right applicants for positions and why some sourcing methods work or don’t work for certain roles.

When it comes to reviewing profiles, understand what to look for when it comes time for an interview. This will be different for each role and/or organization, as different organizations will prioritize different skills and traits.

Remember, the process doesn’t just stop after a winning interview. What makes a good technical recruiter means knowing how to onboard new employees once they’re hired so that they can hit the ground running.

Understand the organization’s needs

What makes a good technical recruiter is understanding both the tech needs and the human needs of the organization.  

Understanding the tech needs

Understanding the organization’s technical needs is one of the first steps in identifying great candidates. If you can’t answer basic questions like “What do they need?” and “Why?” then you’re not ready to start recruiting. 

This step not only involves getting to know how the candidate will fit into the team and role but also understanding the organization’s goals, challenges, and technology. It’s crucial for both parties’ long-term success if both sides can align their expectations around common goals, requirements, and responsibilities from day one. 

Understanding the human needs

Although understanding the technical side of the role is extremely important, making sure the candidate is a cultural fit is just as important. In fact, a 2022 survey showed that 47% of active job seekers said that a negative company culture was the main reason they were seeking opportunities elsewhere.

Understanding both sides of these organizational needs can help you tailor your application and make sure that it aligns with what they’re looking for.

Learn the Lingo

If you want to be a tech recruiter, it helps to know the lingo. You’ll be communicating with people who spend their days talking about technical topics and trends—so it’s important that you can keep up and understand the various terms you will often be hearing.

The best way to do this is to learn the basics of the latest technologies and their capabilities. The more you know and understand about the world of tech and development, the more savvy you will become when interviewing candidates and truly understand what’s needed in each role.

If you’re struggling with some of the jargon, check out our glossary of technical recruitment terms below!

Download our tech recruiter jargon guide.

Adjust your expectation of their communication skills

You need to be open-minded and flexible when hiring tech people. Typically (and there will be some exceptions), tech people are not the most talkative, and at times they would probably be more reserved when it comes to sharing info and details. 

The answer you get from them can be different from what you expected. The important thing to remember here is to not conclude too quickly that they’re not so interested in your positions if they don’t talk too much. You must be able to carefully probe for more – and this is where the understanding of tech terms will come in very useful. 

You want them to be active in the conversation while not making them feel like they’re being grilled with tough questions (which can come off as too aggressive). It’s all about finding that balance between showing interest and being assertive enough to clarify any areas of confusion or misunderstanding that may arise during the interview process itself.

Advanced tips for seasoned Recruiters

So, you are a more seasoned professional, and what to know how to set yourself apart and work smarter? Here are some tips on how to be an even better recruiter:

Look for potential and not mere tech stack 

Look for learning capacity, not a laundry list of skills. Many tech recruiters focus on finding engineers that have “the right tech stack”. But anyone can pile up a list of frameworks and technologies on their CV.

In the world of tech, developers need to be ready for anything. Clients may (and probably will) change their minds, trends will come and go, and new software, programming languages, and frameworks will come into play.

Adaptability and problem-solving are arguably even more important than knowing how to code when it comes to working in the tech sector. Look for candidates who can adapt to new environments, learn quickly, and solve problems under pressure.

That being said, how can you properly gauge a candidate’s ability and willingness to take initiative in solving a problem? Sure, you can ask them in an interview, but no candidate is going to tell you that they are not adaptable, right?

Believe it or not, this is a skill that can be tested for. Codeaid is specially designed to test a candidate’s ability to problem solve within a deadline and adapt against details within the task that can be, as in real life, somewhat ambiguous.

Understand the rate difference between certain technologies

Don’t be fooled by the “bottom dollar” mentality. There are pricier techs and cheaper techs. For example, it might cost more to hire a developer who uses “rare” technologies (for example Rust) and specializes in a niche area (for example Blockchain, 3D, or Big Data) compared to one who uses commonly used ones like PHP or JS. 

When you’re recruiting tech talent, make sure you know which skills and expertise are a necessity and which ones are the nice-to-haves.

Open the position across boarders 

Although it’s currently considered a candidate-driven market; the truth is that there’s no such thing as hard-to-find tech professionals. With the fast track of the remote working world over the past two years, it’s become so much easier to hire top candidates from around the world instead of limiting yourself to your own country.

But casting a wider net into the developer pool is only one of the many benefits. Remote workers tend to be more productive, motivated, and creative than their office-bound counterparts. This can have both financial and emotional benefits for your business. On the one hand, you’ll save money by not paying for expensive office space or equipment; on the other hand, employees will feel less stressed knowing that they don’t have an hour commute every day. A less stressful and more productive environment also means a much lower chance of developer burnout.

While hiring remote software developers can be a daunting process at first, it’s worth the effort. Not only will your business benefit from having a global team, but the work they produce will also prove to be of global market quality. This can help you save time and money while giving your projects and products an edge over the competition.

Use a Tech Test tool to Evaluate Candidates’ Skills

If you’ve been in the tech recruiting business for any amount of time, you know that candidates can be a bit of a wild card. It’s hard to tell who will be a good fit and who won’t. Sometimes an interview goes well, but the candidate doesn’t work out in reality. Using a coding test platform like Codeaid is great because it allows recruiters to truly assess what candidates are capable of. 
Codeaid simulates real-world challenges using the same environment that developers use daily, giving you a comprehensive, in-depth view of how they would react, and problem-solve on the job.

Codeaid is the most extensive and automated coding assessment platform on the market to date. Its robust grading algorithms know the specific skills and experience that recruiters want to see in an ideal candidate. It aims to give you a thorough look into their capabilities – all without you having to lift a finger to manually grade the test.

And that’s not even the best part. Codeaid is also completely free.

The tech industry changes quickly and so do its recruiting needs. As a technical recruiter, you need to stay on top of trends and adapt your tactics accordingly. Use these tips as helpful reminders about how to be a better tech recruiter; they’ll help you understand how to work with your clients, prioritize tasks and find new candidates that are a good fit for open positions.

The more time and effort you put into listening and learning about technology and its role in business, the better recruiter you’ll become.

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