How to be a Successful Technical Recruiter in a Crazy Demanding World - Part 1

How to be a Successful Technical Recruiter in a Crazy Demanding World - Part 1
Post Author: Bukola Stewart | Image by Eak K. from Pixabay
Date published: November 27, 2019

Do you have to be crazy to be a technical recruiter in these times? According to CompTIA the unemployment rate for U.S. tech workers just hit the lowest number ever recorded.

There is now the very real prospect of tech worker shortages affecting industry growth

Says Tim Herbert, executive vice president for research and market intelligence at CompTIA, the tech trade group that authored the study.

Firms seeking to expand into new areas such as the Internet of Things, robotic process automation or artificial intelligence may be inhibited by a lack of workers with these advanced skills, not to mention shortages in the complementary areas of technology infrastructure and cybersecurity.

Although it may not seem like it, we are currently in the golden age of technical recruitment. While in some places there is a dearth of talent and a seeming lack of viable candidates, the resources we now possess for recruiting and expanding our pool of employees are the best we've ever had. And yet, many companies and recruiters find themselves in a "talent scarcity situation", where the demand for said talent is much greater than the supply. We all wish that the ideal candidate just come bobbing down the road, whistling happily with the right skills for all of your job openings. It doesn't work like that. Instead, we still find ourselves in an ever-challenging job fraught with awkward cold calls, unanswered emails and an uncomfortably high amount of unsatisfying interviews.

So, what's going on? How can you become a successful recruiter in a world with plenty of tools to help you do so, but with no apparent talent available to recruit? Don't let your head explode just yet; at least give it to the end of this article! Here, I will try to teach you how to seek out and successfully recruit the candidates you're looking for before they're snapped up by somebody else; we'll do so by divulging some useful habits and valuable advice that will make life easier for any recruiter. To make it easy, we'll break it down into three distinct topics.

Part 1: The 20/20/60 Sourcing Plan

We'll start with the most essential; how to plan and breakdown your work days and weeks in a way that prioritizes your recruitment efforts. Let's not forget that the original and best key to success is organization, so naturally that's the best place to start. A tactic that I recommend is a 20/20/60 sourcing plan. No, that's not some kind of bizarre date; it's a specialized guide that tells you how you should divide up the time you spend trying to recruit.

Let's be honest, if you want that special candidate, the cream of the crop, then you have to put some effort in, don't you? You've got to be intuitive about your recruiting efforts if you want to receive the best results. If sending boring emails, posting the same old stagnant job descriptions or making uninspired phone calls hasn't worked for you in the past, then what makes you think it would work now? This is where a 20/20/60 sourcing plan comes into play.

So, what does that mean? Well, it means your recruiting efforts should be divided into three sections; 20% of your time should be spent sourcing efforts and job postings in order to attract ideal candidate, another 20% on candidate name generation and targeted emails, and the other 60% simply focused on networking. Your head is probably swimming in information and numbers, so let's break this down a little and explore how this works.

The First 20%

The first 20% of your efforts should be comprised of posting compelling, career-orientated recruitment advertisements so the best and most suitable candidates can easily find you on search engines such as Google. This can be influenced by SEO or Search Engine Optimization, which is a fancy way of saying that to increase traffic to your website or search result, you need to use the correct and prominent words that connect to the search; e.g. if a candidate is searching for a job rooted in, say, Economic Science, your job title and description should prominently feature those words and variations upon them in order to rank higher in the search results. Makes sense, yeah?

Not only should it be easily found, but it should contain an immediate and obvious motivation that attracts your ideal candidate to the role; for example, if in their current job your candidate isn't achieving success in leadership or team building, your advertisement for this role could clearly state that it is an exciting and promising opportunity that allows the employee to showcase leadership qualities and team working skills. You want something that resonates with them, as although we're largely talking about numbers and strategies, your potential hires are still people and are attracted to (and motivated by) the satisfaction they can get from a job. Do you want to get that “purple squirrel” candidate with the right skill set? Then you've really got to sell them the opportunity; don't let them slip through your fingers!

The Next 20%

Our next 20% is based upon success stories of previous candidates and the positive impact that has had on their careers as a result of being hired by you. These stories act as testimonials in a sense, and can really be the clincher when recruiting prospective clients. This works best when used with the LinkedIn Recruiter; when you use built in tools such as their mailing system or eGrabber for extracting suitable email addresses, you can send large quantities of emails to prospective candidates by the hour after conducting a simple search.

The short personalized story is the key selling point of the email and will hopefully sway the client into seeing that this isn't any old generic email template from a technical recruiter looking for a quick hire. The more suited the story is to the candidate, the more they can relate to the job prospect and have it appeal to them. The more direct the message is, the quicker they will latch onto it. Much like in real life, make sure your first impression counts. Make sure to follow this up with timely and persistent phone messages from the recruiter as well in order to keep on the client, but don't barrage or harass the candidate with messages; it's all about finding the right balance so they feel wanted but not pressured. Any voicemail messages you leave should be as professional and enticing as your email messages!

The Last 60%

And here we are, at the big 6-0; the reason that three fifths of your time should be spent networking is because it's a warmer, more interactive approach that puts a human name and (hopefully) friendly face to the company that keeps cropping up in their emails every morning. Making emails and endless cold calls can only get you so far; therefore it's vital that you make these calls as welcoming and brimming with potential as possible. What you're really doing at the end of the day is selling them an unbeatable opportunity and technical challenge of working for your company, and you should use any tools in your arsenal to make sure they accept it.

As with the emails, most of the names can be generated via the LinkedIn Recruiter, which searches through your co-worker's connections to find a suitable candidate. Before the call, get your co-worker to vouch for this person to make sure they're worth the time. This is a much more proactive and time saving approach than simply just waiting around for a coworker to recommend someone. Once on the phone to the potential hire however, you need to keep this proactive attitude; after introducing yourself, you'll need to begin and sustain a long conversation about the job without hammering them over the head with the same old, “why our company is so great, blah blah blah” routine. Ask them what they're looking for. Tell them why they can get the career they're looking for with you. Make sure you address any issues or concerns they have, quash any worries or doubts and let them know that the career of their dreams is waiting for them if they want it. This is a much more intuitive approach that will ideally impress the client with the time and attention you give them.

Closing

All of this comprises the 20/20/60 sourcing plan. If your company is facing a talent scarcity situation, it's the best way to get you out of that bind. It can be a little daunting and difficult to pull off at first as you really need to back your claims up with fantastic jobs and committed hiring managers and recruiters, but once you do, you'll set your company apart from all the rest of the mundane recruitment strategies that your prospective talent is just sick to death of having bother them.

Next up: How to be a Successful Technical Recruiter in a Crazy Demanding World - Part 2


A quick note!

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Also, if you are interested in learning technical topics through a video course specifically created for recruiters, don't forget to check out the courses I offer.

The main course "How to Speak Software Engineering Jargon for Recruiters" is specifically designed to help new tech recruiters get up to speed fast on technical topics.


Written By Bukola Stewart

Executive Recruiter, Sales Guy and Social Media Hack with 15 years of industry experience. I grew up around tech, my father had a big influence on me because of his background as the Director of Technology for companies like GE and Fidelity. He would always say "that programming is where the future is headed. Be a developer because almost everything will be digitally automated in the future." So, I didn't quite live up to my Dad's aspiration of being a programmer (too much math 😁). However, I have been told by other programmers that I'm pretty knowledgeable compared to other technical recruiters/sales pros that they've met it the past. However, I think my biggest "value add" is my ability to help companies grow by finding that elusive hire which helps my client/company get to the "next level" that everyone strives to reach