Technical Recruiting – The Plot
A Boston IT recruiting company is given the task of filling IT jobs for a well established firm. A technical recruiter begins cruising through Monster.com, CareerBuilder, and LinkedIn.com to find the most qualified candidate and a resume jumps at him. He immediately pulls the resume and compares the job qualifications to its listed experience. Success!
IT recruiters makes the initial contact typically through a phone call or email. He begins by introducing himself, stating the reason he is calling, and listens for cues of interest. The IT recruiter will explain the position and answer any of the contractor’s questions. If the candidate is interested in the position and the technical recruiter has verified all the candidate’s skills and experiences, the recruiter will submit the client’s resume for the job opening.
Hypothetically, the applicant is offered an interview. The IT headhunter calls the candidate to let him know the good news and prepares him for what to expect. The recruiter might meet with the contractor before the interview to coach him and ease nerves. After the interview, the IT recruiter will follow up with the applicant to see how the meeting went and address any questions or concerns.
A few days pass and the IT recruiter receives word from the company that they would like to bring the candidate on board. The IT staffing salesperson calls his client to let him know the exciting news. He extends the offer. Before the contractor begins his position, the recruiter will typically meet with him to walk him in and make him feel comfortable on his first day.
Technical recruiters will periodically touch base with the contractor to maintain their relationship and ensure everything is going smooth and see if the contractor has any questions. The two will stay in touch and relay changes, if any.
Either the techncial recruiter will continue working with the contractor, or they will go their separate ways due to new job opportunities or life changes. Ideally, the team will end on good terms and the two will share a connection for future networking– and a new plot begins.
Seeking…a client? Part II
During the Meeting
The opening of the meeting should be about building a relationship. Always greet your client by name and extend a handshake. As IT recruiters, you want to establish a rapport before you jump into business, so have your client open up to you and do the same. Once you feel comfortable, move onto the business side of the meeting.
Getting to Business
Gradually shift to the topic of the meeting, but do not make it completely random. This segment of the meeting should be entirely about the candidate, so turn on your technical recruiting cues. Ask what the IT manager’s wants and needs are about this position. Address any questions and concerns. If you do not have an answer right away, be sure to write them down to follow up.
Discuss the IT jobs and the prerequisites. Ensure he or she has all the required experience and skills before you get his heart set on the position. If the client does not have specific experience or skills, make it known so you do not get his hopes up. Offer to keep him or her in mind for other openings you may be working on.
When closing the IT staffing meeting, make sure you have addressed all the key topics, concerns, and details of the position. Thank the client for his or her time and try to always end a meeting on good terms. Sincerely extend another handshake, offer your business card, reiterate the value-add that you and your IT recruiting firm can provide, then wish the prospective client well.
Like dating, keep arranging client meetings with different candidates until you have found “the one”.
Seeking a…Client? Part I
It seems coffee meetings are the go to from catching up with business or friends to first dates and meeting with new IT staffing clients. At first glance, comparing the IT recruiting business with dating might seem entirely wrong, but when you think about it the processes are pretty similar. They both involve finding “the one” with all the perfect attributes, right?
The Want Ad
Technical recruiters use job boards to post open positions, listing specific criteria to find their most ideal match for the IT job. It is a blind way of weeding out candidates without personally offending anyone. Job listings also provide the luxury of choosing from multiple candidates without having to limit yourself to just one applicant.
Preliminary Screening—The Background Check
You will most likely conduct some investigating prior to a date and the same goes for a client meeting. As a technical recruiter, you will research a consultant’s prior experiences and check to see if you have any connections through LinkedIn or past companies. A phone call prior to the face to face meeting may help ease nerves for the IT recruiter and contractor.
Dress to impress as you prepare for your meeting. Run through your check list to be sure you have all the right material…resume, job description, notepad for questions. Note the client’s interests so you have topics for conversation. Leave early so you allow plenty of time to arrive early or on time in case of traffic.
Looking for tips during the meeting? Check AVID’s blog for Seeking…a Client? Part II.
Fake It Till You Make It—Poor Advice?
A component of setting goals is having the confidence to achieve them. A number of people rely on the old saying “fake it till you make it”, but is this proper advice when your goals and responsibilities as an IT recruiter involve others? You do not want to mislead people into believing you are fully capable of taking on responsibilities when you are not prepared. Rather than “fake it till you make it”, here is some advice to help guide you to achieving your goals.
When you do not know the appropriate procedures or answer to someone’s question never make up an answer. If you provide a wrong answer, not only will you embarrass yourself when you have to follow up with the correct advice, you will also lose the trust of the other party. Some IT staffing representatives fear prospective clients will sever ties when they do not have all the answers, but what clients respect more is someone who takes the time and effort to research their concerns and address them in a timely manner.
Ask Questions, Write Down Answers
Asking questions is strongly encouraged, especially when you are a new hire. Managers become alarmed when you do not ask questions because it is a sign you are going off your own instinct. Until you feel comfortable doing things your own way, follow procedure.
Technical recruiters conduct a majority of their work over the phone. Having a training manual handy will help you when a client asks you an unexpected question on the call. If you do not have the answer at your finger tips, ask the client if you can put them on hold while you find out the answer for them. When you ask questions, write down the answer as a guide to help you the next time you encounter this problem.
IT recruiters work with a number of clients, so it is important to not let any clients slip through the cracks. Nothing is more frustrating than waiting on an unreliable person who never gets back to you. Maintain your work and always follow up, even if it is just to say hello and see how things are going.
Once you feel you have the hang of things at your IT recruiting agency, ask your supervisor to share a review with you. This review will reflect your accomplishments and what you need to work on. You are your own worst critic, let someone else point out your achievements and soon you will make it without having to fake it!
Sink or Swim—Welcome to the World of IT Recruiting
Starting a new IT recruiting role in a different company can be a stressful experience. From unfamiliar fellow IT recruiters and shared work space to unusual IT staffing business practices and procedures, severe changes can send new technical recruiters running in the opposite direction. Before you decide to call it quits or look into other IT recruitment positions, here are some suggestions to ease the transition process.
Cut Yourself Some Slack
When you start at a new company, there is a strong chance your expectations of yourself are higher than that of your IT recruiting manager. Managers understand there is a learning curve with new IT recruiters and encourage that you ask questions when you do not understand or uncertain. New tasks and responsibilities may seem hard at first, but gradually they will become easier as you learn.
IT recruiting firms may seem more competitive and self-driven in terms of work, but IT staffing agencies thrive off team work. Building relationships and connections help keep the firm running, so do not be afraid to speak to other coworkers or ask questions. Remember that your peer IT recruiters have been in your situation before and can provide the best, most helpful advice.
When you are feeling overwhelmed with tasks, write out each task in no particular order. Once you have completed your list, rank each task in order of time sensitivity and priority, then tackle the list. If you cannot commit enough time to thoroughly finish each task, express this concern. IT staffing managers would rather hear you cannot commit to something than disappoint them later or let something slip through the cracks.
Keep a planner handy so you know when you will be busy or free for appointments. If you forget to check your planner or fear you will lose it, set alarms for reminders.
Setting up goals and creating plans can help you prepare for new IT recruiting tasks or responsibilities. Maintain a positive attitude and recognize each time you accomplish one of your goals. These goals are telltale signs that you are learning and progressing with the transition.
It might seem hard to catch on right away with some responsibilities or duties, but do not be afraid to ask questions. Take notes and refer to them whenever possible. It is when you do not address your concerns that you will be in over your head…
Taking Breaks in an IT Recruiting Office
You know those IT recruiters who constantly get out of their seat, walk around, chat by the water cooler, surf the web, and get a cup of coffee…basically any excuse not to do their job? There is a common misconception that the ideal, efficient technical recruiters who rarely takes breaks and continuously plows through projects and phone calls. Unfortunately, those employees are far and few between. The reality is that IT recruiters, like any other employee in any other industry, need to take occasional breaks to keep their sanity (especially in the IT staffing industry where people can literally wear you down). Sometimes it’s even healthy to take a quick break.
Signs of a needed break
Here are just a few examples of when it is time to take a break:
- Loss of attention span
- Inability to focus
- Frequent errors
- High stress
Consequences of not taking a break
There is a difference between consistently working and working efficiently. Technical recruiters Boston tend to work atypical hours to accommodate the needs of their clients. Ignoring the signs listed above can trigger the IT recruiter to feel burned out and he will eventually start making errors which could potentially affect relationships with clients. Stress is not just a mental state and can take tolls on emotional and physical well being, too. Do not sacrifice your health when there is a simple solution to these stress factors.
Boston IT staffing firms have the luxury of working in the city. Leave your desk and go for a walk through a park at lunch, even if it is for just fifteen minutes you will feel refreshed upon your return. When projects seem long and cumbersome, split it up into segments. When you finish a section, reward yourself with a short break so when you start up again you have a clearer mind. If you cannot seem to focus on a certain project, move onto another and return to it later.
You do not have to forgo output to take a break. Working at a comfortable pace with breaks and no errors is better than working in overdrive and making frequent mistakes along the way!
IT Job Descriptions
One of the most frustrating aspects of IT job hunting is coming across an incomplete job description. As a candidate, do you skip over and look for more detailed positions or do you take the risk and apply? A majority of applicants will continue their search while those that do apply are carelessly sending out their resumes to anyone who will give them a shot. As an IT recruiter, you want the most qualified candidates for your position so reel them in first with a perfect IT job description.
The job title should accurately reflect the tasks and duties of the position. Obscure or unusual titles have the potential to draw in curious candidates, but can also be lost in most searches. IT recruiters Boston should choose keywords so jobs appear in relevant searches.
Skills and Qualifications
To weed out unqualified candidates, mention all required skills and prerequisites. Experience and education level should be included to help determine a salary level. If there is a certain background preference, list it within qualifications. The more information technology skills that you have, and can list, the better.
Listing responsibilities provides an idea of a prospective hire’s day. This information also helps candidates think of interview questions they might have for the hiring manager. Including job duties in the description also helps determine boundaries on the job.
If the position is not full-time salary with benefits, IT recruiters should include this in the description. Some candidates are looking for indefinite short term contracts to test their skills while others are looking strictly for full time perm positions. By not including these details, you might lose candidates.
So all you technical recruiters, the more detailed job description the better pool of candidates you will have to choose from!
Old School Networking – Career Fairs
With job listing sites such as Monster.com, LinkedIn, and CareerBuilder, it is hard to remember the basics of face to face networking. Career fairs provide the opportunity to network with hiring managers and technical recruiters, but people often avoid them because they have not been properly prepared for them. Use these tips to take full advantage of your next job fair.
Career fairs typically list the IT staffing companies and direct clients who will be present at the event with the guest list ranging from few to many corporations. It is your responsibility to sift through the list and choose IT recruiting firms or direct companies that interest you. IT staffing agencies work with some big names in the information technology industry, so it is wise to keep them in mind. Once you have compiled your list, research the businesses so you know their backgrounds and impress representatives with any news within the companies or industries.
Look your best and always dress to impress with a neatly pressed suit. Aim to arrive early as reps can be overwhelmed at peak hours and burned out by the end of the day.
With all the free loot and business cards going around, the whole experience can seem overwhelming. Maintain self control and focus on your goal. Keep copies of your resume tucked away and give one only to businesses or technical recruiters that interest you. Try to build a connection with the rep while talking up your accomplishments and skills. Mention something unique about yourself or in the conversation so the IT staffing representative will remember you. Try to use your rep’s name in the conversation to help solidify the relationship as you will seem more genuine. Exchange contact information and be sure to walk away with business cards.
Review the material you have collected and remove any IT recruiting companies that did not interest you. If you are having second thoughts about a corporation, put it to the side. Follow up with a unique thank you note to the IT recruiters or company representatives that you met and reiterate your interest in the company, but keep it simple so you do not sound desperate. Mention the unique attribute from your conversation so they can put a face to your email.
The wait period can be the most difficult part of the IT job hunting process. From being rejected to no response, the procedure is often frustrating. Giving up is the last thing you want to do. The business cards you collected can be handy for future opportunities, just remember to stay in touch!
Ask Not What Your IT Recruiter Can Do for You…
From relationships with hiring managers to all the right tips on formatting your resume and prepping for interviews, it seems technical recruiters have the inside scoop. IT staffing firms are an excellent resource when you are seeking a new opportunity, but never expect your IT recruiter to limit him or herself to just you. IT recruiters work with multiple candidates at a time, so expecting them to dedicate all of their time and know every intricate detail about your life is unrealistic. Here are some tips to improve your relationship with IT recruiters Boston and make his life a little easier.
Meeting in Person
Candidates should always meet with their technical recruiter in person. Not only will it break the ice, but you will also share a closer bond. Emotions and tone are lost in plain text and facial expressions are invisible over the phone. While one person might find humor in sarcasm and wit, another might find it offensive. Meeting with your IT headhunter will help to define these boundaries.
Just as candidates do not want to be strung along, do not mislead your technical recruiters Boston by showing interest in an IT job that is not the right fit. If you feel uncomfortable about saying no, this is a sign your relationship needs work. Be upfront with your IT staffing representative about what exactly you are looking for in a position and what you do not want. Be mindful that letting IT recruiters MA know what does not work for you opens opportunities for others.
Having Your Time
Communication is crucial to maintaining a solid relationship. Candidates and IT recruiters should discuss mutually agreeable times to discuss any issues or concerns that may arise. Both parties should aim to be flexible as recruiters work with multiple candidates and consultants may have hectic schedules. This time slot eases the frustration of missed phone calls or neglected emails, but be open to meeting outside this time as well.
These are just some tips to help candidates and IT recruiters get to know each other better and understand one another’s needs. If you still feel disconnected from your recruiter, it might be time to move on. Do not be afraid to speak to another representative. If you have a successful relationship, let others know and share the wealth!
Breaking a Bad Habit in the IT recruiting Industry
Are you an IT recruiter with a bad habit that you just cannot seem to shake? No one is expected to be perfect, but when your tendencies begin to affect other technical recruiters, it is time to consider a change. Left unkempt, habits can spill over from your personal life to the IT staffing office which is one of the last places you want hostility. If you find you need to rid yourself of an annoying tendency, here are some tips to get you on the right track.
Recognizing the Problem
You might be tipping in your chair, snapping your gum, and yelling to other IT recruiters sitting four cubicles over and not see an issue with it, but reassess the situation. Maybe your scenario is not this bad, but realizing how your behavior is affecting yourself and other IT recruiters Boston is the first step. Does your habit provide any benefits? If so, do they outweigh any negative attributes that accompany this tendency? When the answer is no, it is time for a change.
Resisting the Urge
Your habit could be something as minor as following up on missed phone calls through email. Some IT headhunters might not have an issue with this while others find it cumbersome and rude. The next time your technical recruiter leaves you a voicemail, you could be tempted to break out the Blackberry with an email response. People often avoid situations because they are not comfortable. The easiest way to fix a problem is not going around it, but tackling it head on. Make the phone call and eventually you will find the transition you feared was not difficult at all.
Keep Up the Progress
Check up on your bad habits to make sure you are following through with your commitments. Reward yourself when you have reached a milestone– just do not reward yourself by engaging in the habit. If you happen to slip up, never punish yourself. Let your mistake be a guide to not let it happen again.
When you make positive changes, you line yourself up for success. IT staffing firms can provide excellent feedback if you are looking to avoid taboo situations or improving resume and interview habits. Visit AVID’s job seeker page for more detail!