A Day in the Life of an IT Recruiter – A Beginner’s Story

There likely aren’t many people that plan on becoming an IT recruiter. There is no career path that can really prepare you for it. I, for one, had never even heard of technical recruiting as a career until after my four years of undergrad were completely over. Being a biology major, I certainly couldn’t have predicted this for myself.  After experiencing it, though, there is nothing I would change.

Every single day in the life of an IT recruiter is different. How could you not enjoy something that always keeps you guessing? I can understand that something this unpredictable is not for everyone. However, if excitement in your day is something you thrive on (and maybe seek out) in a career, then you should consider entering the IT recruiting industry.

The day begins by beating other tech recruiters to work.  As cliché as it sounds, the early bird does get the worm– especially in the IT staffing industry. The first course of business is setting up your voicemail based on your schedule for that day, ensuring you provide your contact information so everyone can reach you no matter where you are.  (Yes, you basically provide your cell phone number to the world.) The more accessible you are, the more likely you will be to place the candidate in their next IT job.

The next step is logging onto the IT job boards to find the latest technical candidates who may have posted overnight.  As previously mentioned, the early bird gets the worm.  Soon thereafter is the morning meeting, where good IT recruiting companies will properly assign their open requirements to their IT recruiters. This meeting also provides the technical recruiters and account managers the opportunity to update the office on interviews and/or new developments with each IT job order.  There are no secrets in this business; you should always know what is going on with the high-tech jobs that are open.

Once all IT recruiters are assigned a technical job, they meet with the appropriate Account Manager to review the position.  In addition to the technical requirements, it’s important to understand the company culture, team dynamic, dress code, environment, etc so you can accurately answer candidate questions. The more information you have, the better. After researching the company and ensuring you’re familiar with all of the technical requirements, it’s time to begin sourcing resumes and contacting prospective candidates.

This is the exciting part. You should develop a resume search string that will hit on all the most important aspects of the IT job. You’ll utilize the major job posting boards, such as Monster and LinkedIn, then contact people who would be a good fit. Technologies aren’t just the only factors that make a candidate a “good fit.”  You must touch on location, hours, benefits, compensation, length of position, etc.  It’s also the technical recruiter’s responsibility to find out how many other opportunities the candidate is looking at and how motivated they are to truly make a change or start a new IT job.  To help determine this, IT recruiters often provide hypothetical questions to the candidate.  For example, “hypothetically, if our client wants to interview you this week, would you commit to meeting with them?  What if they provide you with an offer?  Are you prepared to start as early as the following week?”  After the technical recruiter checks references and gains a final commitment from the candidate, the resume is finally ready to be submitted to the hiring manager.

There are days when you will find two perfect candidates before lunchtime. Other days, or while working on other IT jobs, you will work for two days and not find anyone. Ultimately, the more resumes an IT headhunter looks at, and the more candidates they call, the better his or her odds are at finding the right person for their requirement.  If an IT recruiter works hard and repeats this process over and over, they should have numerous candidate submissions for different IT job orders.  At this point, the Account Manager usually takes over and works on getting feedback from the IT manager (and hopefully an interview).

When an interview is confirmed, it’s the responsibility of IT recruiter to set the candidate up for success and ensure they are as prepared as possible. The candidate should have a full understanding of the company, directions to the client location, who they should ask for upon arrival, the interview itinerary and even LinkedIn profiles of each IT manger.  Again, it’s the responsibility of IT headhunters to ensure the candidate is armed with this info and set up for success.

Ideally the technical recruiter or another representative from the IT staffing company should meet the candidate at the interview location and introduce them to the hiring manager.  This often helps settle nerves and puts a face with the name of everyone involved in the job placement process.  After the interview, it’s the responsibility of IT recruiters to uncover the interview questions, delve into the conversation, and to further gain an understanding of the role.  The recruiter will try to assess whether the interview went well so the IT staffing salesperson has some additional insight before contacting the hiring manager for feedback.

Thank you notes are a must after an interview.  It keeps the candidate on the hiring manager’s mind and helps reiterate the candidates interest in the role.

Rolling out an offer to a candidate is both exciting and challenging. Technical recruiters have to go over all the details that were discussed in the initial conversation.  Unless something has changed with the IT job requirements, the candidate’s commitment, and even rate, should not change.  When candidates are hesitant to accept there is typically an underlying reason why.  Are they truly motivated to change jobs or take a new position?  Are they waiting on another offer?  Was the commute longer than they anticipated or is their spouse not happy about their decision? This is where the unpredictability of the IT recruiting industry can be difficult on new IT recruiters. It’s their responsibility to understand the candidate’s reason for hesitation. Sometimes a candidate just wants some time to think about the job offer.  Other times, there may be a variable that the recruiter was never made aware of. Regardless, an IT recruiter must always be on their toes and expect that the worst could happen.

Once you get an acceptance from a candidate, a start date must be determined and paperwork filled out and filed. By now a relationship should have been formed between the recruiter and candidate and all other offers should be declined. Once a recruiter has the written acceptance, he or she can celebrate. (However, veterans of the IT recruitment industry know not to celebrate until the candidate actually steps foot on the client job site!)  Although this completes the placement process, the relationship between the recruiter and IT consultant should be just beginning.  The recruiter should keep the lines of communication open with the contractor.  They might also schedule a coffee or lunch to see how the candidate is doing in their new role.  A happy IT consultant is usually a productive one for the client!

This summarizes a day in the life of a technical recruiter. There are ups and downs, but at the end of the day, the hard work you put in generates great rewards. Not only is the IT staffing industry very lucrative for those who work hard and succeed.  It also gives you the chance to change people’s lives and helping provide them with career opportunities.  IT recruiting jobs are unpredictable and keep you on your toes.  They’re also exciting, rewarding and one of the few careers where you can actually see benefits for both sides involved in the sales process.  Seeing candidates happy in an IT job that you helped the land makes all the ups and downs worth it!


AVID Technical Resources About AVID Technical Resources
AVID (Applications, Voice, Internet, Data) Technical Resources is a leading Information Technology recruiting company. Specializing in placing contract and permanent personnel in both Infrastructure Support and Applications Development positions, AVID has a national presence supporting clients ranging from small businesses to Fortune 100 companies. Headquartered in Boston, MA, AVID has achieved tremendous growth since the firm's inception in 2003. This has triggered numerous national awards and recognition, such as being named to Inc. 500 Magazine's list of 5,000 Fastest Growing Privately-held Companies in the US in 2010, 2011 and 2013. Additionally, the firm boasts of having more than 100 five-star reviews on Google from clients and candidates who rave about their experience and interaction with the firm's recruiters.