Tech Recruitment: How to change perceptions.
I recently had dinner with a group of friends who all happen to work in tech. Coincidentally, I’m an IT recruiter and after all the stories they shared during the course of the meal, I quickly felt abashed and somewhat disappointed about how my line of work is perceived.
Apparently, they are not the only ones who share this opinion. I have often seen similar messages to this on LinkedIn…
But why is this?
There are many great professionals to be found in tech recruitment, but the bad reputation is (in my humble opinion) partly deserved. I believe the root cause lies in a lack of exhaustive industry knowledge.
In the highly specialized area of software development this is especially true. This is a field that many IT recruiters are not familiar with when first starting in the industry , which was also the case when I began my recruitment career.
The most common complaint I hear amongst my techie friends (and candidates in general) is that they don’t receive relevant job offers that suit their skills and career ambitions. This is surely a direct consequence of what I mention above: absence of expertise.
In addition, the Payments industry is particularly disruptive and evolves at an undeniably fast pace, which means that all of us who are caught up in it need to be constantly adapting and learning in order to not lag behind.
How can we change things and improve the quality of (tech) recruitment?
At PaymentGenes we realized this flaw and turned it into an opportunity. That’s why 4 years ago, we embarked on a mission to change recruitment. We want to make it truly knowledge-based, as opposed to shooting out multiple CVs with no clear strategy and hoping that one will stick.
With that goal in mind, our consultants attend payments and recruitment-related trainings on a weekly basis. All of us, from management to junior employees, are required to give trainings in order to broaden our knowledge base and share thought leadership across the organization.
Workshops and trainings alone are simply not enough to thrive as tech recruiter. I believe that to succeed in any walk of life you need to be intensely curious, which will inevitably lead to resourcefulness. Aside from using LinkedIn, which is still probably the largest talent pool available, you must go there where developers are: GitHub, Stack Overflow or Medium, just to name a few.
I also spend a considerable amount of my time browsing the Internet reading tech-related articles and checking YouTube videos about what a certain role or technology entails.
Finally, I have found free online courses such as ‘CS50’s Introduction to Computer Science’ extremely valuable. This one in particular will help you with grasping the basics of programming and teach you how to think algorithmically, bringing you closer to the developer’s mindset.
Stand out from the crowd
Developers receive an absurd amount of recruitment messages every day of the week, so I can understand their frustration if these job offers are vastly irrelevant and result in a regular waste of precious time.
BUT, if you are a tech recruiter who: 1) knows the market and industry inside out, 2) understands the company you are representing and 3) can explain the role you are offering very well, this yields a unique opportunity to stand out from the crowd.
The goal is to become someone who will actually be approached by candidates and not the other way around. You have to turn distrust into faith and sooner than you’d think, you’ll be endowed with one of the most important choices a person makes throughout his/her life: the decision to take a new job.
At this point, you’ll have become an advocate rather than a recruiter. Someone who will guide a candidate throughout this complex and often cumbersome process and personally be able to vouch for them, exponentially increasing their chances of getting hired.
Borja González is an Product & IT payments consultant at PaymentGenes.
PaymentGenes is a world leader in Payments & FinTech recruitment and consultancy services. If you have experienced challenges in finding talented tech or product candidates, why not reach out for our help? If you’re looking for a new opportunity yourself, check out our latest jobs from around the world.