Technical Recruiter – What Shouldn’t You Miss Before Hiring One?
IT jobs are well-paid and in-demand, that’s a fact. What’s more, up to 5 million jobs in information technology are predicted to be added globally by 2027. Companies have never done as much hiring as they do today, and it seems it isn’t going to change. According to a survey conducted by Monster, 71% of recruiters claim they struggle to fill a position because of candidate skills gaps.
In the era of social media and the digital revolution, it may seem easy to identify potential candidates for any job openings. However, 85% of recruiters reveal that candidates exaggerate skills and competencies on their resume or any social media profile. Our IT recruiters have seen time and again that developers who claimed to have a medium level of experience, in reality, spent many years working in jobs that weren’t associated with programming.
What does it mean for an employer?
In one of our articles, Hiring a Remote Developer While Scaling up a Company – 5 Must Know Facts, we wrote about how big a required budget is to hire a remote developer, that you can find here. On average, you’d have to pay from $16.5k to $33k; this can be a significant risk on a potentially inexperienced employee.
Instead of focusing on lowering the cost, making the best possible hires should be the ultimate goal. To achieve it, you need a technical recruiter on your team or choose to cooperate with a tech recruitment agency that has such people on board.
Figuring out what the requirements of a job should be (...) is a more significant challenge now because so many companies have reduced the number of internal recruiters whose function, in part, is to push back on hiring managers' wish lists. (...) Companies piled on job requirements, baked them into the applicant-tracking software that sorted résumés according to binary decisions (yes, it has the keyword; no, it doesn't), and then found that virtually no applicants met all the criteria.More
What is a technical recruiter?
There is a significant difference between recruiters and technical recruiters, even if both positions are part of the Human Resources department.
Recruiting, in general, is the act of attracting, engaging, assessing, and onboarding talent for work. A recruiter needs to be aware of the required skills and qualifications, brand awareness, company’s budget, and role type – the primary responsibilities of the future employee. All of these are necessary to identify talented candidates to fill open positions. However, the recruiter is not expected to be an expert in any specific field and often focuses on soft skills and the candidate’s previous experience to determine who to hire.
What does the technical recruiter do?
In general, a technical recruiter can specialize in both IT and other specialized fields. However, nowadays, a technical recruiter is often called an IT recruiter; since the demand for software developers is increasing, so needs IT recruiters. An IT recruiter should have the ability to source, screen, and present qualified candidates and also are expected to have knowledge of the Information Technology field. They must be able to screen candidates – software developers and conduct technical interviews.
Regardless of company size or role, both hiring managers and recruiters say that finding qualified candidates is the hardest, most time-consuming part of tech hiring. It all comes down to finding the right person for the job, and ensuring the candidate sees the role that fits them.More
The primary responsibilities of technical recruiters are:
- creating job ads, which involves writing job descriptions and specifications;
- developing a recruiting strategy, which means developing an effective strategy for attracting technical talent to the company;
- assessing and interviewing candidates, which is an integral part that screens and eliminates those who aren’t the best fit;
- building a network of potential candidates, in-house tech recruiters should take care of their employer’s branding presence and stay in touch with those who may be interested in joining the company when opportunities arise;
- maintaining active communication with candidates throughout the interview and hiring process;
- researching the developer hiring landscape to advise on the acceptable level of remuneration and benefits;
- collaborating with the IT department in preparing technical assignments for candidates.
Read how we organize our recruitment process as a tech recruiting agency in our article How Our ATS Helps Us Improving the Candidate Experience and Data Flow.
What does it take to be a technical recruiter?
Human resources departments employ a considerable holistic approach. It may seem like it’s easy to start a career as an HR professional, but in reality, it requires knowledge and skills in many other areas as well. Let’s cover the most crucial skills any competent IT recruiter should have.
The qualification that all recruiters must have – the ability to communicate. Those who want to pursue a career in recruitment must undoubtedly enjoy talking with other people as the role requires countless interviews, intro calls, and technical reviews, with IT recruiters spending several hours a day communicating with others.
Recruitment can be troublesome. Sometimes, to identify the best software developer candidate, technical recruiters have to actively search for them on LinkedIn or Github, wait a few weeks, conduct hundreds of interviews, and often provide answers to continually recurring questions.
There will also be occasions where candidates choose to go with a competitor. They say patience is a virtue, and IT recruiters need to possess vast amounts of it.
Able to think critically
Assessing people and deciding who should move further in the recruitment process or be rejected is a big responsibility for recruiters. Making the wrong decision can postpone the whole process by weeks and expose the company to incurring extra costs.
That’s why a good recruiter should have the ability to think critically and analyze the data they receive from candidates’ resumes or LinkedIn profiles. If a potential candidate for a long-term development position spends on average 5 months at every job, it usually indicates that they won’t be a good fit – and a good IT recruiter is required to draw such conclusions.
Having a marketing bent
Recruitment and marketing are very closely related. A seasoned recruiter has to write engaging copy to turn their employee requirements into eye-catching job ads, social media and job group posts.
The field of Employer Branding is an amalgamation between Marketing and HR, which is why marketing specialists have been known to jump ship and become HR professionals, or vice-versa.
Having a sales bent
The fusion of marketing and recruitment concerns the passive method of candidate acquisition, whereas a good recruiter more often has a chance to be in a salesperson’s shoes.
Nowadays, job interviews are less about the candidate convincing recruiters why they should be hired, and more about recruiters trying to sell the company to candidates.
Having a technical bent
An IT recruiter who wants to recruit a software engineer must have a basic knowledge of programming. But in today’s world, nearly every office work requires some level of technical expertise.
The usage of any recruitment software, like, e.g., ATS (Applicant Tracking System), calls for a person who knows how to create basic automation, set up stages, or message templates. A seasoned recruiter cannot rely on spreadsheets and manual work anymore.
How much should technical recruiters make?
Before launching any recruitment process, a CEO should always consider the costs incurred on hiring. As mentioned earlier, hiring a software developer on-site in a well-developed country is extremely costly.
The same goes for a technical recruiter since with every recruitment you go through the same process; preparing job ads, paying for job board space, incurring productivity loss or onboarding costs, and, finally, remuneration.
According to PayScale data, the average IT recruiter salary in the USA amounts to nearly $55k/year. Let’s take a look at it from the point of experience level. An entry-level professional with less than 1 year of experience can expect to earn around $40k/year.
An IT recruiter with 1-4 years of experience makes $51k/year, while senior (5-9 years experience) IT recruiter salary amounts to nearly $70k.
In comparison, in Norway, an average IT recruiter salary amounts to kr 607K/year (around $66K). The remuneration differs between entry-level recruiters and senior professionals. A junior earns around kr 443K/year (around $48K), while top IT recruiters can expect a salary amounting to kr 743K/year (approximately $81K).
These numbers may be the reason why so many startups and scaleups postpone hiring an IT recruiter and engage their current employees – CTOs, developers, marketers to conduct the recruitment. They can also seek the services of a technical recruiting agency when the need for hiring a software engineer appears.
In-house technical recruiter vs technical recruiting agency
While looking for a remote software developer, you have two options to consider – use your internal resources or cooperate with a technical recruiting agency. Let’s dig deeper into this topic. You already know that a general recruiter is not qualified enough to find the right software developer to work within a specific framework and programming language.
Your average recruiter will not be as knowledgeable about the industry as a technical recruiter for such a specialist role. During the interview, it is essential to understand the position and complex terminology that is associated with IT positions. How do tech agencies work? The easiest is to explain it on ITCraftship’s example.
Imagine your tech team needs a React Native Developer, experienced with popular react state containers such as Redux or MobX and NoSQL databases, to continue working on mobile app development. The candidate has to meet specific requirements related to the role. You reach out to a tech recruiting agency that offers a recruitment process outsourcing service. What do we do next?
First, we conduct a client interview and prepare a tech survey. We collect information on role specifications; your tech stack, frameworks, libraries, the primary goal for the future employee that they should reach. We get to know your business model and the way of working in your company.
Next, active talent sourcing starts. We reach out to our network of developers while simultaneously attracting new ones that have a promising experience. We screen applications and send a tech assessment to developers who passed our screening and intro-call. The task is tailored to what the developers will meet every day in their future work.
We examine how candidates approach problem-solving and invite the best of them for a video interview with us. Finally, we narrow down the list to 3-5 carefully chosen developers and present them to you and your company. The result?
In general, if you decide to cooperate with a technical recruiting agency that specializes in hiring software developers, you will find a suitable professional much faster. It takes us only up to 6 weeks. On top of that, it eliminates the risk of spending money on recruiting a developer that is not qualified, saving you and your internal team’s valuable time.
What are the 3 main differences between an in-house technical recruiter and a technical recruiting agency?
- In-house technical recruiter develops long-term relationships that may lead to hiring when an open position in your company appears – tech recruiting agency does that too. However, it isn’t focused on promoting a specific company but builds a community of developers in general.
- When it comes to the fee, tech recruiting agencies typically get paid when they find a suitable candidate, with their commission based on the candidate’s salary. For an in-house technical recruiter, you must pay for the working hours no matter the result.
- Tech recruiting agencies deliver tech expert guidance, which means they have people on board who will screen for the specific skills and personality traits you are looking for. They have teams of experienced software engineers who can prepare and check a tech assessment – the in-house tech recruiter often needs help from your own tech team to develop and check technical tasks.
Since it can be tricky (if not impossible) to glean sufficient information about an outside applicant’s past performance, what other predictors are good? There is remarkably little consensus even among experts. That’s mainly because a typical job can have so many tasks and aspects, and different factors predict success at various tasks.More
The main focus of a tech recruiter is to check the hard skills of candidates – meaning their technical knowledge and practical skills. But is that all they are analyzing?
As developers approach a company, the first thing the recruiters get from them is their resume and LinkedIn profile – all the data concerning their previous endeavors, years of experience, tech stack, and any extra activities. As mentioned in the quote above, this information gives no real insight into how these candidates performed in the past, what’s their workstyle or where would they like to guide their career.
That’s why usually the first step in the developer recruitment process is an introductory call, where the IT recruiter and a developer get to know each other, they talk briefly about the candidate’s software development skills and experience. The main goal is to check the soft skills of the software engineer – their ability to communicate, which is crucial in hiring remote developers.
The recruiter has to decide whether a candidate should move forward in the process or not. That’s where the skills of a technical recruiter come in handy – the decision should be based on predefined terms, not gut feeling. A qualified IT recruiter should know that beforehand and prepare a spreadsheet with specific software engineer skills. After each step of the recruitment process, the recruiter should give a candidate points – e.g. from 1 to 10. That method ensures a seamless, data-proven decision making.
After the intro call, candidates usually receive an IT skills assessment test. Its form may differ depending on the tech stack, seniority level, or the programming skills that are prioritized by the organisation. Even though IT recruiters don’t usually prepare technical skills assessments, they offer an alternative point of view compared to developers. It recruiters have a better understanding of how the technical test should be structured to give a better overview of certain software developer skills.
When candidates complete their tests, the time comes for a review and making the final decision. This is also where a technical recruiter can prove their skills by giving their judgment. This shows the level of responsibility IT recruiters possess, if they make an incorrect choice and decide to hire the wrong person, their mistakes can cost a company tens of thousands of dollars.
Technology is evolving, and every year businesses need to catch up on their service or product development. To develop efficiently, companies invest more and more not only in equipment or digital tools but also in human resources. It is often necessary to increase the team of tech engineers in the organization. The ideal scenario is acquiring employees not only with general technical knowledge but also skills that will push the team’s work.
It also becomes essential to have employees who can verify these technical skills, which is why the importance of a technical recruiter is growing. However, it is also worth considering cooperation with the technical recruiting agency, like ITCraftship, because it can replace the need to hire a tech recruiter permanently and save the company expenses when there are no specific tasks for such a person. Such cooperation will also work when software engineers need to be hired as soon as possible, and no person in the team can deal with it professionally.