Why is IT or Engineering recruiting so difficult? Why is it so intimidating to recruit these skill sets? It isn’t, you are just making it harder than it needs to be. Most of the struggles that I hear from technical recruiters are self-inflicted. Most technical recruiters greatest mistake is that they assume that they need to be experts in the IT or Engineering fields they are recruiting for. WRONG! Let’s be real unless
you are about to go back to school and study Computer Science, you are not going to be an expert. Stop kidding yourself and stop trying to fool your client and candidates like you are an engineer. This will only make it more difficult to gain their trust. While you don’t need to be an expert with the technologies, you do need to have an understanding of the industry, technology trends, supply and demand, and your client. If you don’t know your client and the department/business unit you are supporting, you can hang it up, you will never find what they are looking for.
In most cases, I find that recruiters don’t ask the right questions. You can take a consultative approach (big picture, overview, and business strategy) to better qualifying your clients need or you can take a transactional (one req at a time) approach. Either way you need to get the right information to fill the requirement. Try to understand what your client trying to accomplish. These questions have served me well in IT. Is this a new product/software or an existing? What will this product/software do for the company? What will it do for the market? Once you understand the outcome, try to evaluate the environment. What previous experience will make someone successful in this role? What kind of experiences would make someone crash and burn in this role? What skills does this person need to come to the table with? What can you afford to teach this person on the job? How experienced does this person need to be? Can education be in lieu of experience (or vice versa)? These questions along with a good job description often give me what I need to fill the requirement.
Supply and Demand. This is very important in today’s market. How does this factor into how you recruit? Let’s say there are only 10 engineers with a CISSP and 50 job openings for engineers with a CISSP. How difficult do you think it will be to hire 1? This is supply and demand. You need to understand how many qualified candidates there are for your openings and where to find them. My favorite partners for supply and demand tools and data are Career Builder andWanted Analytics.
If you are a technical recruiter, you need to take an interest in technology. Follow your clients on linkedin.com. Follow a few tech blogs like CNET, Engadget, Mashable, Gizmodo or Inside Tech. If you don’t take an interest chances are you won’t be a technical recruiter for that long.
For more info on being a successful technical recruiter follow the blog or email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.