As a Tech Recruiter, You Hold Untapped Superpowers—Here’s How to Harness Them

As someone who sources and hires technical people, you have one of the best jobs that society has to offer. But sometimes, this reality is tough to remember because—let’s face it—there’s a lot more hard work than glamor in your role.

Between communicating with company leadership, supporting hiring managers, providing candidates with high-touch processes, and the sheer number of times you hear the word “no,” in your day, the work can feel like sorting laundry piles. read more

Tech Recruiting: Improve your outreach ROI

At humanpredictions, we detect signals that tech people leave on public websites indicating they are open to making a move. We use those signals to form our proprietary “hp Priority” score. When recruiters focus their time and energy on high hp Priority scored candidates, they increase their rate of placement and have a higher return on investment with outreach efforts. read more

Define Your Brand Already, Recruiter

As recruiters, we spend a lot of time looking at profiles of potential candidates on several different social media channels. These profiles inform thoughts and assumptions about potential candidates including: skills, interests, experience level, and even their personality. Think about the assumptions made after looking at someone’s Twitter bio, tweets they’ve shared in the last 24 hours, or even their summary (or lack thereof) on LinkedIn.

Well, assumptions go both ways…

With all of this information you collected from the words they shared online, have you taken time to think about the assumptions other people may be making about you from the words you’re sharing? Have you thought about the impact these words also may have on someone’s interest level in responding to you or even working with you and your company?

Let’s do a quick assessment of your social media, no not the company’s social media, but your =&0=& social media:

LinkedIn
  • Headline – this small piece of real estate has a lasting impression. Does it represent what you do in the right light? Keep in mind that this headline is something people remember when they see your face or hear your name, use it strategically.
  • Photo – they say a picture is worth a thousand words. Don’t get too hung up on the photo, but do think about what yours says about you. For starters, do you have a photo? And if so, is it recent? We all know those people that still have a headshot up from ten years ago because it’s still their favorite, but let’s be real, using an old photo doesn’t go unnoticed.
  • The summary – LinkedIn isn’t always the easiest place to reach developers or other technical folks. But if you’re using it to do outreach, think about what you’re saying here and who you’re trying to reach. Are you using a bunch of recruiter jargon or are you personalizing it to tell a more whole story? Think about your audience, always and meet them where they are. This is about you, but it’s for them.
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    Stop Playing the Hiring Blame Game

    “Everyone emphasizes humility in interviews, and though people can talk about it, it’s not always the case in execution.” This observation by Ryan Verner, 8th Light’s Director of Education and Software Developer has been playing over and over in my mind like the Netflix previews that loop and repeat. It led to a much deeper conversation with Verner about the gap that exists between people on either side of the hiring process.

    The conversation about this gap seems like a hamster wheel of blame with too many fingers pointing at who’s at fault. The blame typically falls on the recruiter or the job seeker. But there is so much misinformation, miscommunication, and a misalignment of expectations that it doesn’t come down to just one group of people that need to change or fix their mindset.

    In actuality, there are a lot of factors that impact and perpetuate the problem.

    =&0=&The recruiting industry has made a hard shift in recruitment practices. It’s gone from a people-first craft to gaming the system and streamlining the process with computers and AI. We =&1=&be using the latest technology to help us do our jobs better and make more informed decisions, but technology should never replace the human component.

    Sites like CareerBuilder, Indeed, and LinkedIn are designed to close the gaps between hiring teams and job seekers, but they are actually also a big part of the problem. Sites like these give both sides a free pass for practicing lazy habits.

    For example, instead of using LinkedIn as a platform to share valuable information and to personally connect with the right people, features like “apply with a click”, encourage a mindless and dehumanizing application process. That means people don’t invest the time to craft an application, cover letter, or resume that is specific to that job or company. And while the time invested is less intensive, it gives job seekers the misconception that they invested an appropriate amount of time applying to jobs.

    I hear this all the time: job seekers expressing frustration in applying to 100+ jobs and getting nowhere. Well, sorry, but no surprise there. There’s no real investment. It’s clicking buttons and feeling like there’s a sufficient output to get desirable outcomes — but it’s not.

    It’s all so generic. No one wants generic, but applicants are doing generic things.

    What about the hiring side? These technologies also encourage teams and managers to exhibit lazy habits, which creates a cyclical process that widens the hiring gap even more. Companies post generic wish lists in the form of a job posting that attract groups of people that sound the same with few to no differentiators. Sometimes candidates aren’t even qualified.

    Cue all the recruiter headaches.

    Complaints about these types of resumes fill our LinkedIn feeds. But if you’re not clear on what you need for the role or how you want information in the application process, this is what you’ll get. You get a gap.  And, when you took out the human element, you should have seen it coming. No room for complaining from where I see it.

    The bottom line here is that sites like these tend to remove the human connection out of a process that so desperately needs it.

    =&2=&Be realistic. If you look for unicorns, there’s gonna be a gap. (

    psst… fantasy read more

    Resist the Spam

    This email came through my inbox:

    It doesn’t sound terrible, right? Then why does an email like this cause all the frustrating feelings toward tech recruiters?

    =&0=&

    I work with developers and while I reference my work within the tech industry online, any technical person really looking at my LinkedIn (or my GitHub profile as they claimed) could quickly tell that I’m on the human side of software, not someone who would consider applying for or even remotely qualify for a position like the one they pitched.

    This isn’t the first time I’ve received an email like this, I get these emails often. They’re all the same: soliciting my skills without taking the time to research or learn anything about me, clearly showing a lack of care for the person on the receiving end. It definitely doesn’t start our newfound “relationship” on the right foot. Now, imagine how many more emails actual developers and other technical folks get on a daily basis. It’s not flattering, it’s =&1=&.

    Spamming potential candidates is a funny concept to me considering humans have spam filters too, and they’re better than gmail’s. I know immediately if the emails in my inbox were written by humans genuinely reaching out to me (and only me) versus those emails that were clearly mail-merged, pretending to be genuine, just like the one in the screenshot above. I know I’m not alone in this.

    This email in particular stands out with a ton of red flags, filled with general, sales-style information about the company, a quick reference to where they found me (though that immediately discredits them in my case considering my GitHub profile has four repos that clearly demonstrate my inability to do any of the skills they’re in search of), and a P.S. “I’m spamming you, so feel free to unsubscribe” disclaimer. Oh! And don’t get me started on the presumptuous, “or if you know someone who may be a better fit…” line. It’s beyond ridiculous to think it’s acceptable to ask for access to my network when you haven’t even taken the time to get to know me, let alone even really research me. Referrals are an incredible thing to ask for… =&2=&

    But hey, it’s a numbers game. Send emails to as many people identifying skills that match the job description — this will definitely get a high return on our invested time. Use all the technology to reach more people and hack the system. Success!

    WRONG.

    The process most recruiters are using is broken, especially in the tech industry. There is this misconception that a large output produces a large return. In some cases large quantities pay off. In recruiting it doesn’t. Recruiting is about building relationships and using human-centric strategies rather than playing the numbers game.

    With the rise in access through email and social media, a lot of bad recruiting habits haven surfaced. Just because I can find virtually every Java developer in Chicago doesn’t mean I should email =&3=& of them, especially if it’s with the same form email. When developers get recruiter spam, it’s not the recruiter’s name they remember, it’s the company. They judge the company. Do you really want your tech company’s brand to be associated with that of a spam machine that is annoying all of the software engineers in town?

    Here’s what would have produced a better return on their investment:

    =&4=& spend time on the relevant sites (e.g. Meetup, Twitter, GitHub, Cocoapods, LinkedIn, Lanyrd, etc.) looking for people who reference their projects that are using the desired technologies, look for people who are members of Meetups or groups relevant to the skills needed to perform the job, pay attention to the people discussing challenges with desired technologies. Once you find potential candidates, research them to the nth degree. Explore their personal site, GitHub profile, LinkedIn, and Twitter account. Google the individual to see what additional information you can learn about them. You’re looking for information to use when making a more concrete connection to why you’re reaching out specifically to them. Show the person on the other end that you took the time to find the right candidates for the role, not just any candidate. 
    =&5=& Talk to people, get to know them, and build relationships. The more you invest in knowing someone, the better your recruiting experience will go. Having a network and building a community of people you can turn to when building a pipeline is a game changer. Think long-term. 
    =&6=& We posted recently about intentional recruiting for diversity listing organizations that focus on creating community for underrepresented groups. These are great options for sourcing the right candidates.


    =&7=& If you don’t know the people who have the right skills, then you can ask for referrals from people you do know. Asking for referrals from strangers is awkward and invasive, so don’t do that. When asking for referrals, be careful so you don’t end up “lacking diversity” in your pipeline. As long as you’re mindful about this strategy, it can be a great way to open doors with warm introductions to candidates who have the skills you need.


    =&8=&