New to tech recruitment? These are the only tips you need

Tech recruitment can seem pretty overwhelming, especially if you’re not a techie.


All the words that have been squashed together (DevOps). The endless Star Wars references. The technologies that sound similar but are basically the opposite (we mean you, Java and JavaScript). And what on earth is ETL? To compound everything, developers of all kinds are in short supply.


Where on earth do you start?


The best people to turn to for advice are seasoned tech recruiters themselves. And luckily, we have a bunch of them in the office. So we asked them for you.

TechSpotters, what are your ultimate tech recruitment tips?


Joe, Team Lead:


“Don’t be intimidated by the thought of using technical terms when interviewing candidates. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know the ins and outs of every single technology, just make sure you know what skills the role requires, the types of projects they’d be working on and the company’s culture and working environment.”


“Learn about the different industry sectors. There are huge differences between product-based companies and software companies, for example, and understanding the differences will help you decide whether a candidate is right for the role.”


Keeping on top of the latest tech and trends in recruitment is crucial. Take a look at all the ways VR is changing the candidate engagement game.

Claude, CEO:


“Although it’s not easy when you’re new to the game, try to look beyond the keywords of technologies in potential candidates’ CVs. Instead, ask about the kinds of projects they’ve worked on and whether they’re similar to your company or client’s projects. (If you don’t know, you need to find out!)


Asking about the kind of environment they’re used to will give you a better idea of a good match than ticking off a long list of technical skills.”

Rory, TechSpotter:


“We’re tech recruiters, not developers. Don’t feel like you need to know every technology inside and out one month after you start. The best people to explain the programming languages and skills to you are the ones that use it!


Asking a candidate to explain what they do as if they’re talking to someone who has no technical background not only tests their technical understanding, but also tests some soft skills – empathy, communication and patience… win win.”


Not sure what soft skills your developers need? We’ve got that covered. Check out our blog post – 10 soft skills for developer candidates. 

Greg, TechSpotter:


Explore recruiting tools (free and paid). Remember sourcing doesn’t start and stop with LinkedIn! Blogs are the perfect way to get underneath some of the programming jargon – Geekology Blog, Stack Overflow and Social Talent are good places to start. Invest in tools as much as you can, at least at the beginning.


The other way to learn about the development world is to attend events in your free time…. there are hundreds of techie meetups with networking opportunities, introductions to new tech and, of course, free beer!


Finally, don’t forget that technical experience and skills are only 50% of the requirement. Remember to check developers’ levels of English, open-mindedness for change, soft skills and availability for relocation. And don’t take everything they say at face value! Probe deeper by asking about specific projects they’ve worked on.”

Ana, TechSpotter:


“You’re at the beginning of your career, learning a lot of new things and getting familiar with different technologies, so it’s OK to make mistakes – as long as you learn from them.


Be patient, relaxed, don’t let your emotions get in your way and learn how to deal with “failures”. If you’re having a good day, capitalise on it. If you’re having a bad day, remember that not everything revolves around work!”

Claude, CEO (again):


Stay clear of selling points like “dynamic environment”, “interesting projects” or “nice colleagues”, as they’re basically meaningless to candidates. No company has ever told a candidate in tech that their environment is not dynamic, that they don’t have interesting projects or that their future colleagues are horrible!


Talk about measurable facts rather than fluffy stuff, for example the scale of a project or user growth, and concrete career opportunities e.g. “candidates with a similar profile have grown towards “position X”.


Don’t just look local. Some of our best candidates have come from far-flung corners of the world, and having a diverse mix of different languages, backgrounds and experiences strengthens a team.”

Denis, TechSpotter:


“One of the best things about working in tech recruitment is the opportunity to chat with people from all around the world. It might sound like a cliche, but it’s true! I’ve stayed in touch with several ex-candidates, one of whom is currently teaching me JavaScript.


In this industry, it’s crucial to cultivate existing relationships and keep in touch with awesome candidates so you have a ready-to-go pipeline when a new role opens up.”


“When approaching new candidates, it’s easy to look at them as a number or target. Don’t do it! Adding personal touches to your messages (noting a specific skill, hobby, photo, etc) really does make all the difference.”


Now you know how to talk to developers, the offers will be flooding in! Find out how to make a candidate an offer (and get them to say yes!) in 5 easy steps.

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