Some industries require specific skill sets to recruit for them. One of the fastest-growing industries with specialized recruitment is tech — a broad term covering everything from software engineers to developers.
Technical recruiting falls under the umbrella of human resources and can refer to a few different things. Essentially, however, the predominant role of a technical recruiter is to find talent for positions in IT and engineering. Technical recruiters need an in-depth understanding of the industry they are hiring for, whether on an in-house HR team or a staffing agency.
This guide will take you through everything you need to know about technical recruiting, including the role, the skills required to succeed at it, and even some tips on attracting the talent you require. Whether you need to hire a tech recruiter or choose this as a lucrative career, it’s essential to know what the role entails if you work in the tech industry.
What is the Role of a Technical Recruiter?
A technical recruiter is responsible for finding talent within the tech sector. The job involves various obligations and duties, including:
- Sourcing talent
- Screening applicants
- Scheduling interviews
- Extending offers on behalf of the company
In some instances, technical recruiters may also be responsible for monitoring a recruit's progress as they familiarize themselves with their new job.
Due to the specialized nature of tech recruiting, it is common for tech recruiters to have worked in technical fields for at least two years before becoming an IT recruiter. They may also have completed some formal training to prepare themselves for the role.
This experience is hugely beneficial when reviewing candidates. Recruiters can refer to their own experience and skills to confirm how qualified a prospective applicant is for the job.
Technical Recruiter Skills
You need to excel in several key areas to become a successful recruiter. While every role is different, all recruitment positions face similar challenges when searching for the right talent. To give you an idea of what this could look like, we've compiled some critical skills you will need to develop, regardless of any previous experience in the industry.
As a tech recruiter, you need to be able to make connections with people quickly, and you also need to know where to find the right talent. Both strategies come under the umbrella of networking.
Some forms of networking can be passive. Whether in person at conferences or online via social media, you may find that being in the right circles leads to the right connections.
However, sometimes, you need to be proactive as a recruiter. Simply waiting for the applications to flow in will slow down the process of finding the best candidates.
Experience with Multiple-Source Recruitment
Related to the above point, it helps technical recruiters familiarize themselves with recruiting via multiple sources. Sources can include attending conferences, reaching out via social media platforms, or advertising internally within the company.
This experience doesn't have to relate specifically to tech. You can develop this skill via working in general recruitment, which will prepare you for a career in tech recruiting.
Remember, multiple-source recruitment is about more than simply casting your net wide. You need to pursue multiple strategies and avenues.
Flexibility and Adaptability
The world of recruiting is an ever-changing environment with numerous potential challenges around every turn. You need to be able to meet these challenges and change your plans without falling apart or feeling overwhelmed, which is where flexibility and adaptability become invaluable skills.
Everyday stressors in this role include candidates dropping out, rejecting offers, or failing to pass background screening checks. There's a lot to juggle at any given time, and you need to be able to go with the flow at all times.
To recruit the best talent, you need to understand what they do and how they do it. Trust us—candidates will know if you have no clue what you're talking about when you reach out to them about a role.
The candidate’s expertise in the area and the technical aspects of the job are why so many technical recruiters need tech experience of their own before pursuing this career path. Technical knowledge is crucial.
Adept Understanding of Labor Laws
Failure to understand labor laws could land you and the company you recruit for in significant legal trouble if you aren't careful. It's a risk that simply isn't worth taking, so educating yourself on the specific labor laws relevant to your state is essential.
Most labor laws cover discrimination protections, minimum wage, and overtime policies, among others. If your role as a recruiter extends beyond the onboarding stage, this is even more relevant, as you may be responsible for new employees understanding their rights.
Technical Recruiter Responsibilities
In addition to acquiring and developing specific skills, you also need to know what you'll be responsible for as a technical recruiter. It's a diverse role, with different companies expecting different levels of complexity from your services. Below are some of the most common responsibilities you should expect to undertake as a technical recruiter.
Writing Job Descriptions
You are essentially selling a position to a potential applicant as a recruiter. You must make it sound as desirable as possible, starting with the job description.
It is a common mistake for recruiters (and companies as a whole) to think applicants must sell themselves, but it's a two-way situation. While applicants should make themselves as appealing as possible, the company and position must stand out from competitors.
A tech recruiter is responsible for writing compelling and appealing job descriptions. That way, you can attract more talent that doesn’t want to work at just any company but your company.
Reaching Out to Candidates
Arguably the most crucial part of any recruiter's responsibilities, you will spend a lot of time reaching out to candidates.
Sometimes, finding the best talent means taking a proactive approach rather than waiting for the applicant to contact you.
Outreach might seem like an unusual role reversal to a conventional recruitment process, but it's ubiquitous in the tech industry, where jobs are highly competitive.
Creating Onboarding Schedules
Depending on the needs of the company you recruit for, your role won't necessarily end after hiring itself is complete. Sometimes you will need to oversee the entire onboarding process.
Onboarding involves helping candidates familiarize themselves with their new environment, company policy, working culture, and job duties. A smooth onboarding process directly contributes to job satisfaction and employee loyalty, so it's a significant responsibility.
Tips for Attracting and Hiring Tech Talent
Tech is a competitive market, which means there are a lot of high-quality applicants out there. Below are some tips for attracting only the best recruits.
Understand Your Industry
To attract the attention of the best candidates, you need to know what you're talking about and which niches you advertise as your specialties.
The in-depth industry knowledge isn't solely to earn their trust and respect — it's also for your benefit. If you don't understand the industry you work in, how can you know for sure that the candidate you're trying to recruit is legitimate? You can't test their knowledge if you don't possess it yourself.
Communicate Clearly and Effectively
When we say to communicate clearly, we aren't just referring to how you talk over email or during an interview. We are referring to how you express your company's needs to the candidate in question.
Are you offering a part-time or full-time role? Is it a contracted position or freelance? Will the candidate be working in-office, hybrid, or entirely remote?
These are all questions you need to know the answer to; preferably, the candidate shouldn't need to ask. Being upfront with this information will streamline the entire recruitment process.
Be Prepared to Negotiate
Last on our list of tips is the importance of negotiation. The best candidates in tech will be sought after by multiple companies, sometimes all at once. If you don't present your ideal applicant with a good enough offer, they will simply find what they need elsewhere.
Recruitment is a give-and-take relationship between candidates and recruiters, so don't be surprised if you need to go the extra mile to secure the right talent.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Difference Between Technical Recruiting and General Recruiting?
General recruiting can refer to any form of recruitment, whereas technical recruiting refers to finding candidates in the tech industry. Technical recruiting falls under the umbrella of general recruiting but is a more specialized field.
What Roles Do Technical Recruiters Fill?
As we have discussed further up, technical recruiters fill out a lot of different roles. The diversity of your position will largely depend on the company's specific needs. Duties can include building an onboarding schedule, conducting interviews, writing job descriptions, and reaching out to candidates.
Do All Tech Recruiters Have Tech Experience?
Most do, yes. In-depth tech knowledge is hugely beneficial for the candidate and yourself when recruiting. If you aren't familiar with the niche you are recruiting within, you won't be able to discern top talent from the rest of the crowd, which will ultimately impact the business.
Tech recruiters are specialists, and it takes a specialized recruiter to source the best talent for their companies. It’s a versatile role with multiple challenges but can also prove highly rewarding. Taking a candidate from application through to full employment can often feel very satisfying, especially if you play a significant role in the process.
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