Technical recruiters help companies hire the best tech talent. These HR specialists are involved in sourcing, screening, interviewing and matching tech professionals to promising careers. On their quest to find the top talent, tech recruiters develop workforce strategies, identify candidate sources, create job descriptions, assess candidate fit and present them to potential clients. So, what is it like to work with a technical recruiter? Let’s find out.
We sat down with Afza Chaudhary to learn more about her role as a technical recruiter and how candidates can benefit from their partnership with a recruiter.
1. How has the world of tech recruitment changed in the age of remote work?
AC: Today, technology has enabled people to work from anywhere, blurring the lines between work-life. Roles and responsibilities change frequently, and skills that aren’t constantly maintained become out of date.
2020 has completely changed the norms of the IT recruitment, where almost 75% of job categories (Development, Quality Assurance, Business Analysis, IT Project Management, System Administration, DevOps) have shifted to virtual hiring/onboarding and opened doors to remote work engagements. However, the recruiting norms for some onsite job categories haven’t changed a lot such as the financial services sector, call centers, professional services and administration and support functions for distribution and other businesses.
Remote hiring and onboarding initiatives have opened talent markets across provinces, across Canada. Clients are now open to the idea of exploring beyond the highly competitive GTA talent, giving us access to a larger talent pool with rich and diverse educational and professional background.
2. What are recruiters looking for in today’s tech talent?
AC: Technical skills proficiency has become very critical and the wiggle room for “must-have” job requirements has reduced. Remote work involves great autonomy of fulfilling job responsibilities along with burden to successfully and independently complete tasks. Clients are looking for candidates who can hit the ground running without extensive training. Hiring managers are revisiting the concept of “on the job” learning as the focus shifts to minimal training during onboarding.
Communication skills have always been integral to the recruitment process but in the era of remote work, both verbal and written communication are critical to most IT roles. Recruiters and clients are looking for candidates that possess strong communication and problem-solving skills.
With the looming uncertainty, clients are on the hunt for “team players” who can adapt to different projects and teams seamlessly. Candidates are evaluated through situational interviews to gauge how fast they can adapt to remote environments, evolving technologies and implement those within projects.
3. How should candidates make the most out of their experience with a recruiter?
AC: Candidates must ask relevant questions about the job opportunity that’s being presented to them. Ask your recruiter to provide you with additional information regarding the role that can help you prepare and assess the job match. Talk to your recruiter about any hiccups you might be facing during the job search process. If you need resume assistance or advice on interview prep, reach out to your recruiter and seek their advice.
Transparency is a two-way street and is essential in fostering a strong dialog. Candidates need to be with their recruiters and vice versa. For instance, if you’re actively seeking for opportunities in the job market and are open to multiple jobs at once, the expectation is that you keep your recruiter informed about any changes in your job search status and potential offers. Take your time to devise a well thought decision, but let the recruiters know immediately that you are discussing other opportunities. In this way, recruiters can change their timelines and leave room for those “tough” decisions. A recruiter might be able work your timelines to get a better counteroffer and provide you with an option to choose the best opportunity out of all your available offers/options.
4. How would a job seeker benefit from partnering with a recruiter such as yourself?
AC: I believe in operating with full transparency and practice effective two-way communication throughout the recruitment process. Our goal is to make sure candidate profiles are being presented to the client in the most appealing manner, including personalized notes and comments for each candidate. We push for faster interviewing and detailed feedback. Additionally, we also provide our candidates with direct insights from hiring managers, suggest on interview patterns and highlight team structure.
5. What are some of your challenges as a recruiter?
AC: Candidates are not always vocal about their drivers and motivators, not forthcoming about their restrictions as well as job search status. For instance, if you can’t work past a certain hour or can’t get into the office until a certain hour, or prefer a full-time role over contract, be honest and upfront with your recruiter. When these concerns come up at the 11th hour, they can be major deal breakers.
6. Any advice to the tech professionals that are actively seeking employment?
AC: Be selective in choosing the recruiters you partner with and politely decline to work with those that don’t appeal to you or are inappropriate for your situation. Speak with as many recruiters as you like and do your due diligence but only work with one/two recruiters for a specific client or industry. Refrain from signing contracts or agreements that may obligate you to work exclusively with a single recruitment firm, as this will only diminish your power over your job search. Be vocal about your drivers, motivators, constraints, and restrictions. Make sure your recruiter is truly listening to job search needs and if they aren’t, it’s time to find a new one.