Should You Use a Technical Recruiter?
Technical recruiters can be great resources for finding top engineering talent. These professionals specialize in connecting companies with qualified candidates, and they often have extensive networks of engineers to draw from.
But is a technical recruiter right for your company? And how do they fit into your current hiring process?
Let’s take a look at what a tech recruiter does, how they can help you hire better, and some things to keep in mind when working with one.
Technical recruiter duties
Hiring for technical positions can be difficult. Specialized skills are in high demand, and the best candidates get scooped up quickly. This is where a technical recruiter can come in handy.
Recruiters fast-tack the hiring process by quickly identifying and vetting candidates that fit your company’s needs. Instead of spending countless hours searching for the right candidate, a technical recruiter will scout, screen, and schedule interviews with suitable candidates for you. They’ll even help write position descriptions and triage job applications.
Additionally, a technical recruiter has a deep understanding of the tech industry, the latest trends, and new technologies.
Some day-to-day technical recruiter responsibilities include:
- Posting job ads and writing job descriptions
- Reviewing resumes
- Performing phone screenings to assess candidates relevant knowledge
- Coordinating and conducting in-person interviews
- Keeping in touch with hiring managers and candidates throughout the interview process
- Ensuring a positive candidate experience
- Providing feedback
A technical recruiter’s job is to primarily support hiring managers and make the hiring process easier for both the company and the candidate.
How do technical recruiters work?
Now that we know what a technical recruiter does, it’s time to look at how they work. Here are the basic steps in the technical recruitment process:
Step 1: Understanding your company’s needs
A technical recruiter will start by getting to know your business, its culture, and the specific skills and experience you’re looking for in a candidate. They may ask to review employer branding materials like your website, social media profiles, or job descriptions for similar positions.
Step 2: Sourcing candidates
Once the recruiter understands your company and what you’re looking for, they’ll start sourcing candidates. A technical recruiter will typically use multiple sourcing channels to find qualified candidates, such as:
- Job boards, social media, and candidate databases
- Personal connections, industry events, professional groups, or job fairs
- Employee referral programs or recruitment agency partnerships
Step 2: Posting the position
Next, they’ll create a software engineer description that accurately reflects your needs. They will also post the job on various job boards and track the applications that come in.
Step 3: Screening Candidates
Once they’ve received a pool of applications, the technical recruiter will screen candidates to identify those who are the best fit for the position. The screening process for technical talent often includes a phone interview as well as a technical assessment.
Step 4: Interviewing
After that, it’s time for the recruiter to coordinate interviews with the hiring manager. They will provide feedback to both the candidate and the company after each stage of the interview process.
Step 5: Onboarding
Finally, once a candidate has been selected for the position, the technical recruiter assists with onboarding and ensure a smooth transition into the company.
What positions do technical recruiters recruit for?
Technical hiring includes the selection of candidate applicants for technical roles ranging from entry level programmers to experienced data scientists, product designers, and engineers.
The most common types of technical positions that recruiters fill are:
- Front-end developer
- Back-end developer
- Full-stack developer
- Product manager
- Data analyst
- Data scientist
- Database administrator
- Systems administrator
- Network engineer
- Information security
Technical teams that are growing fast need support to keep up with the demand. If your company is using too much senior engineering time or struggling to win the talent war, working with a recruiter can make the process easier.
What skills does a tech recruiter need?
In addition to basic qualifications like understanding the job market and client management, a successful technical recruiter to have a mix of both soft skills and hard skills.
Senior recruiters should be able to quickly build rapport and trust with candidates. They must clearly communicate your company’s brand, culture, and values. Negotiation skills are important, too, as recruiters often have to negotiate salary and benefits with candidates.
It’s also helpful for a technical recruiter to have experience using various recruiting tools and software. They should be familiar with Boolean search strings and other advanced sourcing techniques. If you’re a fully remote company, they need to be able to explain your tech stack when asked.
Most importantly, your recruiting team must understand the technical skills and experience required for the positions they’re recruiting for.
What do technical recruiters need to know?
There’s a difference between general recruiting and technical recruiting.
Having technical knowledge of common coding languages, development frameworks, and cloud-based technologies is essential for any technical recruiter job. It’s especially imperative when assessing a candidate’s technical skills through phone screens and coding challenges.
How do recruiters talk to software engineers?
The way a recruiter talks to a software developer is different than the way they talk to other types of candidates.
When interacting with people applying for technical roles, it’s important to be clear and concise. Software engineers appreciate if someone gets straight to the point. Tech recruiters should be prepared to talk about the technical aspects of the position and the company.
It’s also helpful for the recruiting team to have an understanding of the software engineer’s work, so they can interview candidates and ask more targeted questions about their experience and skills.
Do you need a technical recruiter?
At this point, you’re probably wondering if your company need a technical recruiter to bring in top talent. The answer is: it depends.
If you’re struggling to find qualified candidates or if you don’t have the time or resources to dedicate to the hiring process, then working with a technical recruiter may be a good option for you.
Recruiters can also be helpful if you’re looking to hire for a new position or if you’re expanding into a new market.
Another thing to consider is the current job market. Is there a talent shortage in your industry? What’s the salary range for the position you’re hiring for? When the market is competitive and you can’t compete with Big Tech, working with a recruiter can give you an edge.
Tips for working with recruiter
Let’s say you decide to partner with a technical recruiter. There are a few things to keep in mind.
1. Get clear on your hiring needs
First, be clear about what you’re looking for in a candidate. Technical recruiters will often have a good sense of a candidate’s qualifications, but it’s important that you communicate your specific needs and expectations.
Tip: Check out our blog about Hiring and Recruiting Great Software Engineers for more tips on finding top talent.
2. Set a budget
Second, be prepared to pay a fee for the recruiter’s services. Technical recruiters (who don’t work in house) typically work on a contingency basis, meaning they only get paid if they successfully place a candidate with your company. Fees can range from a few thousand dollars to 20% of the candidate’s first-year salary.
Tip: Glassdoor can show you the average technical recruiter salary in your area.
3. Do your part
A recruiter’s main focus is to source candidates for your team. After that, it’s up to you and human resources to do the final interviews and make a decision. Make sure you’re providing resources and feedback to the recruiter so they can continue to find the right people for your open roles.
Tip: Using a technical assessment platform like Woven allows technical recruiters to assess a candidate’s skills quickly and easily.
How do you find a good tech recruiter?
If you’re ready to hire a technical recruiter but don’t know where to begin, here are some helpful tips:
- Ask your network. The best way to find a good tech recruiter is by word-of-mouth. Ask your friends, family, or colleagues if they know someone in the recruiting industry.
- Check out online directories. There are several resources (like Glassdoor) that list technical recruiters and their specialties.
- Look for recruiters with experience. When interviewing, ask about the recruiter’s experience working with software engineers. Do they have a solid understanding of the latest technologies and interviewing techniques?
- Review websites. Most tech recruiters have a professional website that outlines their services, client accounts, and what they’ve helped their customers achieve.
The bottom line
If you’re looking for top engineering talent, partnering with a recruiter can be a great option.
Technical recruitment is a complex process — you want someone who understands the software engineering hiring landscape and has a proven track record of success. By following these tips, you can tap into a recruiter’s knowledge and maximize your chances of finding the right candidate.