I have recently had contact with recruiting from both the candidate and the (technical) recruiter. Seeing how difficult it is to find both a good employee and a good job, I started to think about the recruitment process. In your opinion, the world of IT and the world of recruiters are completely different worlds? Do you have the impression that we cannot communicate?
I am aware that I can simplify problems and not understand the rules governing recruitment. The suggestions given are how I would like to be treated myself and what to see when looking for a job. You can take this as a guide from the candidate on how to increase your recruiting results and make the whole process more enjoyable.
The most important thing is to communicate
Before we start, we need to realize that we are playing to the same goal. Both sides have similar goals when it comes to recruiting. The new candidate should be the best possible for a recruiter, facilitating his admission to the company. For the candidate, the company should offer a good salary and at the same time be a good place to work.
To communicate well, we need a common language. Especially when we are talking about the recruitment stages, technologies, and expectations.
There are situations when the direct explanation of certain limitations (e.g., type of project, technology) can facilitate cooperation. Both parties must agree with each other.
Good recruitment process
Shouldn’t a recruiter write if there is nothing to submit? Of course not! Even if there is no offer today, something may appear tomorrow. It is worth taking care of the network and expanding it. However, then the message should directly suggest this, e.g., “I have nothing for you today, but I think that this contact may be useful in the future.”
Along with the offer, it is worth mentioning which technologies are used in the project. This will speed up the candidate’s response. He will not have to check the entire offer and will answer immediately when the proposal does not match.
As we move to the stage of further contact, it is worth it that the recruiter is prepared for possible questions from the candidate. I think a short conversation (phone screen interview) is a standard used to establish relations between the candidate and the recruiter and allow you to talk about the offer. During this conversation, questions may be asked about the versions of the frameworks, the libraries used, decisions why something was prepared in a given way. As a recruiter, you don’t need to know everything, but preparing for the interview is important. The phrase “I will find out and come back to you” is worth returning to the candidate. Nobody likes being ignored by others.
Further stages are often technical and personal (soft) job interviews. The candidate will appreciate it if you remind them about these meetings. Especially in longer recruitment processes, it is worth taking care of the reminders and being clearly informed about the following stages.
As a recruiter, also try to provide feedback for the candidate, especially if he is not accepted. It will allow him to prepare better and improve his skills. Thanks to this, you will take care of relationships. You may not have any other offers today, but in the future, something will appear, and you will want to come back to the candidate. If you ignored him and didn’t live up to your promises, don’t be surprised if he ignores you.
As a candidate, try to reply to recruiters’ messages, even if you are not interested in cooperation. It will allow them to focus on other candidates rather than bouncing back and forth on non-response. If you are not accepted, don’t blame the recruiter. He is often the forward arm of the company and cannot do much if there is a better candidate for the position for which we applied.
Interview with the candidate - phone screen interview
A good conversation is possible if both sides feel they are a partner and not an intruder. As a recruiter, try to find out as much as possible about the offer before you start the conversation. It will facilitate the further process.
Do not hesitate if the candidate will ask you difficult questions. He will definitely do it! However, you will be prepared for it.
For a candidate, a recruiter does not need to understand all technologies and concepts. However, he must try to convey as much as possible about the project. After all, it will be the job for the candidates where they will spend a massive amount of hours.
It can be not easy, but it is worth trying to understand what the project is about. Also, try to find out why the technologies were chosen, expectations, and how they worked in reality.
The initial interview is extremely important. It allows you to assess whether it is worth entering into cooperation and the further recruitment process. It is important for both parties. Frameworks may be outside the area of interest, or the programming language is not responding. The candidate should withdraw sooner than after the next steps. If the candidate does not meet our expectations, it is also worth resigning.
As a recruiter, try to ask the candidate to evaluate their skills in a given technology. If he cannot justify his thoughts, it is possible that he is not as good as it seems after checking the CV itself.
Don’t be afraid to ask for roles in previous teams. Some people say that when a candidate says “we did” instead of ”me”, it means that he did not have such a large contribution to the project. I disagree with this as I prefer this form myself. It allows me to emphasize the importance of teamwork and the support of other team members, without whom it would be difficult. However, if you prefer the form of ”I”, ask why the candidate uses “we” (if he does).
The conversation is also a great time to ask about the problems he has to deal with. The solution method can also be important as it allows you to understand how a person works and collaborates with others. Based on the projects, you can also raise the subject of changes that it brought; what conclusions have emerged; which he pays special attention to.
Programming skills are difficult to verify during this interview. However, it is worth understanding the candidate’s motivations to use a given technology, language, or framework.
I would like to inquire about the scale of previous projects. Different challenges will be when the project is used by many users and different when the traffic is much lower. The conversation may also concern open-source projects, creativity after working hours, developing your blog or podcast projects, as well as participating in conferences. Each such information brings us closer to understanding the candidate and his values in life.
Mentoring in companies is becoming more and more popular. It can also be a very important question for a candidate.
However, remember not to overdo it. Try to keep the first conversations short but very meaningful so that neither party feels like wasting their time. If everything works out, you might be able to collaborate on a project together!