Advice for a Young Tech Recruiter

In my podcast last week with Urie Suhr, the last question centered around advice for a young tech recruiter.

Her advice is worth repeating here.

young tech recruiter

I think the most valuable thing that I’ve taken away so far in my experience in technical recruitment is that, you know when I first started off, I didn’t know anything in technology. When I first started, I didn’t know what all these tech tools meant or all the stack meant and everything like that. Who helped me and why I feel that I’ve become successful as of today is through every candidate experience I had, and connecting with them and sharing that sense of transparency.

I remember my first call with my first candidate, and I was scared, I was so terrified, because I was like, “Wow, this person and this technical stack, I don’t know what I’m doing,” but one thing that I did is that I was very honest with them and said, “Listen, I’m new to this, I want to learn from you, so you tell me your story and share me your journeys and your tales about what this is, but I’m going to tell you what I have so far and what the opportunity is, so we can help each other and I can learn from you, because technology excites me. What do you have to say about this role, and if it’s not a right fit, could you give me feedback of why it wasn’t the right fit?”

That’s how I came to the position that I am today, as a director of talent, because every single connection I’ve made I thank, because whether it was the right fit or not, or whether they were the ones that were chosen for the role or not, the takeaway was that I always learned something from them. Engage with your candidate, and don’t be afraid to be honest, you know say, “Listen, I want to learn something from you today,” and learn from them.

They’re more than willing to share that, they’re more than willing to say, “Oh,” you know and they love talking about their expertise. It’s okay, you know just go ahead and just be open with them. Don’t be afraid to just be, again, human, because I cannot express having a sense of humility, how that translates into connection, and connection is important.

That’s why that person will work with you, that’s why that [inaudible 00:35:15] candidate, when you get them, they’re going to come back to you, whether it be that current role or even a recurring role for any of those working in the agency.

Also, as a new recruiter, ask yourself if you’re really serious about being a recruiter and you seriously want to become a director of talent or the director of people ops, all these things, why did you get into recruitment in the first place? What excites you? Then when you learn about what excites you and what you’re compassionate about in recruiting, let the world know. I built my brand over LinkedIn from Ton, and it’s yielded me results.

It’s such a wild thing to sit and think about, and also puts a big smile on my face. I have a very large data science community on my LinkedIn, and this is all organic traffic, this is not me necessarily always having to source people. I have now very amazing candidates that come and connect with me on LinkedIn because I built my brand, because I have a very high interest specifically in data science or big data, and so I share with the community and try to help everyone, you know,

“This is the article I saw, this is what I learned, this is a question that I have about the industry.” Then next thing you know, my articles are getting forked, or on Twitter I’m very active, or I just like to learn. I show that, whether it’s attracting candidates or not, it’s just my own goal is I want to make sure that anybody who is either on the side of recruitment or being a candidate, I want to help as much as I can.

Because finding a career is terrifying, or making that career move too is terrifying, so I just always try to share that information, but also provide, bridge the gap, maybe sometimes people don’t have the time to really do that kind of search of seeing what’s going on in the industry, so I do it for them. I started to do that, even sharing that with my CEO or my EVP of engineering, and then over time, soon it becomes them reliant on asking me questions, what I see in the industry, and then layering that with the candidate pipeline, and always just being a wealth of information.

It’s also because I care, because this is something that I’m passionate about.

I cannot express enough to all new recruiters, just really take a hard think about what excites you, and then go towards that and be passionate with your community and share, you never know who’s looking, you never know who’s watching.


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