Tech recruiting is a unique challenge. It’s a fast-paced role in a world where the talent pool is mostly passive. It requires a laser-sharp focus to keep your hiring process on track. And it requires you to find creative ways to hit your hiring goals without treating people like commodities.
Does this sound tough? That’s because it is! Thankfully, there are some powerful, yet straightforward steps you can take to become a technical recruiter. After you read this article, you’ll have an easy-to-follow action plan to help you get started.
1. Sharpen your networking skills
Successful tech recruiters know that developer hiring is all about relationships. Even if you have experience recruiting for non-tech roles, it takes a much different skill set to build rapport with programmers.
But before you load up your calendar, take some time to find events that are worth your time. As you begin attending tech meetups, take note of what went well in your conversations with developers—and more importantly, what didn't. You might not have engaging conversations with developers at your first event, but you will improve over time if you stick with it.
Feeling intimidated? Here’s a tip: Be honest about why you’re there. You might end up breaking a lot of programmers’ stereotypes about tech recruiters.
2. Practice reviewing developer resumes
Developers use their resumes to showcase the things they've built and the technologies they've used to create them—which can make them difficult to understand.
The tech landscape is always changing, which makes resume reviews difficult for even the most seasoned recruiters. But as challenging as reading a developer’s CV can be, there’s plenty you can do to start practicing.
First, study the most popular programming languages. Then, ask your engineering managers if you can shadow a technical resume review. Over time, you'll start seeing patterns between the developers they decide to interview and those they pass on. You’ll also identify things that successful tech hires have in common, which will pay huge dividends when you land your first tech recruiting job.
3. Schedule informational interviews with tech recruiters you respect
Often, the best way to learn how to become a technical recruiter is to go directly to the source.
Reach out to people who recruit developers for your company, and for other businesses that you admire. Ask them questions about how they transitioned into tech recruiting and which resources they'd recommend to you. Their answers will either confirm that you’re currently on the right track, or show you that you need to change your approach.
There are two things you should keep in mind for every informational interview. When someone offers you advice, take it seriously—and stay in touch after your interview. After all, they could become valuable connections for tech recruiting jobs down the road.
4. Research the developer hiring landscape
If you want to become a technical recruiter, dig into these difficult questions and share your findings with your team. The answers for your team (and your city) might look completely different than someone else’s data—and that’s perfectly fine! This initiative will make it clear that you’re serious about making the transition into a tech recruiting job.