My take on... the recruiting process

Howdy 👋🏻

This time, I'd like to talk about the recruiting process. You know, the first step before getting your next job.

It can be quite frustrating for everyone involved, and I guess it may be because each party doesn't know what to expect from the other side. You (talking from the developer side) will feel dazzled when the recruiters ask you personal questions that are not related to the position or feel they are doing market research with you. Not cool.

Don't be a call center agent.

My first job was in a call center, there is nothing wrong with it, however, being a recruiter and a call center agent are two quite different jobs.

The recipe for getting low-quality candidates is measuring success by the number of phone calls the recruiter has. It means they will try to get as many phone calls as possible and not pay attention to the candidate's profile that fits the position.

It results in a frustrated recruiter that has a very large list of candidates and keeps shifting from one candidate to the next one. "Does not fit", "they are not interested", "don't even know the tech stack" may be the most common conclusions on those calls.

Thus, doing some proper research beforehand will save everyone's time. Recruiters could go through the candidate's profile and pay close attention to the technologies, the experience, what they are currently doing. Maybe they have the knowledge and experience, but checking their last positions, the recruiter can see if the candidate is currently working on a different level than the job opportunity offers.

In addition, having phone calls are exhausting and inefficient. Recruiters can spend days if not weeks calling a couple of dozens of people. Although, having a compelling message, with all the details (especially salary details) will help them to reach many more professionals and have a better chance to find someone that fits.

How much?

Oh boy! This topic has so many different and conflicting visions that I understand why so few people talk about this.

This reminds me of a call I had with a recruiter for a development company related to SAP. We've been through the conversation regarding the position without any problem until we've talked about salary.

She tried to convince me with an example of a car dealership. She said: "If you want to buy a car, you should ask how much it is worth" (In this time, where there is this movement to avoid "objectivizing" people, suddenly, I'm a car 🤷🏻‍♂️) and I answered, "Well, in this case, is the salesperson who came to my house to offer a car and doesn't want to tell me how much is it"

The rule should be simple, whoever contacts the other party, should be the first one to disclose the number. If a recruiter contacts you, they should say: "I have X position for X money, are you interested?". The other way around is, if you are looking for a change, you should disclose how much you need to make the change (However, it's a bonus if the recruiter does it before you in this situation)

This, combined with the first point it's a red flag for me. If a recruiter contacts me and insists on having a call to then avoid disclosing all the details about the position, especially, the salary, it's a "no-go" for me. That kind of unprofessionalism is not what I want to have in my job environment.

Technical interview

I was going to have a gif, but the whole scene deserves it 😂

Here, I don't have any complaints, to be honest. Although, there are a couple of things that made me feel more comfortable than others.

It is crucial to make the candidate comfortable and to achieve that, there are a couple of strategies:

  • Ask the candidate to talk about any personal project they have with the technologies related to the position. This helps the candidate shine in a familiar environment.
  • Make it "One on One", having a conversation one on one is more comfortable than having the candidate talk to two or more people.
  • "We're on the same level, on the same team" I highly recommend this, make it very clear that both of you seek the same goal, working together. It is not a competition, so don't rush for answers. And that takes me to the next point.
  • Don't look for answers, look for ways of thinking/solving problems. Nobody knows all the answers, particularly in our job, where we lean on documentation a lot (at least I do most of the time). Because developers are not hired to give answers, they are hired to solve problems and many people confuse them.

For now, this is my take on the recruiting process. Probably I haven't covered much, but I'd gladly take any feedback and edit, add more details on what interests you the most. Furthermore, as we get more experience our ideas change, so this is what I think at the time of writing. It may change in the future, and it should, because it means we are evolving.

As always, I hope you can take anything useful from this and I'd like to know your thoughts.

Feel free to reach me on LinkedIn or Twitter . 👋🏻