Step 1: KYC!
The first step to becoming a good recruiter is knowing your customer! You can’t find a person if you don’t know what type of person you’re looking for. Learn about the company, culture, technologies, processes and methodologies, find out how often they release code and what their deployments look like, how big their teams are, room for advancement, what this person is going to be doing (get detailed); basically, every question you could possibly ask about their environment, culture and the position, you should ask.

Step 2: Understand the Tech:
Ok, so you don’t need to be a programmer to recruit programmers (though, it does help), but you should (at min) understand the terms, various languages, what they’re used for, the difference between frontend and backend software development, what the SDLC is, how to use GitHub and anything else you might read on a software engineer’s LinkedIn profile.

Step 3: Don’t Rush!
You need to find this person fast, but you also need to do a good job. I’ve been sourcing software engineers for over 10 years and I’ve found that I do my best work when I slow down. Take the time to read people’s profiles in detail before reaching out in order to make sure they’re the right fit for the job. This builds trust in the community and is the first step to building solid relationships with top-tier engineers. Also, don’t skimp on the search! A good full search takes me at least one full day just for sourcing the profiles. Doing a good job takes time.

Step 4: Don’t Spam!
Ok, so you’ve spent time building a list of people to reach out to and they’re all great matches for the job, but how do you get them to respond? Try sending a catered email to the individual backed by research. For this to work, you must ensure the candidate will relate to the position. You need to get them interested enough to reply! That means, researching their interests, ensuring the job lines up with said interests and then communicating this in a clear and effective manner. It’s not easy, but it is that simple 😉

Step 5: Follow up!
Most people don’t answer on the first email, many don’t even see it. Email again, pick up the phone, find a way to get in touch. If getting in touch with the best candidates was easy, they’d be talking to everyone. Recruiting is hard work, put in the effort and you’re more likely to be successful.

Step 6: Learn to Interview
Believe it or not, most technical recruiters have no idea how to conduct a technical interview. I don’t blame them because this is one of the hardest things I’ve had to learn (outside of how to program, which is definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever learned!). In order to give an effective technical interview, you must know a lot more than just the lingo. I would recommend taking an intro to coding or computer science course, or a training program focused on technical recruitment. I recommend Harvard CS50 b/c it teaches you the fundamentals and it’s comprehensive.

Step 7: Listen!
(Paraphrasing) Buhda said that if your mouth is open, you’re not learning. Your job is to learn about the companies you’re hiring for and the candidates you’re representing, which is done by asking questions and listening to the answer. Hearing someone is different from really listening, which is why I recommend that you study the field of listening to ensure you’re really understanding and taking in what the person is saying.

IMPORTANT: Google is your friend! I always advise googling everything you don’t understand that’s on a candidate resume BEFORE you speak with them. Also, Google for interview questions you can ask the candidate based on their experience (just make sure you know what the right answer should be!).

Step 8: Be Courteous
Treating people fairly is not a new concept, it’s just undervalued and often forgotten. Choose ethics over money and you will always be rich! Remember that you’re in the service industry and it’s your job to treat everyone like you would your best friend (even if they’re ignoring your texts!).

Step 9: Be Ethical
Do the right thing! Never forget that your reputation is worth more than any deal you could close. You’re never going to please everyone, but if you feel good about your decisions and experiences at the end of the day, then you know you’re doing a good job.

Step 10: Be Responsive Give Feedback!
This is one of the most overlooked aspects of recruiting but also one of the most important. Build a process that ensures you are accountable for providing feedback and declining candidates. Also, make sure your client is willing to give feedback to candidates. In fact, make this a requirement before you even agree to work with them. This will ensure strong, long-lasting relationships with people that will choose to work with you again and again.

So how do you know if you’re being a good recruiter?

Well, that’s easy, people will tell you. You get 5-star reviews from candidates that didn’t get the job. Your clients praise you and thank you regularly. People literally tell you that you’re a good recruiter and they appreciate the hard work you’re putting in to ensure their career development. This is also the type of stuff that makes this job fun and keeps you invested for the long term.

I hope this has helped someone, somehow. Thanks for reading!