The function of a recruiter is simply put to find talent and sell them on an opportunity. How competent a recruiter is makes all the difference to the success of the candidate and the hiring company.
These are the key competencies of a tech recruiter:
Savvy Business Sense.
Your recruiter has got to understand business, and how companies work, from external constraints to internal dynamics. He/she should be a strategic thinker with the ability to understand the details while maintaining a view from 10,000 feet both with the goal of achieving overall corporate goals.
Understanding of the Sector.
Your recruiter has got to know the technologies involved in your sector. In order to unearth the talent (especially for passive candidates), and vet and woo the talent, the recruiter has to talk the talk and know the tools. While sales/marketing candidates in the tech sector don’t need the same kind of require the same investigation of tricky Java code questions, they too need to be vetted for the knowledge of or proven ability to learn new technologies.
Mad Detective Skills.
Knowing the technology and sector is the first step, but with so many tools and so many boards out there, the recruiter must have mad-sourcing skills to ferret out the best candidates in a needle-in-a-haystack type scenario. LinkedIn, Monster, Dice are all a bounty of potential candidates, but to find just the right person to expand business into new territories, revolutionize a product, or provide other pivotal functions and provide competitive advantage, the search is a big undertaking.
Your recruiter needs to set expectations with the company and with candidates, and hold all parties to them. This will including hiring process timing and requisites, as well as communication and feedback, and prioritization of requisites and effort. Process accountability is important for the recruiter to be effective, and without it there is no point in working together.
The recruiter has got to be able to identify the right match, understand the parties’ needs and perceived needs, and sell the opportunity in a compelling fashion. The recruiter plays a role in effectively beginning the onboarding process for the company, and at times he/she is selling the hiring manager on a profile that they initially hadn’t considered.
Your recruiter must have integrity and honesty, which of course you want from anyone you deal with but especially from someone with whom you are contracting to represent you and your opportunity. The recruiter acts as your representative so he/she will be the face of your company.
The recruiter must have excellent communication and listening skills, and be an enthusiastic representative of your brand/job/team/company. As the face of your company initially, the recruiter should have become well-versed not only in your company and its product/service, but also in the hiring manager’s management style, business approach, and his/her team and the work environment, such that they can paint an accurate picture that puts your best foot forward.
The recruiter is often in the position of mediator between candidate and company, negotiating with both sides to bring them into the zone of possible agreement (ZOPA). The recruiter will act as a sounding board, to provide feedback, ideas, and solutions. The recruiter should be tuned into the true needs and desires of both sides, such that he/she understanding the hard stops, and can champion a course of action that will achieve a win for all.
Challenges always arise, that’s just the nature of the beast. There are a lot of moving parts, both objective and subjective that need to mesh in order to make a successful hire. It is the role of the recruiter to be creative and to figure out how to make the right match come together by overcoming any variety of obstacle that may get thrown up from sick family members to company reorganization, from local talent shortages to immigrant visas, from scheduling Olympics to language differences, from compensation gaps to a finesse of titles, from whatever you can think of – it has probably happened.