10 Things Tech Candidates Hate about IT Recruiters

Tech Candidates Hate IT RecruitersAsk any talented IT pro about recruiters, and you’ll likely hear the same stories and complaints:

“He tried to hard sell me to take a job in Florida – 800 miles away after I indicated I was only looking for local work.”

“She made the job sound like a dream – but it ended up being a nightmare instead”.

“I went to an interview and never heard from him again”.

“LOL, I am not taking a 10K pay cut so you can earn a commission”.

What makes the process so challenging, and why do so many skilled technical professionals avoid recruiters like the latest malware? Here are a few common complaints and why talented IT pros find them so annoying:

10 Ways IT and Tech Recruiter Annoy Good Tech Talent

You’ve exaggerated the job a bit: You want to make a great impression for your brand, and the candidate you’re interviewing is a true Rockstar. You know she would make a terrific addition to the team. Talking up the brand is one thing, but exaggerating the duties and responsibilities, pay or advancement potential will simply result in a mis-hire. Recruiting and onboarding is expensive, so creating inflated expectations will backfire on you both.

Read my resume…please!: Not all tech talent is alike; each person brings a unique skill set to the table, so calling a prospect and attempting to sell them on an interview for a position that has nothing to do with their core strengths and interests just won’t work.

“Yes, I may have done Windows (WPF) 5 years ago, but I have been doing Full Stack .NET programming focusing on Web API development called from multiple platforms since then.  So no, I do not want to go back to WPF.”

Consulting and staffing services that take the time to read resumes and fully “get” their chosen prospects are far more likely to get a good reception and to be able to make a match with an employer, too.

No Feedback. You sent him on an interview last week, now your near-perfect candidate is anxious to hear back from you. Even if you have no feedback yet, checking in accomplishes two things – it lets the prospect know you are still around and it ensures you don’t lose him to another recruiter. Taking the time to engage with high value prospects in a competitive market could make the difference between securing talent and starting the process all over again. If you only make contact when you want something and drop him the rest of the time, this talented individual is going to look for a better match.

You sent my resume where? Having a client resume does not give you carte blanche – you need to let her know where the resume is going, and to choose where you send it with care.

Wow, that’s a lot of steps! Phone calls, interviews, meetings, more interviews, a conference call…tech talent is in demand, and if you make your candidate jump through too many hoops, he will likely secure employment elsewhere. A few calls are fine, but placing a lot of demands on his time without moving forward is likely to turn him off eventually.

Your question tells me you do not understand the role:  “Yes, I am pretty sure they do not have MVVM and MVC in the same project. While theoretically possible, it is very unlikely.” While they may seem close because the both have “MV” in the title, this is more of the recruiter not understanding than the candidate. If you don’t know much about technology, then don’t attempt to quiz a candidate on technology. There is more to an interview than technical knowledge, and if you are not skilled in this department, leave those questions to someone who is.

Technical skills and certifications are diverse, so instead of seeking candidates who have the “exact” skills you do as an interviewer ask about projects they have worked on, what challenges they faced in the past and even what they think of some emerging technologies. You’ll get a better feel for both their level of knowledge and their communication skills – even if their talents don’t perfectly align with your own. The reason you are hiring in the first place is that you can’t do it all, so finding a technical employee with complementary skills (and then not scaring them away) can help you recruit, hire and retain the best talent for your brand in the least amount of time.

No, I will not take a pay cut: You know that is not a good opportunity, and your candidate knows that is not a good opportunity, so why are you pushing him towards a job that requires a pay cut or has other less than ideal qualities? If you’re trying to make a sale more than an ideal match, it is time to re-evaluate your approach.

Sure, I can pull my kids out of school and move…NOT: Some jobs do require the candidate to move, but recruiters should be up front about location. Luring top talent with the prospect of a local job, then mentioning that the office is 500 miles away is a waste of your time and theirs. Asking a client who already indicated she is unwilling to move to interview for a position far from Houston or failing to reveal the actual location of the job (thinking she won’t be able to resist when she hears the details) will likely result in her looking for work elsewhere.

You are clearly calling from overseas – I do not understand the nuances of your culture and you do not understand the nuances of mine. It is unlikely you can help me with career decisions. If you’re calling from overseas, have no knowledge of the geography and culture of the supposed job location or have a clue about what the person being recruited does, you’re wasting your time and theirs.

I am more than the result of your search string – You may be very proud of your search string that brought me up. Let understand something, your search string to find network engineers with a CISSP is the equivalent to what we wrote in our first college database class. We write those all day, just because they bring data, doesn’t mean it is the correct data. Maybe the search criteria was wrong or did not include enough parameters? Regardless, this is my career, my job, it affects the technology I may be working with in the future. This is what I do so I can put my kids through college one day. I am more than the next sale to you. Do not treat me as a collection of technical acronyms.

Technical talent continues to be in demand, so pulling any of the above on a qualified candidate will cause them to look for other local recruiters to work with. Instead, focus on what each employer needs – and ensure that someone at the interviewing table can speak accurately about the job and the responsibilities. Consulting and staffing services that are aware of the above issues, that strive to treat candidates with respect and work hard to make the right match — not just a fast sale — avoid these issues and focus instead on providing value and creating connections that work for both parties.

Are you finding it harder to locate the good technical and IT talent? Many companies find them selves in the same situation. There are some better ways to locate and attract the right it and technical people to your company. Contact us to learn more.