Recruiting Younger Tech Professionals
Recruiting is just like any other business it is constantly changing, evolving, and improving. Right when you think you’ve figured it out, the rules change. When you specialize in the technology focused positions that our company does the recruiting process change, the technologies that companies are looking for are constantly changing. Things of the past like ASP.NET, VB.NET or even Java are being replaced with C#, MVC, AngularJS, and a whole host of open source technologies. The best and brightest candidates are specializing in cutting edge tech, and the candidates themselves are getting younger and younger. The average salary on the East Coast for a fresh grad with an undergrad degree in Computer Science can be anywhere between 50,000 – 75,000, with NO experience, just a piece of paper that says they passed some tests.
These bright young tech professionals are in high demand – and they know it, because everyone has told them about it, repeatedly. They are more focused on the $ amount they will receive to start paying back their loans then finding the right company and position that will complement their skills and start their career off on the right foot. So how do you get through to them? You listen to them. You listen past the amount they say they want to make. You dig deeper than what city they want to move to, or what bar they want to live near. You ask how they got interested in technology originally, because chances are it was more than just a passing interested that had them study it for 4 years. If they tell you they took their computer apart when they were 8 just to see how it works, ask if they were able to put it back together. It is their story and they want someone to ask about it, connect with them and find out what truly motivates them.
Social Media – How It Can Be Utilized
Social Media. It’s everywhere, used by everyone, ALL THE TIME… while waiting for your food to warm up in the microwave, while waiting for your car to fill up with gas, waiting in line to check out at the grocery store, and during commercials on television. Social media is how a vast majority of people spend their free time, but how can it be used for recruiting? First, you can use different social media profiles like Facebook and Instagram to define your company culture for the outside world. You can tailor pictures and posts to give a behind the scenes look at what working at your company will look like. The posts should be fun and engaging but also ambiguous enough that potential employees can see themselves as being part of it. Did you win an award? Did you have a party for Cinco de Mayo? Take 5 minutes to take unique picture of it and post them, you’d be surprised how many people will engage with your company if you show a little bit of your personality on your profiles!
Social media isn’t just about attracting people to work for your company it can be an extremely useful tool for a staffing agency to take advantage of when trying to find qualified candidates for their clients. If social media is where people spend their most of their “waiting” time that means that their defenses are down, they are going to be more receptive if you reach out than they would if you called them while at work. They might even appreciate the fact that you were creative and took a different approach then other recruiters. You can learn a lot about their lives and interests so that when you do build a relationship with them it will be more natural of a connection.
There are basic tools that every recruiter, regardless of their specific industry focus, will use. Most important of these is the phone. Building a relationship is hard to do, but it is significantly easier to do well over the phone than it is over email or text. You can use social media to connect with candidates and build an initial rapport but to really get to the meat of things, and to build a solid relationship you have to talk to them on the phone. It is important to not stop with your social interaction after the initial call. You want to keep reminding them that you aren’t just a recruiter, you are a real person, because if you do so they are more likely to like talking to you and want to keep in touch if you don’t have the perfect position available right away. Since younger recruiters don’t have the credibility and knowledge that comes with years of experience in staffing for a particular industry, they have to focus on their own skill sets and what sets them apart. They can connect with anyone about anything, it’s what Social Media has been training them to do for years. Two people that live in countries on the opposite side of the world can connect because they both drank Coca-Cola for lunch and posted a picture of it – how crazy is that!? So many differences and yet something as small and menial as lunch makes a connection.
What Will Recruiting Look Like in 5+ Years?
In our company there are four Partners that have 25+ years of recruiting experience each. They often tell stories from the “old days” in recruiting before there were computers and job boards and what they would do to find candidates. If you were to ask them how they made most of their placements back then they would have a one word answer, ‘networking’. Make friends with candidates, get them to like and trust you and then ask them who they know. And this is the direction that recruiting is going back to. We all know the frustration of staring at a job board with a particular search for hours at a time and not being able to find what we are looking for. Or calling people from your internal database and not being able to find an available candidate. This time around networking will look a bit different though it will start with fingertips, liking an Instagram post, retweeting a GIF, sharing a FB post. These will be the way relationships initially start and from there building into friendships and then lead to networking.
Networking is the past and the future of recruiting.