Eight Tips for Recruiting Software Engineers


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Eight Tips for Recruiting Software Engineers By Irina Shamaeva In my past career as a Software Engineer I had numerous interactions with Technical Recruiters. I was placed several times by agency Recruiters with start-ups and bio-tech companies here in the Bay Area. Most of you are familiar with my posts and webinars on how to source. This post is different it reflects my experience interacting with Recruiters from the Software Engineering side. Here are my eight tips for Technical Recruiters. 1. Only Contact Qualified People to the best of your knowledge. I hope it sounds obvious. If you mass-message potential candidates based on keyword searches without reviewing whom you contact this seriously upsets Engineers lowers your reputation and doesn’t help our overall reputation as Recruiters. 2. Write Your Message. Most Software Engineers are introverts. They do not want to be interrupted and usually do not want to talk on the phone unless a call has been set up. Additionally many are at work in cubicles or in an open environment with no privacy. Watch a TED talk on Introverts. Don’t call Software Engineers - unless you know that they are “active” candidates - but maybe even then send an email as the initial communication. If you are calling note that Software Engineers are likely to get up late and work late. 3. Explain who Is Hiring. Engineers are more likely to trust Recruiters who represent a known employer. That means that agency Recruiters are at a disadvantage since we often can’t name the employer before we start interacting with the potential candidate. Very few Engineers know that about agency Recruiters they just think that we hide the employer info on some evil purpose. Just keep that in mind and reveal who the employer is as soon as you can. Make sure you explain what the company is or is about. If you are not representing Google or Facebook know your “elevator pitch”. 4. Don’t Pretend to Be an Expert Recruiters have earned a bad reputation by emailing the wrong candidates. Don’t make it worse by pretending that you know what Software Engineers do. It’s better to admit our lack of knowledge than use the terms that we are not confident about. Correct terminology usage is especially important in the initial contact make sure your email doesn’t mix the terminology words in the wrong ways. Ask a question if appropriate Engineers would be glad to explain things. 5. Be Personal If you saw an Engineer’s profile on github.com and are writing a message on LinkedIn or emailing be sure to point to the source. Messages are answered way better if you take a few minutes to review the profile and make an attempt to include a brief personalized statement. Mention something you have in common or praise their

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achievements such as a large number of followers on github or say something you heard about their present or past employer. 6. Include Your Full Contact Info your role and your company name in the messages. That is what everyone does more or less. However it’s good to know that InMails on LinkedIn do not include your info even when you check the box telling LinkedIn to include it. It’s a known bug. You need to paste the contact info into the body of the InMail if that is how you contact potential candidates. 7. Optimize Track Messages and Responses Be brief in the initial message. The message’s purpose is to start interacting it needs to have just enough information for that. Research tells us that Messages sent on Sunday night and Monday morning work better. Vary the subject lines track the response volume and see what works. For “passive” candidates resend or remind about the message in 4-7 days for “active” in 2-3 days. 8. Build a Pipeline Software Engineers are typically either “looking” or “not looking” for a new opportunity. Not too many are “always open to a better opportunity”. Many Engineers would not respond or would say “not interested” if they are “not looking” but would save your message and may dig it out later.

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