As a tech recruiter, you’ve surely noticed it. The talent market has never moved faster or with more energy. The best candidates never even hit the open job market. They have offers and interview requests piling up without ever having to look for a new role. With the national unemployment rate at 4.1 percent and technology unemployment market even lower, technology recruiting is not about to get slower or easier. How can today’s recruiters do more?
In my tech recruiting experience filling contract roles, I have found that the best way to serve both clients and candidates is to reflect marketplace realities. Naturally, candidates focus on their specific job wants and needs. But, by overlooking what employers are facing, they could miss out on important career opportunities. Employers too have tunnel vision with fast-moving projects and deadlines driving their frantic hiring efforts. They miss out on talent if they don’t understand the other side of the job market. This is where a recruiter can play a powerful role. By mirroring client urgency to candidates or candidate opportunities to clients, tech recruiters are the critical communication channel between sought-after tech talent and talent-seeking employers.
The Client’s Urgency: What to Mirror
Oftentimes in technology, hiring managers look to use contractors to help with a specific project that is either running behind or needs a rapid infusion of manpower to complete. With strict deadlines, there comes a specific end date or deliverable that has to be met and clients are laser focused on this critical objective. This is the urgency behind the client’s hiring need that HAS to be communicated to potential candidates on the front end.
Whether a candidate is working or out of work, there are many factors that influence whether or not they take a job: location, family, personal plans, money, opportunity, etc. The client’s urgent deadline is not a factor in candidate decision making unless you as the recruiter underscore its importance. In my experience, a candidate who is made aware of the urgency (“This client is working toward a 20-country rollout of a Cloud platform that has to go live by June of this year!”), is more likely to respond with speed and consideration to an offer. Highly effective recruiters are good at giving candidates insight into the client’s urgency and framing it in terms of a bigger business goal. Few things look better on a resume than helping a business achieve a mission-critical goal. As a recruiter, it’s important to ensure candidates understand why quick responsiveness to an opportunity matters and what it is they will help the business accomplish.
The Candidate’s Opportunities: What to Mirror
Due to the unemployment rate, candidates will almost always have multiple offers in play. This means clients can have mere days or even hours to compete for top tech candidates who are often bombarded with offers. I myself have seen excellent offers go out to available candidates who respond that “just moments before” they had accepted a competing job offer. It’s rare to meet a hiring manager, even an experienced one in the tech sector, who understands how intense the demand is for skilled technology workers. I have found that the best way to approach a situation in which a candidate has multiple opportunities in play is to explain that reality right away to the manager. If the hiring need is critically urgent, this information will force the hiring manager to move faster with an offer or reconcile themselves with the fact that they might miss out on the hire. Sometimes it will take educating your client several times and even losing out on some qualified candidates for them to understand the brevity of today’s hiring windows. However, telling them ahead of time allows them an opportunity to react and positions you as a consultative and informed recruiter.
Knowing Is Placing
To be a successful recruiter today, you have to understand both sides of the marketplace: the client’s side and candidate’s side. Understand what they are up against, the urgencies that drive their decisions and then use that knowledge to help them better communicate, engage and react. The better you mirror what their challenges and urgencies are, the better and faster you can bring them together.