My first working day as a Tech Recruiter

My first working day as a Tech Recruiter

On my first day as a junior recruiter, I entered the modern office of my first serious employer (recruiting agency) with excitement and nerves. Eager to make my mark in the competitive world of hiring software engineers, I was ready to dive headfirst into the role.

However, the initial enthusiasm quickly gave way to frustration as I realized the lack of support and guidance provided during the onboarding process.

A sort of battle cry during my first days as a technical recruiter at this staffing agency went something like this:

"Andrew, here are our clients; here's the database of our candidates and our internal knowledge base. You can also post jobs on X, Y, Z websites. Go for it!"

I looked at job descriptions and tried to find similar resumes in the database. It was really tough! I didn’t understand anything - neither the specifics of the jobs, nor what a developer actually does at work.

So I started spending days and nights researching programming languages, frameworks, databases, methodologies, SDLC, and so on on Wikipedia. I had a blast!

As a tech geek, I've always been interested in learning about our clients' projects so that I don't look awkward when my candidates (software engineers) start asking tricky questions about the role.

Later, this turned out to be my modus operandi. I clearly understood not only what companies were looking for, but also the potential for technical growth for the new hires. I was able to honestly share the pros and cons of each opening with candidates.

This approach worked really well! I started to find the right devs for hard-to-fill openings with ease. Most candidates assumed that I was a developer myself. My greatest confusion occurred when I first visited recruiting conferences.

Being a self-taught recruiter, I was completely lost, hearing words like "pipeline of candidates," "hiring strategy," Applicant Tracking System," and so on.

‘These guys are top-class professionals, and I’m out of my league’ - circled around my mind. I’d been having success filling C++ or Ruby on Rails openings, but I barely understood what the other recruiters talked about at those conferences.

After some time, I realized a fairly simple fact—a tech recruiter must be able to fill technical positions. That's it!

As a recruiter, one should be passionate about technology and love working with people. The rest is optional.

PS: It was in the long 2008, so I really hope things have changed dramatically with onboarding aspiring recruiters 😄