How to Become a Better Recruiter

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We live in an interesting time.

Technology is becoming more and more advanced, while the economy is shriveling at an accelerated pace. In this divide are recruiters, who, let's face it, may not have the firmest grasp of engineers and designers unless they're highly specialized. That's the thing about being specialized, though, your expertise is highly coveted although not always fully understood. Those with tech skillz have always had a mystical-like status in our society, originally mocked and now embraced as the world-shifting wizards they are.

So, if you're in the position of having to hire someone for a company, or are looking to hire for your own business, there are some pretty big potholes to avoid on your road to getting that perfect new employee. Adzerk, a startup in North Carolina, has a fantastically salient blog post on this very topic, and, yes, NC isn't in Chicago, but the points are very apt. The author also paints a picture of what is probably the case for most recruiters who don't fully understand what it is these code monkeys -- I mean that in the kindest way possible, by the way -- do: "LinkedIn is [the recruiter's] new favorite tool. All he has to do is enter 'C# SQL Server' into the search field. 226,979 results return! If he messages 100 of these results, there are surely a few people to respond. And so it begins."

But no starting salary on earth will make the applicant the right person for the job. So how do you avoid falling into that situation? Adzerk prescribes the following, and much more:

Actually talk about the project. If I don’t know anything about it, why would I consider applying?

Money isn’t everything! The fact is, the best talent doesn’t work for the money. If it’s one of the few things you can disclose, put it out there in the beginning. If it’s a startup looking to hire, let me know! Maybe there’s equity that can be worked out. 

Be active in the community! Attend developer meetups or network at job fairs. Don’t spam us with job openings, but be aware of people that could be looking for employment.

Be transparent. Tell me about the position you’re trying to fill. Is there a lot of interest? How long have you been trying to fill it? How much are you making out of the deal? If it’s not a fit for me and you’re open to it, I’ll try to find unemployed or unhappy friends that could possibly fit the role. If it’s a generic email with no personality, I’ve got a keyboard shortcut for archiving email.

For the full list of pointers, hop on over to Adzerk's company blog.

David Wolinsky is a freelance writer and a lifelong Chicagoan. In addition to currently serving as an interviewer-writer for Adult Swim, he's also a columnist for EGM. He was the Chicago city editor for The Onion A.V. Club where he provided in-depth daily coverage of this city's bustling arts/entertainment scene for half a decade. When not playing video games for work he's thinking of dashing out to Chicago Diner, Pizano's, or Yummy Yummy. His first career aspirations were to be a game-show host.

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