How an IT-recruiter should approach you

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Guido finds an e-mail from a recruiter in his mailbox.

Hi Guido,

I came across your resume in a Google web search. You seem to have an awesome expertise on Python. I would be glad if you can reply my email and let me know your interest and availability.


Our client immediately needs a PYTHON Developers at its location in *****, NJ. Below are the job details. If interested and available, kindly fwd me your updated resume along with the expected rate and the availability.

Excellent recruiting e-mail, right?

The recruiter praises Guido’s Python expertise, she’s polite and she makes him an offer he might find interesting. Why wouldn’t Guido respond?

This e-mail is directed at Guido van Rossum. A quick Google search teaches us that even the biggest noob can find out that Van Rossum is the inventor of Python.

Why are people so annoyed at recruiters?

This is only one of the mishaps recruiters make when they approach techies. And you might have snickered a little when you read this example, but the frustrations amongst IT-personnel run incredibly high. Just have a look at this thread on Reddit.

What do people get annoyed at? Recruiters giving a vague description of the job role they’re hunting for. They send you e-mails saying the company they’re recruiting for is ‘huge’, that ‘their business is going to change the world’ and ‘their business is like Facebook meet LinkedIn meets Instagram, but better’.

‘Once in a lifetime?’

Often the recruiter will call their job offer ‘a once in a life-time opportunity’, but the name of the company this once in a lifetime opportunity is based at is often missing from the proposal. And even if there is a company name, chances are the potential employee has received an offer in the form of an automatically generated e-mail. More often than not, the advertised role has nothing to do with their qualifications.

But hey – if a candidate doesn’t respond you might as well stalk them right? Or try and get them to talk to you on dating apps like Tinder. It’s really no wonder the IT-crowd is fed up.

And that’s a shame. What if you have an offer that’s actually interesting for this candidate? As a recruiter it’s your goal to find the right person for the right job. But with the previous tactics, that’s never going to happen. 

Recruiters – what can you do to change things?

Global Knowledge gives recruiters five tips to better approach candidates. We want to make sure recruiters reach out to you with an offer that’s actually interesting, but we also want to make sure recruiters aren’t just getting trolled when they reach out to you.

1- Do you homework!

Approaching a JavaScript-developer for a Java-job role is a no-go. Make sure you know who you’re approaching before you approach them and make sure the person actually fits the job role you’re headhunting for. Educate yourself before you reach out to people.

It’s important to talk to the company you’re recruiting for before you start searching for the right candidate. Make sure you know who they are looking for.

2- Don’t send auto-generated e-mails

Automatically generated e-mails hardly get a positive response. Sometimes the name of the candidate is misspelled or the job role that’s recommend hardly fits the profile of the person it’s sent to.

Take your time to draft a good e-mail. It’s better to put extra effort into the first contact with a potential candidate than to make embarrassing mistakes because you’re in a hurry.

3- Be transparent in your communication

You can decide to make an offer to a developer and never reply again after he replies. But chances are your name will end up on a forum for naming and shaming. And if you need the developer in the future, you’ll probably never get a reply.

Be transparent in your communication with the candidate, that way you make sure none of you has false expectations of the other.

4- Be persistent, but don’t exaggerate

There’s a thin line between a professional stalker and a good recruiter. Make sure you don’t cross that line.

Of course you want to make sure you get that call back, but no candidate likes it when you call on weekends or outside of his office hours. Why don’t you take a day off yourself every once in a while?

5- Learn how to influence and persuade

Learn which persuasion tactic is fit for the situation you’re dealing with. Discover how persuasive you can be and how to have a positive influence on people. That way you can make a potential candidate listen to you.

Haven’t finished learning?

It’s important to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. If you’re in Human Resources or IT and after reading this blog you catch yourself wondering if you can improve your communication skills: you can.

Global Knowledge can help you out with this. Take a training course in Influencing and Persuasion for example, where we teach you how you can gain the best results for your organization.

And if after this training you still make the mistake of offering a Linux-job to Linus Torvalds, you might even be able to persuade him to take the offer.

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