Be a Better Recruiter: Be Altruistic

I believe everything happens for a reason. That being said, my flight left that afternoon, my wife Kaella and I were off to New York (my first time). When the airplane lifted from the runway and Justin Beiber’s Never Say Never started playing, I thought, “…everything happens for a reason.” With an open mind I continued watching the movie and am glad I did. Beyond what I’m writing about in this blog, the movie showed how this child entertainer utilizedYouTubesocial media AND social networking (David Levine via SocialMediaToday.com) to become an overnight phenomenon reaching hundreds of millions with every tweet.

Justin’s manager Scooter Braun explained something they do at every concert called Give Back. Just prior to the concert, Scooter and a small street team walk around the venue to neighboring folks who may or may not be in a position to attend the concert, and hand out front row tickets so to give back. He goes on to express interest in their lives, and getting to know them – “a little bit goes a long way.” He called it the best part of his job and I understand completely.

I’ve met with over 4000 software engineers and web developers in my 4 year career as a technical recruiter. I trust that all 4000 of them would never say I pushed an offer on them against their will or made them feel as if it was my personal interests over their career search. Why would I? It is their search. Any time we, as recruiters, are speaking with a candidate about commute, salary, working environment, leadership, technology, etc. I think it is important to remember it is their search and our role in this technical society is simply to gather unique information, present said information, and consistently work hard to add value in any way possible. After all and at the end of the day, the candidate is the one who will make that hour drive into work every day, make 10 K less this year, sit in that cubicle 50-60 hours per week, work for someone without vision, and/or work with outdated technology only to set back their skill set and career advancement trajectory. On the contrary, it is our job to help improve all or as many of those aspects as possible. I’m using the offer stage as a dramatic example but it starts with the first interaction and really it starts with every interaction each day as a technical recruiter in the tight-knit technical community. It could be as simple as getting honest and direct feedback to a candidate sooner rather than later or touching base even to let them know you do not have an update. This would mean putting their search (update) in front of our own ego (I don’t have an update yet). Any update is a good update!

Let’s accept the fact that there is a gap between technology and non-technology professionals combined with a steep supply and demand curve which favors the technical recruiter. Let’s embrace this and work altruistically to help everyone in need and in the end we will all succeed. Along the way we might just eliminate one or two of the black eyes worn by those who truly do work hard in the best interest of their candidates and clients (and in my case team) before their own.

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