9 Tips on Finding, Working and Winning With Tech Recruiters

Sakshi GuptaSakshi Gupta | 11 minute read | February 21, 2022
tech recruiter

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You’ve sent countless cover letters, attended dozens of networking events, and made every adjustment to your resume a professional has recommended, but to no avail. Sounds familiar?

If so, it’s about time you consider working with a tech recruiter. Although it may seem like a big step for some, working with a tech head hunter can help you bag jobs that you never thought you’d get to see, let alone apply for.

Below, we discuss everything you need to know about tech recruiters and how to find the right tech recruiter for your skills.

What Is a Tech Recruiter?

A tech recruiter is a professional who helps companies fill tech vacancies with the best possible candidates. They work with job seekers to identify their skills, experience, and goals, matching them with the right opportunities. 

According to Zippia, there are more than 182,038 tech recruiters in the U.S., helping professionals and beginners find jobs in their respective fields.

Because tech recruiters typically have excellent communication and networking skills, they can help tech professionals find the best opportunities by introducing them to jobs and organizations that they didn’t even know about.

Pros and Cons of Using a Tech Recruiter To Find a Job

A tech recruiter can surely streamline the job-finding process for tech professionals while simultaneously making it easier for companies to recruit tech professionals. But there are always two sides to the coin.

Pros

Tech recruiters take a lot of guesswork and networking out of the equation, allowing professionals to focus more on preparing for interviews rather than making efforts to land one.

Has Existing Connections

The primary benefit of working with a tech recruiter is that they have existing relationships with various companies looking to fill tech vacancies. 

Because of this, they can often get their clients in front of hiring managers much more easily than the average job seeker could on their own.

A good recruiter will also have a deep understanding of the tech industry and the specific skills that companies are looking for. Thus, you’re likely to hear about only the companies that would actually be a good fit for you.

Knows How To Make You Stand Out

A tech recruiter also knows how to make you stand out during an interview. They know what hiring managers are typically looking for and can help you prepare by making sure your technical skills match the job description.

They also help ensure your resume clearly outlines the value you would bring to the company and that you walk into interviews prepared to discuss why you’re a good fit for the role.

Does a Lot of Legwork for You

With a tech recruiter by your side, you can sit back and relax a bit. Recruiters often do a lot of the legwork for you, such as scheduling interviews, following up, and negotiating salaries.

Because someone is already taking care of these things, you can focus more on preparing for the interviews, polishing your resume, or learning a new skill.

Cons

Working with a tech head hunter has its fair share of advantages, but you should also be aware of some downsides.

May Have Limited Connections

The number and quality of connections a tech recruiter has often depends on how long they’ve been in the field and the sources they use.

It’s possible that the tech recruiter you’re working with does not have a sufficient number of connections. In some cases, they may not have the type of connections best suited for your needs.

Suppose your expertise lies in cybersecurity, but the tech recruiter you’ve hired has better connections with companies looking for game development experts or information technology managers.

Even if they’re in touch with top-notch organizations, they won’t be able to land you a good job because their network doesn’t cater to your expertise and skills. Therefore, it’s important to work with the right tech recruiter who can find you a job that matches your skillset.

Has Multiple Clients

Tech recruiters often have multiple clients. They may not be able to invest as much time in finding a job for you as you’d like. 

They also might not be available when you need them because they’re working with other clients. In such cases, you can either compromise or work with someone who has a smaller client base. 

How To Find Tech Recruiters

tech recruiter: How To Find Tech Recruiters

Generally, there are two ways to find tech recruiters. You can either wait for them to come to you or approach them yourself. Both ways work wonders, depending on how long you’re willing to wait and whether you have the time for the latter.

Tip 1: Set Your LinkedIn Profile To Open

LinkedIn is just the place to start your search, with research showing that 78% of developers prefer using LinkedIn to find work.

All you need to do is change a setting on your LinkedIn account and allow recruiters to contact you. This will open up your profile to recruiters looking for tech professionals like you.

You can expect to see messages like this: Hi! I just went through your resume and saw that you have great experience in machine learning. Are you on the hunt for new opportunities right now?

From there, all you need to do is review the profiles of the recruiters who reach out to you and see if they’re a good fit. If they are, reach out and see what kind of jobs they have for you.

You can also ask acquaintances, friends, and even family members for recommendations. Job fairs can also be a great way to meet tech recruiters. You’ll have the opportunity to speak with them one on one and learn more about their company and what they do.

Recruiters are always on the lookout for talented tech professionals, so it’s an excellent opportunity to make a lasting impression.

Tip 2: Ask Your Network

If you’ve been on LinkedIn for some time, you likely have built a reasonably sized network on the platform. Reach out to these people and ask them to recommend tech recruiters to you.

If LinkedIn is not your thing, you can start with your existing network on Facebook or professional associations you’re a member of. For instance, you can post in Facebook tech groups and get recommendations from people who’ve already worked with tech recruiters.

You can also ask acquaintances, friends, and even family members for recommendations.

Tip 3: Reach Out to Recruiters on Your Own

Finally, if you’re not willing to wait for the recruiters to come to you, reach out to them instead. You can find them on LinkedIn or on job boards.

According to the Harvard Business Review, you should include the job opening you’re interested in when reaching out to recruiters. You can add the link to the job’s online posting in your message. Moreover, you should describe your capabilities and applicable skills to let the recruiter know you’re built for the job.

Top Resume recommends adding a message with your connection request. If someone gets a random connection request without a message, they may not accept it. But if you combine the request with a message, they’ll know you mean business.

Indeed’s Career Guide advises to show evidence of research when contacting a recruiter. Sometimes, there’s certain information about a job opening that’s not publicly available and is known only to the tech recruiter.

But it’s imperative to do your own research, too. It shows the recruiter your dedication to the job search. Plus, it indicates that your experience and goals are aligned with the job opportunities you’re inquiring about.

How To Work With Tech Recruiters

tech recruiter: How To Work With Tech Recruiters

When working with tech recruiters, you must keep a few things in mind. There are good recruiters, and there are bad recruiters, just as there are good employers and bad employers.

With a few tips, you can find just the right recruiter for you.

Tip 4: Answer All of Their Questions Thoroughly

Whether you reach out to a tech recruiter or it’s the other way round, there will always be questions. The tech recruiter would want to know about your skills and experience, and you need to be forthcoming with the details.

If you’re not sure about something, say so. Don’t try to guess or pad your resume with false information. The recruiter will find out sooner or later, and it’ll only damage your credibility.

Instead, you can tell them you’re looking for an entry-level position or something to just gain experience. According to Forbes, apart from the expected questions about skills and expertise, you can expect the following questions:

  • Can you tell me about a side project you’ve done outside of work or school?
  • What is your process for getting work done successfully?
  • How did you learn to program? What was the first thing you built?
  • Can you tell me about a time you failed?
  • If I asked your previous coworkers (if any) to describe you, what would they say?
  • Why are you taking out time to talk to me today?
  • What’s one thing that I haven’t asked you but you would definitely want me to know?
  • What do you do when you don’t know the answer to something?
  • What would your dream job look like?

The answers to these questions give the recruiter insight into your technical abilities and work ethic, which make up the foundation of your relationship.

Always answer questions in a direct manner. Don’t be vague when you could easily provide an accurate and clear alternative. Also, avoid overly positive or negative answers.

Tip 5: Ask About Their Process and Timeline

It’s always better if both parties know what to expect. Ask the recruiter about their process—from start to finish.

What do they need from you? How often will you hear from them? Be responsive to their calls and emails. Don’t take two days to call a recruiter back when you know how competitive the job market is. 

When you value their time (and yours), you show the recruiter that you’re serious about your job hunt.

Indeed has a helpful guide on responding to recruiters that you can use to learn how to phrase your emails. It’s also beneficial to keep a loose schedule if the tech recruiter wants to meet you in person.

Make sure you ask them about the recruitment process, too. What’s the next step if you want to go ahead with the job application? How long will the process take? Which documents will you possibly need? 

These questions help you set boundaries while also gauging how serious the recruiter is about finding you a job.

Tip 6: Make Your Expectations Clear

Tech recruiters are usually well-connected and in the know when it comes to the job market. They’re aware that you may not be looking for your dream job, but if they find something that’s close enough, you might still want it.

Tell them exactly what you’re looking for and be as specific as possible. It’ll benefit both of you if the recruiter knows that they can spend more time on other prospects or put you in touch with other employers.

Don’t let recruiters pressure you into taking a job that doesn’t interest you or pays less than what you’re looking for.

Even if it takes longer, stick with your goals and don’t undersell yourself.

Let them know what you expect from the job. Are you looking for a short-term position or a longer contract? How much do you expect to get paid? Are you willing to relocate for work? Make everything known to the recruiter from the beginning to avoid any problems later.

If you’re looking for a certain position, make it clear from the beginning so that they don’t waste time going through all the other resumes.

How To Succeed With Tech Recruiters

tech recruiter: How To Succeed With Tech Recruiters

It may take some time before you succeed with a tech head hunter. But it’s definitely worth the effort. Here are some ways to speed up the process.

Tip 7: Understand Their Background

You must know the tech recruiter’s background when you talk to them. What companies do they usually work for? What’s their specialty?

This will help you determine whether or not the recruiter is a good fit for you.

If, for example, the recruiter usually works with startup companies, then you know that they won’t be able to help you if you’re looking for a job at Google.

It’s also important to know the type of tech jobs the recruiter has helped their previous clients find. Do they specialize in finding data science jobs, or are they more inclined toward machine learning?

Typically, tech recruiters have networks in different tech disciplines. But a recruiter who works with gaming companies is more likely to find you a good game development job than one who specializes in filling cybersecurity or data analysis jobs.

Tip 8: Ask for References

tech recruiter: Tip 8: Ask for References

You should also ask for references when you’re talking to a tech recruiter. It’s an opportunity for you to learn about the success of the head hunter.

A study by SkillSurvey showed that, after background screening, companies practice reference checking more than any other method before extending an offer. If your potential employers are using this method to find the right person to fill the job, you can also leverage the approach to find the right recruiter who’ll take you a step closer to finding that unfilled job.

If a tech head hunter isn’t willing to provide any of their previous clients’ information, it could be a red flag.

Tip 9: Be Your Own Advocate

Advocate for yourself when talking to a tech recruiter. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and get clarification on things you don’t understand.

An important part of self-advocacy is understanding the other person’s perspective. What are they looking for? What is important to them? 

You can make your case stronger by listening to the other person—a recruiter or a potential employer—first and understanding their point of view before answering. If the recruiter can see that you’re serious about finding a job, they’ll be more likely to spend time on finding you the right position.

FAQs About Using Tech Recruiters

Does Using a Tech Recruiter Cost Money?

Yes, hiring a tech recruiter costs money, and the payment model differs from one recruiter to another. Typically, tech recruiters charge a commission based on your annual salary. It can be anywhere from 15% to 20% of what you get paid at the job they’ve found for you.

How Do Tech Recruiters Get Paid?

Tech recruiters mostly work with agencies and get a base salary from the company. They also get commissions when they place candidates in unfilled job positions at their clients’ companies. The commission is a certain percentage of the candidate’s first-year salary.

Who Should Use a Tech Recruiter?

People who have limited contacts in tech should work with a tech recruiter because they can benefit from the recruiter’s vast connections. Also, if you already have a job (and are looking for a better one) that keeps you busy, it’s best to let a tech head hunter do the legwork that you would otherwise have to do yourself.

Conclusion

By now, you should know that working with a tech recruiter can be a hit or miss, depending on how you approach the process. 

Make sure you find a tech head hunter specializing in your field, be upfront with them about your expectations, be responsive to their calls and emails, advocate for yourself, and you’re good to go.

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Sakshi Gupta

About Sakshi Gupta

Sakshi is a Senior Associate Editor at Springboard. She is a technology enthusiast who loves to read and write about emerging tech. She is a content marketer and has experience working in the Indian and US markets.