As a recruiter, how do I stay credible in front of tech profiles?
If you work in a tech company, you have probably heard co-workers complain about clueless recruiters. You might hear things like “they don’t even know who they’re hiring or why they’re calling”. To be honest, these stereotypes are a bit outdated, especially considering this is not how we recruit here at Dailymotion.
A few years back, I began learning about tech recruitment during an enlightening internship. Today, I work as a recruiter within the Dailymotion HR team. To be honest, I sort of fell into tech recruitment by chance. I’ve always been interested in IoT and IT in general. I even thought I knew a lot about computers. I’d read some articles, I’d seen movies, I’d been to meetups. My family even considered me the household geek. Guess what? They were off the mark.
When I started to work for a tech-oriented recruitment cabinet, I realized that, although I had some tech knowledge, I was far from being an expert. I found myself trying to understand notions like the difference between services-oriented architecture and multi-tier architecture, how to be API centric… It was a new world that seemed baffling and complex to me. Although I relied on my acquired experience and continued to learn from videos and podcasts, I still asked my colleagues a lot of questions.
Champion each other
And then, I realized that I was not alone. My goal was not to become more tech-savvy than candidates, I wasn’t the one applying for the job after all! I saw an opportunity to mix what I was great at, people skills, with tech proficiency. As a result of this new awareness, I switched my way of learning. From then on, I used job interviews to increase my knowledge while perfecting my own skills. It required me to be humble, to ask better questions and being able to finally admit that I didn’t know EVERYTHING about tech was a relief.
I’m not going to lie, it’s been hard at times as some developers had trouble meeting me half way. While some took pleasure in presenting their jobs with clarity, others had more trouble explaining complex tasks in a clear manner. Although I will say, it helped me learn new and important notions that I hadn’t encountered before. In all fairness, it’s not easy to describe a technical job, but I‘ve found that it is best to recruit people who are able to describe their tasks to non-tech employees. If you manage to bring a recruiter into your world and make them understand, it shows that you can be a team player.
To be a valuable asset
When it comes to the crunch, the job of a tech recruiter is to be a recruiter. It’s important to remember that we’re not here to judge the technical abilities of a candidate. We’re here to bring the human side to the hiring process, to give another point of view and add consistency to the company vision. While it is vital that candidates be highly proficient, they also need to fit in with the company culture. Our most important mission is to find candidates who can meet our needs while accomplishing their own professional goals. In an interview, I want to understand a candidate’s soft skills. For each future employee, we must evaluate how they can fit within the team and Dailymotion. We’ve been working for the past few months on our revamped company culture, and each new member needs to follow our new principles of motion. Their technical qualifications are vital but not for us to assess, that’s their potential manager’s job.
You guessed it, our strength lies in promoting the human side of the company to candidates. Thanks to the team, I continue to gain technical knowledge which helps me fine-tune and improve my interviews.
In fact, I think it’s important to make a candidate feel that they’re not just a coding machine but also a human being joining a new adventure. As a representative of dailymotion, I also want to give them an overview of what we can offer. In all of my interviews, I list all of the company perks and I also show them around their future workspace. At dailymotion, the contact with HR will always be the first and the last one.
When it boils down to picking a great candidate, we need to stop clawing at the tech legitimacy of a recruiter and focus on how they add value to the hiring process from another perspective. In the tech industry, we’re sometimes too focused on the technical gain rather than on the person themselves and their aspirations. If you trust your recruiter and help them to understand your technical subject, they can be your greatest ally.