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Project Management

4 Reasons to Trust Technical Recruiting to Engineers

Technical recruiting is hard, but we are here to help! We can find the right people for your team and vet their technical abilities.

As the head of our HR department, recruiting companies and head hunters reach out to me frequently to see if they have candidates that could be a good fit or if they can find some for me. At the same time, we've developed a consistent vetting process and have been able to find excellent candidates of our own with different tech stacks, different levels of experience, and different salary expectations. Yet, none of the recruiters has been able to find better candidates than I have. Not one of these collaborations has worked out. Why?

Here are four reasons to trust us to find your technical talent.

1. Recruiters lack technical knowledge.

Even though I am not a software engineer myself, I work with my team of engineers to vet the technical ability of incoming candidates. There are a lot of people with shiny resumes, degrees from fancy schools, and impressive experience, but that does not necessarily mean that person is a good engineer. By the same token, we have found some amazing programmers who were literally straight out of high school. Without the technical knowledge to vet these candidates, it's hard to tell which will actually be the best fit. It's hard to tell who actually has the chops.

There have been times when discussing our needs with recruiters that it has become clear to me that I have more technical knowledge than they do. There have been times when discussing the role, they have confused Java and JavaScript. Because they don't work in the tech industry, what I would consider basic industry knowledge is often beyond them. To be fair, they may recruit for all different types of industries. It would be impossible for them to have deep knowledge of every industry. That makes it all the more important to work with those who specialize in recruiting for software tech teams.

2. Recruiters don't understand your hiring needs.

Beyond not understanding the technical side of software, many recruiters left me feeling like they didn't understand our company values and the alignment we were looking for within our team. Now it may be that some just give lip service to their values, but we don't! When I expressed some of our goals for our company culture and the corresponding values we are looking for in our team members, that was rarely reflected in the candidates I was presented with in the end.

Because I've been on the receiving end of their poor listening skills -- which also makes me doubt how well they listen in the interviews they conduct -- I make sure to pay attention to the values expressed by our clients so I find candidates that match that.

3. Flakey freelancers and costly UpWork fees.

If you've been working with freelancers instead of hiring, you know the frustrations that exist there too. On the one hand, you can try to source talent through Upwork, which can have some helpful indications of the experience and capabilities of the person you're hiring. You get some insurance through Upwork's tools, but you pay a costly premium for that peace of mind. And even then, you can still face the problem of being unsure that the person you're hiring is as capable as they present themselves. On the other hand, if you 1099 someone independently, then there's little guarantee that this person won't do something shady with your code or the access they are granted.

4. It's difficult to vet technical talent.

This is a theme through all previous points, but it bears repeating here since it is at the core of the problem. It's simply difficult to vet technical talent. In the first place, it's a bit like trying to find a reliable car mechanic. If you know a good amount about cars, then it's difficult for someone to take advantage of you. It's easy to tell if a mechanic also knows what they are doing and if they are honest. If you don't know anything about cars, then you equally don't know if the mechanic is qualified or honest. They could be. Or they could be taking advantage of you. A challenge layered upon that is developing a system that consistently helps you separate the hires that are a good fit for your needs and those that aren't. Luckily we've already developed such a vetting process that has worked for us consistently since 2008!

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