Tom Sweeney

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Archive for July, 2014

Dear IT Recruiters…This Is What We Want From You

Posted by sweens on July 4, 2014

I came across this article on LinkedIn this morning  by Nicolae Andronic and thought it was really good. Check it out here or on LinkedIn by clicking here.  


Dear IT recruiters,

As a person working in IT, I know we’re a spoiled category of employees these days, but you’ll just have to adapt instead of convincing us that we shouldn’t be.

We, the IT guys, are being bombarded with job offers, the same way you are probably bombarded with a lot of generic CVs. You probably have a system to eliminate most of them, the ones that don’t attract you. For us, it’s the same with the job offers. Most of them look the same, only the name of the company is different. This makes your job of getting the attention of the potential employee a lot harder, so I’m writing this to make you understand what we expect from you during the recruitment process.

Job description

The most common mistake recruiters do is to create a generic job description, the same that they used for years, and spread it on all communication channels. Even if, for example, I’m not looking for a job I’m still seeing at least five of these job descriptions everyday. If someone is looking for a job, they will probably see 50 per day. All the same, generic and lacking information we really care about.

So, what I would suggest is to give up your current template and create a personalized one for each individual position that you’re recruiting for. What we want to see is:

  • testimonials of current employees about the company and the job. We want to know how’s the working environment, what’s the stress level, how are the colleagues, where you eat at lunch, if the chairs are comfortable and so on
  • one or two CVs of current employees working on the same position as the one you are hiring. We want to be the ones to decide if we fit the profile or not
  • map of the office location, related to transport system and also cafeterias and restaurants. We want to know how long it will take us to get to work, where we could eat at lunch, if the neighborhood is dangerous etc.
  • pictures from the office. We want to see if the office is crowded, if there’s enough intimacy, enough lighting etc.
  • details about technologies that are used (including version numbers!). We want to know that we’re not going to be using “dead” or old technologies. Some information might be confidential. We understand, but at least explain this
  • details about projects. How long does an average project last? Are there development or maintenance projects? How big is the team on an average project?
  • extra benefits: gym membership, meal tickets, private healthcare, technical training
  • who are we going to report to. We want to know the position, but even better, the actual person
  • what are the steps of the recruitment process and how long it’s going to take. Probably you are not the only recruiter that we’re currently involved in a recruitment process with and we want be able to set our priorities.
  • what’s the work schedule. Is it flexible? How often are extra hours required? How long is the lunch break?
  • if the employment type is different from the usual work contract. We might not be interested in freelancing, creating an “one-person company” or others.


You probably consider that most of this information should be presented to the candidate during the first interview, but you don’t have this luxury.




  • Put a profile picture and a profile description where you clearly specify you are a recruiter – We usually don’t accept persons without a profile picture as contacts. If you don’t specify you are a recruiter and after you try to recruit us, we feel we are being tricked.
  • Don’t put a link from BullHorn Reach. We usually have a lot of recruiters in our LinkedIn account and seeing the logo of this company makes us consider it as spam, so we completely ignore your post.
  • Don’t put the same announcement every two days. Yes, you are constantly hiring or you didn’t find someone in a long time, but do you think that seeing the same announcement every day will make us want to apply? You’ll probably going to say that you want to reach to the new people you added in the last two days on LinkedIn. See the solution for this bellow.
  • Address people personally, in a personal message. Talk explicitly to us, no copy&paste. Explain what you saw in our LinkedIn profile that made you want to offer us this position.
  • Take advantage of LinkedIn features. Present us on LinkedIn to one of the people from the company in order for us to discuss directly with an employee.
  • Don’t be dishonest. You put an announcement for a specific job. I come to the interview and after that I get a response that I wasn’t accepted, stating that although I was perfect for the job, the company chose someone else. No problem, but two hours later you post on LinkedIn that you are still searching to fill that position. Do you think I ever want to work with you after that?
  • Don’t get too personal. Don’t “like” my posts. We don’t want our current employer to see that we have a good relationship with a recruiter.
  • If you ask for references and we agree, don’t ask for the person’s phone number or e-mail address. We only share his/her LinkedIn profile with you.
  • If I ask you to stop calling me and delete my contact info from your database, please do. We have our reasons to ask this so, we’ll only get mad if you’ll call again.


Cold calling


  • Describe only suitable positions. If you see we have 10 years of experience in Java development, don’t call us to propose a “middle Java developer” position.
  • Describe only suitable positions – again. If you see we have 6 months experience on Magento 5 years ago, but haven’t touch it since, why would you offer us a “Magento developer” position? Would you be ok if we asked you if you wanted to quit your current job/carrier in order to spread flyers on the street because you have done it during high-school?
  • Don’t ask for references if we don’t have a personal relationship. Why would we spam our friends with a job offer that we rejected AND from a person we don’t know?
  • Don’t be mysterious. If you’re telling us that you are recruiting for a company, but won’t tell us its name, we’re not interested. I know some of your clients request confidentiality during the first step of recruitment. Convince them it’s stupid!
  • Don’t exaggerate the benefits you offer. We’re smart people and we smell bullshit easily.
  • Don’t talk with us using a personal touch, just because it’s cool and this is how IT people talk. We don’t know each other. I’m “Mr. Andronic” for you, not “Nicolae”.
  • Communicate on the same level. You want to hire a 30+ yo senior developer? Don’t make us talk to a 20 yo junior recruiter.
  • The same rules as above are applied also for LinkedIn “cold” contact.



  • If it’s going to be a technical interview, try to make it as similar as possible to the real job. Maybe even keep the interview in the actual office where we will work.
  • Give us two or three possible interview time intervals to choose from: morning, noon, evening. We don’t want to take a vacation day just to come to your interview.
  • Explain exactly how do we get to your location, what to expect (closed doors, no parking spaces, etc.), who to ask for. Leave a phone number in case of emergency.
  • Nothing described in the interview should be different from what was described in the initial job description.
  • Don’t ask us to come to the interview if our profile doesn’t fit with your job requirement, but test us anyway. Especially if you want to test our French language skills, if we said we didn’t know French. It’s embarrassing.
  • Don’t compare us with other candidates, that were better and asked for less money. We don’t care. Keep it to yourself and hire those guys. We don’t care.
  • Don’t make us sign any documents similar to NDA’s. We won’t.
  • Do a small tour with us within the company office. Show us where everything is. Toilets included.

After the interview


  • Always give an answer in the defined interval, even if it’s negative. We don’t want to lose other opportunities because we’re waiting to hear from you.
  • If we’ve been through the recruitment process and got rejected, we want to know why. Not generic bullshit, but precise reasons. If it’s technical and we really liked the company, we might get better on the specific technology that we’ve failed and re-apply. If it’s about the money, we might reconsider and ask for less (or more).
  • If you want to hire us, tell us exactly how much time we have to consider your offer.We probably have more than one offer and want to choose the best one.


Best regards,

Guy of the IT crowd

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