“The path to more diverse technical talent” report by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services and sponsored by Karat is now available. Read it here.
How Karat supports leading technical recruiting processes.
Technical interviewing and the technology to make it predictive, fair, and enjoyable.
Our mission is to make interviews fair, predictive, and enjoyable.
What developer candidates need to know about the Karat interview.
Choosing the right technical recruiter for all six responsibilities they take on to improve the hiring process, technical assessment, and candidate experience.
A technical recruiter is the quarterback of the tech talent acquisition process. The best tech recruiters have a close relationship with their software engineering partners. Many face inconsistent processes that make their jobs more difficult. Sometimes, this is due to a lack of clear expectations for the scope of the role.
In this guide, we’re reviewing the complexity of a technical recruiter’s job, what daily life in this role can look like, and what you need to consider when working with a tech recruitment professional.
A technical recruiter is in charge of sourcing, screening, scheduling interviews, and extending offers to candidates that are suited for tech roles — software engineering, data analysis, technical writers, etc.
Compared to other recruiters, technical recruiters generally have at least two years of experience in the tech industry. Formal education or training is also a bonus that helps them identify the right candidates.
Within small and medium companies, technical recruiters can also be in charge of onboarding, employee relations, compensation, learning and development, and other HR duties. The responsibilities of a technical recruiter differ greatly depending on several factors. These include the size of an organization, the specialization of the open roles, and the resources available for managing the process and technically assessing the candidate.
Before we jump into the details of day-to-day activities, we looked at over 100 technical recruiter job descriptions for active role openings (source: Glassdoor and LinkedIn).
Here are the most common skills great technical recruiters have:
At Karat, we help organizations hire the right technical talent and save software engineering time. Expert Interview Engineers conduct technical interviews on behalf of busy companies and teams who don’t have enough time or the right expertise to hire the software engineers they need.
To complement our clients’ technical recruiters who identify candidates, we’ve set the following requirements for our community of Interview Engineers who technically assess them:
We pay particular attention to coaching Interview Engineers on how to offer feedback and even developing their own soft skills. After all, every candidate will create their impressions of a company from their first interaction — the job interview.
There are six stages that a technical recruiter needs to go through to improve the hiring process as a whole. For each one of them, we went over common daily duties and challenges.
The approach technical recruiters use to connect with software engineering candidates differs by the size of the company and resources available.
Sourcing is the first opportunity your team will have to fill the talent pipeline with underrepresented and non-male software engineering candidates. Many companies are taking the intentional approach of proactively sourcing diverse candidates from organizations like the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), Grace Hopper, and Rewriting the Code.
After sourcing candidates, the next step is to invite them to a technical assessment. Unfortunately, many candidates abandon the hiring process early on. This occurs because:
Technical recruiters can speed up the process, keep more candidates in the hiring funnel, and level the playing field by:
At the end of the assessment, the technical recruiter has to provide a recommendation to the hiring team.
The outcome of a technical assessment is all too often a “pass” or “fail” recommendation. A simple binary outcome may seem simple and straightforward, but often has some opportunities for failure that can make life more difficult for a technical recruiter, including:
Issues like the above can inadvertently filter out up to one-third of developer candidates. The impact is especially severe for non-male and underrepresented candidates.
To alleviate these issues, technical recruiters should consider these approaches:
Bonus tip: Record the technical assessments so the hiring team can review and validate the fact that consistent questions and approaches were used by the interviewer.
Technical recruitment professionals will take the lead in coordinating the final interview loop with the software engineering team and the hiring manager.
Typically the team will conduct a series of technical and behavioral interviews to ensure the candidate will meet the hiring bar and be a positive addition to the team dynamic. Of course, not everything goes to plan.
Watch out for these warning signs:
A tech recruiter can address these challenges in three ways:
Recruiters may be leading the candidate through the process, but ultimately the hiring decision falls to the software engineering team. These two teams are working on the same critical task, but often lack a shared language, key performance indicators (KPIs), and an understanding of how a decision will be made.
When these components are missing:
Consider the following three tools and approaches to align these two teams and hire the right software engineering candidates more quickly.
At this point, the technical recruiter will also check references by getting in touch with previous employers and colleagues or looking over past achievements in detail.
Technical recruiters get the lucky (or not) job of sharing the final decision with the candidates. When recruiters extend an offer to a candidate on behalf of a hiring team, they won’t always get a “yes” from the candidate. Offer-to-hire rates in major tech hubs like Seattle, San Francisco, and New York hover around 50%.
When a technical recruiter tells a candidate that they’ve been rejected, candidates often want to understand why. Yet, it is rare for developers to get feedback on their performance during the hiring process.
If a team chooses to provide feedback to the candidate, be sure that it is clear, unbiased, and constructive. This will help set the candidate up for success in the future — the best possible outcome when the hiring process doesn’t end in an offer. Giving this type of information keeps companies on good terms with candidates who are more likely to reapply for a position in the future.
Almost half of technology leaders (47%) agree that a strong software engineer is worth at least 3x their total compensation, making bad hires a very costly mistake. To reduce this risk, you’ll also need to work with the right recruiters. So where do you start?
Here’s a checklist to help you choose the right tech recruiter and set them up for success:
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