How to Choose the Best IT Recruitment Firm That Will Work for YOU!
By Veanne Smith
If you’re like most IT professionals, you face a completely different employment environment than in prior years. With so many companies turning to staffing agencies and recruitment firms, job-seekers need to know where to go to find the best opportunities to further their careers. Since so many IT professionals are in high demand, it can be a significant advantage to be associated with a well-connected recruiter that can present job listings that have not been publicly posted.
6 Questions to Help You Choose Your IT Recruiter
There are several questions you will want to ask while deciding which recruitment firm to work with to find your next job and each is important! So do not settle for cookie-cutter companies; work with the firm that can demonstrate the simpatico and skills to personally help you further your career.
1. It Should Be All About You!
The best recruitment firms actually care about you, as a person, as well as your career goals. When you make the first connection via phone or in person, take note of their process. Are they listening more than talking? Or are they spending most of the time trying to sell you on their services? An effective recruiter will demonstrate genuine respect for your situation and spend most of the time listening to you convey your current employment situation, goals and aspirations, and the company’s dynamics and culture for whom you would like to work.
When you ask questions, look for genuine answers that pertain to your situation, rather than general and vague responses. If they say they will follow up in a day or two, have they followed through? Are they willing to provide interview tips and help you through the process?
2. What is the Recruiter’s Specialty?
Many recruitment firms specialize in specific industry niches, and although some remain general job scouts, it is generally more prudent to work with a recruiter that understands the tech industry.
Because there are so many tech specialties, it is important to connect with a recruitment professional that is knowledgeable and dedicated to the IT industry. They are the pros who understand the differences between a Senior RPA developer, a Technical Architect, and a Java Engineer. It is crucial to find a recruiter that truly understands your skills and expertise, or you may be presented with job openings that are not at all in your wheelhouse.
3. Does the Recruitment Firm Have a Long History of Success in the IT Industry?
If you are a specialized technologist, such as an Application Security Architect, a React Interface Engineer, or a Senior .NET Core Engineer who is looking for a high-paying job and a robust occupational outlook, work with a recruitment firm that has a long history of success hiring and placing individuals with those specialized skills. Period.
Newer and smaller agencies may have close relationships with a handful of businesses, which may be perfect for some of the more general tech positions, such as an IT Coordinator or Network Administrator. But, if your job search is more IT-specific, they are unlikely to be privy to the myriad of unpublicized jobs in your field. Again, if the recruiter is not in the IT niche, you may end up being invited to interview for positions that do not coincide with your career goals and are not the right fit.
Larger, more established IT recruitment firms that have been in business for a decade or longer have close connections and relationships with a broad spectrum of companies. Those medium-large companies are always on the lookout for a variety of tech specialists, which ultimately increases the odds for you to get matched with the job that meets your criterion.
Whether you end up talking with a small, medium, or large firm, ask the following questions to help narrow down the selection:
- How many techs have they placed within the last 12 months?
- How many IT professionals within your specialty have they helped?
- How many client companies does the firm work with?
- Do they have exclusive relationships with their clients, meaning they are more likely to get you the interview?
4. Is the Recruitment Firm Up-to-Date on Hiring Trends?
Skilled recruiters are focused on staying up-to-date on hiring trends. Strong recruiters understand the importance of staying on the leading edge of the IT industry’s needs.
The most successful firms are active thought leaders in the tech community and attend conferences such as the Atlanta Tech Summit and DevNexus to stay abreast of what new tools and technologies are being adopted in the marketplace.
At SOLTECH we are constantly speaking to industry experts and compiling our data to determine which skills are currently in demand and which programming languages will be needed in the future. We also make it a point to understand each candidates’ soft skills (i.e., confidence, humility, work ethic, emotional intelligence, leadership skills, etc.), which has become increasingly important to enterprises of all sizes. Additionally, we understand what a modern tech resume and LinkedIn profile should look like and what should be included to get the best results and traction. We are always happy to help our candidates revamp their resumes and profiles to present themselves in the most professional light.
5. What Method Does the Recruiter Use to Find Candidates?
The absolute best recruiters are leveraging their network to find the most sought after technology professionals. How do you know if the recruiter has a respected network? Go to LinkedIn and make sure they have more than 500+ connections, and that their connections have impressive credentials.
It is also a plus if the recruiter reaches out saying you were recommended, or if they found you in their database and are already impressed with your credentials based on past interactions with their organization.
There’s also nothing wrong if they sourced you online, and you ascertain in your first dialog with the recruiter that your skills are right on target for the position they are looking to fill.
When they tie their success to your career success, it demonstrates that they are genuinely interested in your career fulfillment. If you aren’t getting that same vibe after an initial meeting with a recruiter, then you may want to move on.
6. Are There Positive Online Reviews or Referrals?
You may be bombarded by calls or emails from recruitment professionals once they are alerted that a company is looking for someone with your skills. That is very common and can be disconcerting as to the sheer number of people reaching out to you. Some people make the mistake of working with the first recruiter that calls out of convenience.
It is smart to do your homework and save time by looking for “proof” and a “confirmation” of the recruiters’ achievements. Third-party validation, especially by leading professional organizations in the staffing industry, provides a green light that a recruiter has been vetted and passed tests with flying colors. You should also feel comfortable enough to request referrals from past techs that have been successfully placed. Lastly, check out Google reviews and reviews on other sites such as Clutch to hear what others have to say of their experiences with the firm.
Remember, you are in the driver’s seat, therefore evaluating the firm you are going to trust with your career is paramount.
It has been our experience that burgeoning companies looking for specific talent do not have the time to review hundreds of resumes for each specialized IT opening. This is precisely why they turn to IT recruitment firms to help source, identify and evaluate the best possible candidates.
While it may feel daunting to locate and evaluate a well-respected and effective recruiting firm, start by asking people you know who they recommend. Next, attend meet-ups and technology events where you can meet those recruiters who are active in your community. Lastly, do your online research, evaluate the recruiting firm’s credentials, and read what others have to say about how they treat their candidates and clients. During your first encounter with a recruiter, be an active participant and ask questions that confirm they have your best interests in mind, and that they have a past track record of success.
At SOLTECH, one of our differentiators is a constant reminder that our candidates are just as important as those companies that we service as clients. We pledge to take a vested interest in our candidates, only presenting them with opportunities that align with their skills and aspirations. It behooves none of us to be wasteful with our time. We look forward to working with you! Explore our IT opportunities here.
Veanne SmithCo-CEO & Co-Founder
Veanne Smith serves as the co-CEO and co-founder of SOLTECH – Atlanta’s premier software development, technology consulting and IT staffing firm.
Prior to founding SOLTECH, Veanne spent more than 10 years in the technology industry, where she leveraged her software development and project management skills to attain executive leadership responsibilities for a growing national technology consulting firm. She is passionate about building mutually beneficial long-term relationships, growing businesses, and helping people achieve their personal life goals via rewarding employment opportunities.
Outside of SOLTECH, Veanne is considered a thought leader in Atlanta’s IT community. Currently, she serves on the Advisory Board for The College of Computing and Software Engineering at Kennesaw State University. In addition, Veanne helped launch the AxIO Advisory Council, has been a member of Vistage for 20 years, and created Atlanta Business Impact Radio – a podcast that showcases some of Atlanta’s most innovative businesses and technology professionals.
As an influential figure in the technology and IT staffing industry, Veanne consistently produces insightful articles that address both the opportunities and challenges in IT staffing. Through her writing, she offers valuable tips and advice to businesses seeking to hire technical talent, as well as individuals searching for new opportunities.
She holds a degree in Computer Science from Illinois State University.