BAN TECH RECRUITERS FROM TECH EVENTS, YAY OR NAY?
They annoy you on Linkedin, they constantly send you emails, texts, voicemails, countless calls, follow you on twitter, call your work number, send devops experts pastry ‘chef’ roles. Imagine if those tech-candidate-thirsty, money-grabbing, spineless monsters invaded our tech meetups and events? Unimaginable.
But wait a minute, what if we actually do consider this for a second. If we have an open mind and examine the logic of ‘agents’ attending events, why are there no issues with:
- Sports agents going to sporting events?
- Talent agents going to TV/Film events?
- Estate agents going to property events?
- Travel agents going to travel and tourism events?
Yes, they are all different and it is not exactly apple for apples, however, they are all essentially middle men/women. Their success largely depends on their expertise and knowledge of their industry, their contacts within that industry and the success of that particular industry. This is no different for recruitment agents, and for the purposes of this musing, technology recruitment agents.
WHY DO TECHNOLOGY RECRUITERS USUALLY GO TO A TECH EVENT OR MEETUP?
- To meet potential clients in a captive area, as they will be easier to target there, than a cold call
- To hand out business cards
- To meet and secure new candidates (See first bullet point)
- Sponsorship. Obviously, if you put lots of money into branding your name on these events, it means you are really embedded within the community, a trusted partner and the best recruitment company. Hmm.
- To post tweets about programming talks that you are “really enjoying”
WHY SHOULD A TECHNOLOGY RECRUITER GO TO A TECH EVENT OR MEETUP?
To find out what is going on in the industry that they specialise in.
The majority of a good technology recruiters day is spent advising and educating both clients and candidates about:
- Who is hiring, what their projects are and what technologies they are using.
- Plans for growth and their associated strategy
- Salary/benefits expectations
- Why companies are losing talent and why others are attracting talent
- Why some attract the very best and why some can’t attract the best
- Technology trends and what training/home learning is being done
- What way internal reporting structures and career ladders are changing, cross training, alternative roles for traditionally vocational skillsets etc.
What better place to pick up this knowledge, than at an industry specific event, filled with knowledgeable and opinionated industry experts?
So yes, we were being slightly contrary in the previous section. Although the above is quite common practice, it doesn’t mean there is no place for a recruitment sponsor. The key here is recruitment. Too many recruitment companies focus on technology as their specialism when really, their specialism should be recruitment. Rather than sponsoring hackathons or “enjoying” complex talks React/Redux syntax, they could be adding value to the community with their expertise in technology recruitment. When it comes to discussing interview preparation/styles/formats, CVs, salaries & benefits, technology candidate supply & demand or a specific company market perception, there is nobody better equipped and with a volume of reference points than a good technology recruiter. Make use of that.
To help improve their industry.
Trying to relate this to software…If there was a bug in a piece of code, and all you did was complain about it all day on LinkedIn, would that bug get fixed? Probably not. There seems to be a growing trend of negativity towards the recruitment industry, and whilst not in every case, some of it is deserved.
With increasing pressure for recruiters to find candidates in a very short supply market, many recruiters are lowering their standards and professionalism in favour of quick and sometimes non-ethical wins. Tech events and meetups give recruiters an opportunity to engage with tech professionals in a ‘normal’ environment outside of work. It also gives them a platform where they can speak to tech professionals and consult on how they could improve recruitment processes; from client engagement, to talent attraction, best ways to keep in touch with busy tech professionals, what doesn’t work, and why.
As a technology professional or technology recruiter, what do you think?