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What is tech recruiting?

Tech recruiting—what’s that?

In the real world, the term is directly related to niche recruiting: technology

Just like you need candidates from specific industries with certain expertise, you need recruiters who do the same in the technology domain. That’s what sums up tech recruiting.

In this article, we’ll uncover:

  • what is tech recruiting?
  • how does a technology recruiter attract and hire top tech talent?

What is tech recruiting?

Tech recruiting is all about sourcing technical talent for IT and technology-based roles. It involves finding technical talent from a sourcing pipeline to match the hiring manager’s requirements. Simply put, tech recruiting helps recruiters to attract tech talent, and recruit for roles—software developers, IT professionals, computer science professionals, data scientists, and engineers.

Case in point: a recruiter reaches out to a full stack developer on LinkedIn asking them if they are open to new job opportunities.

Because the recruiter is hiring for a technical role such as that of a full-stack developer or a cloud professional, they are called tech recruiters. However, generic recruiters can also hire for technology roles. So what’s the difference? Technology recruiters:

  • have a background in technology or a minimum of two years of experience working in the tech industry
  • have an understanding of tech jargon, programming languages and frameworks

Duties of a tech recruiter

Tech recruitment involves a specialized approach to sourcing, assessing, and hiring candidates for technology-based roles. The duties of a tech recruiter include:

  • Understanding technical roles: Gain a deep understanding of the technical skills and experience required for various roles in the tech industry, such as software development, data science, IT infrastructure, and more.
  • Sourcing candidates: Use various platforms like LinkedIn, tech job boards, and networking events to find qualified candidates. This also includes proactive outreach to passive candidates who may not be actively looking for a new job but possess the right skill set.
  • Screening and assessing candidates: Evaluate candidates’ technical abilities, problem-solving skills, and cultural fit through resume screening, interviews, and technical assessments.
  • Coordinating interviews: Arrange interviews between the candidates and the hiring team, ensuring a smooth and efficient interview process.
  • Offer negotiation and onboarding: Handle salary negotiations and facilitate a smooth onboarding process for new hires, ensuring they integrate well into the company culture and team.

Difference between a recruiter and a technical recruiter

  • Area of specialization: A general recruiter handles a wide range of roles across various industries, while a technical recruiter specializes in filling positions in the technology sector.
  • Technical knowledge: Technical recruiters need a stronger understanding of technical skills, programming languages, and the specific requirements of tech roles to effectively assess candidates’ capabilities.
  • Sourcing strategies: Technical recruiters often use more specialized platforms and networks to source candidates, such as GitHub, Stack Overflow, and tech-specific job boards.
  • Assessment techniques: Technical recruiters use dedicated tools for assessing technical abilities through specific methods like coding tests, technical interviews, and portfolio reviews.

Two key skills every technology recruiter should have

skills tech recruiter needs

Let’s discover two skills every tech recruiter must have.

#1—Technical knowledge

To assess the technical competency of the candidate, you must have a good working knowledge of tech trends, skills, technical skills training and technologies.

#2—People skills

The best recruiters have exemplary people skills. They must listen, build rapport, trust, credibility, and relationships, resolve conflicts and consult with people.

Other skills needed to become a technical recruiter

  • Technical knowledge: Understanding of basic programming languages, software development processes, and the latest tech trends to accurately assess candidates’ skills.
  • Strong communication skills: Ability to effectively communicate with both candidates and hiring managers, often translating technical jargon into understandable terms.
  • Networking abilities: Proficiency in building and maintaining relationships within the tech community, attending industry events, and engaging with potential candidates.
  • Assessment skills: Competence in designing and administering technical assessments to evaluate candidates’ technical abilities.
  • Negotiation skills: Capability to navigate salary negotiations and persuade top talent to join the organization.
  • Organizational skills: Efficiency in managing multiple open positions, scheduling interviews, and maintaining a database of potential candidates.
  • Adaptability: Being adaptable in a fast-paced, ever-changing tech environment is crucial. This includes staying updated with new technologies and recruitment trends.

How does a technology recruiter attract and hire top tech talent?

There are no hard-hitting rules for technology recruiters to attract tech talent. They are similar to regular hiring. But the only difference? Having technology expertise to hire tech employees.

Let’s understand the 6 ways a technology recruiter attracts and hires employees.

6 Tactics Technology Recruiter needs to Hire Tech Talent

#1—Learn about technical jargon

Tech recruiters and technology jargon need to be best friends. Because you’re constantly recruiting technology geeks who consume and speak tech, it’s critical to understand these terms.

For example, if a technology recruiter doesn’t understand terms like DNS, Sharepoint, Framework, and the difference between programming languages like C++, Java, and Ruby, they’ll struggle while communicating with candidates.

Here’s a list of technical jargon you can start with:

  • Source code: It is a set of instructions written by a programmer using a computer programming language. The code is translated into machine code by a compiler and is called object code.
  • Frameworks: It is an already written code, and covers lower-level, generic functionalities. Programmers can change this code with an additional user-written code. By using a framework, you don’t have to write all the functionalities of the software as they are already written and ready to be used.
  • Unit testing: It is the process of testing individual components of the software. The purpose of conducting unit tests is to ensure that each unit of the software is working as expected.
  • Integration tests: It is the process of testing where all the individual units are combined and tested as a group. These tests are performed to find the defaults or defects in the code.

💡Ask your recruiters to consume more tech content that includes technical jargon. Reading Technopedia is a great starting point.

#2—Understand the position you’re hiring for

Picture this: The tech recruiter is recruiting for a Java developer role. Their understanding of the role—hiring a Java developer who is well-versed in Java and Java-related frameworks and executes performance load tests.

The hiring manager wants the candidates to be proficient in Java 8 and also, demands other skills and responsibilities like knowing Unix/ Linux basic commands, performing detailed code reviews, and creating automated build and deployment scripts.

But, the recruiter hires a candidate who has experience working with Java 7 (for which Oracle has discontinued support), resulting in a mismatch between the employee and the required skills. How is a generalist recruiter to know that a candidate working on Java SE 7 may not be knowledgeable enough to work in Java 8?

Thus, it is important you fully understand the job role and all the detailed requirements. Talk to your hiring managers and get a detailed overview of what they expect from a Java developer —their responsibilities and expected outcome.

Also download: The Complete Guide to Hiring a Java Developer

#3—Write and optimize your job descriptions

As a tech recruiter, your job demands writing technical job descriptions. But, if you do not have a tech background, it will be challenging for you to write technical job descriptions.

Here’s a job description for the role of Senior Web Developer at Upler. The recruiter has outlined the responsibilities and requirements.

optimize job descriptions

What works: Under roles and responsibilities, you’ll see terms like Shopify app development, Shopify liquid code, and programming languages HTML, CSS, MySQL, and PHP highlighted.

You’ll see the experience and expertise mentioned under requirements section. If the technology recruiter doesn’t know about these terminologies, they cannot craft such detailed job descriptions.

While writing a technical job description, make sure to:

  • use specific job titles, for e.g., when hiring for the role of a PHP developer, don’t *just* write software developer
  • avoid using weird job titles like DevOps Rockstar
  • write a punchy job summary that includes the primary job function, and how the role contributes to the organization
  • outline detailed and concise bullet points on the roles and responsibilities
  • put emphasis on qualifications, skills, and technologies the employee must know about
  • highlight how the employee will add value to the team with their role

Also read: A Checklist For Writing Job Postings That Actually Work

#4—Organize hackathons

Hackathons are an effective way to recruit highly engaged technology geeks. The most appealing part about hiring via hackathons: you know these people are passionate about tech. Because they have participated in a hackathon, you get to know their ability to work.

When a tech recruiter hires through hackathons, just like job descriptions, they need to write relevant content for hackathon challenges.

Take a look at this hackathon created by IPETRONIK using HackerEarth’s Hackathons to hire software developers.

HackerEarth's Hackathons

The company has given details about the challenge, eligibility criteria, challenge format, and the recruitment process.

If selected, the candidate will be judged based on the hackathon, and enter the virtual interview and HR interview.

While writing the description for the hackathon, the tech recruiter must understand the challenge and the skills that will make the candidate eligible for the challenge. Only then can they write accurate descriptions for the challenges.

Also download: The Complete Guide to Organizing a Successful Hackathon

#5—Use reference screening calls

Reference screening calls are important when deciding whether the candidate is the right fit or not.

Two ways how the recruiter can screen the candidate for references:

  • Check out the candidate’s LinkedIn profile and see recommendations from their previous employers. Read them and find what the employer has mentioned about their role, skills, and expertise.
  • Reach out to their previous employer and ask them about the candidate’s daily duties, role, technical aptitude, and role in past projects.

#6—Use skill assessment tests

With skill assessments, you can identify whether the candidate understands the technical skills you are hiring them for. For this, the recruiter needs to ask the candidate the right set of questions. If a technology recruiter is hiring for the role of a front-end developer, they’ll ask questions related to JavaScript, HTML, CSS, and REST web services. Only a technology recruiter with a background of working in the tech industry can craft such assessments.

HackerEarth Assessments offers pre-made programming questions. Use these questions and create skills assessments within minutes and save time. Bonus? Recruiters with minimal technical know-how can easily create accurate assessments!

Fill the gap with technology recruiters

Here’s the crux: you cannot hire the perfect employee for open tech roles at your organization unless you have the right tech recruiters.

So, before you go on to hire for tech roles, assess your recruiters. Either they should have hands-on technology qualifications or technical work experience.

Frequently asked questions


Q.1 Is tech recruitment only an IT job?

Tech recruitment is not only an IT job. While IT roles are often the focus of tech recruitment, there are many other types of technical roles that may require recruiting, such as engineering, data science, cybersecurity, and digital marketing.

In addition, many non-technical industries are increasingly reliant on technology – especially post COVID. As a result, they do require help from tech recruiters to fill technical roles within their organization. For example, healthcare organizations may need to recruit for positions such as health informatics specialists or medical software developers, and manufacturing companies may need to recruit for automation engineers or industrial IoT specialists.

Q.2 Do all tech recruiters need to have a background in tech?

While having a background in tech can be helpful for tech recruiters, it is not always a requirement.

Some employers may prefer that their tech recruiters have technical knowledge and experience in the industry so that they can better understand the requirements of the role they are recruiting for and effectively screen candidates. However, other employers may prioritize strong recruiting skills and experience over technical knowledge and may provide training to help recruiters understand the technical aspects of the job.

Q.3 What are some challenges in tech recruiting?

Some challenges in tech recruiting include a shortage of skilled talent, competition from other organizations, and the need to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies. Additionally, diversity and inclusion can be a challenge in the tech industry, and recruiting efforts may need to focus on reaching a broader range of candidates.

Q.4 What are the most important duties of a tech recruiter?

As a tech recruiter, some of the most important duties include:

  • Aligning with the engineering managers to understand their requirements – right from the tech skills to the years of experience and budget expectations. 
  • Proactively building a pipeline of candidates by searching on job boards, social media, and professional networks, as well as attending job fairs and other events.
  • Screening candidates to ensure that they meet the company’s requirements. Apart from reviewing resumes, tech recruiters should also ask for candidate portfolios, open source contributions, and other examples showcasing their work to help with the screening process.
  • Coordinating and scheduling interviews. This could be both one-on-one discussions, panel discussion, or large-scale campus hiring interviews.
  • Managing the candidate experience so that applicants have a positive experience throughout the hiring process, from the initial application to the final offer.
  • Negotiating job offers  including salary, benefits, and other terms of employment.
  • Building relationships with candidates, hiring managers, and other stakeholders in the company to ensure a smooth and successful hiring process.
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