On many occasions when I initiated conversations with people while doing my research on Recruitment, I sensed a few of them had a bit of an inkling inside and were probably wondering “who on earth is this guy and why is he talking to me about Tech Recruitment?”
So I thought I’d like to dedicate this post as a proper introduction to myself and the things I will be posting about moving forward. Hoping it will clarify my background and motivations to many of those I’ve spoken to already or those I will connect with in the future.
My name is Jawad Sabra (obviously!) and I’ve been working in the field of IT for about 8 years now, over this time i’ve had the fortune to work in plenty of roles across various layers of IT. From working with in-house IT services teams, to SME size Digital Agencies and Corporate Companies owned by Global Tech conglomerates.
To get even more in the gritty details, I’ve worked with Service Desk, Service Delivery, Service Support, Network Infrastructure, Server Infrastructure, Web Support, Web Development, Web Management, and Software Development Delivery teams. So I’d like to think I’ve been able to gather a holistic view and understanding of how things work in the IT world!
The reason why I mention this is to reflect on the fact that i’ve managed to get hands on knowledge from with in the battlefield in sourcing and delivering Software/Web Development projects over the years part which mostly were in the Digital Marketing space as it’s an area I a very keen interest in in the recent years.
Fast forward till now, being a candidate for many development roles over the years, i’ve spoken to many recruiters about many different roles, and me, not being the typical dismissive type candidate who doesn’t want to waste time talking to hundreds of recruiters when they haven’t got anything, I actually took the time to listen and have a conversation with each and everyone of them.
At the beginning I didn’t make anything out of it, I was just too oblivious and too consumed by focussing on finding the right position or the next jump for me that’ll be better than my last role. But at some point I started noticing patterns emerging among these calls i’ve had. I noticed many recruiters I speak to have very little knowledge of the tech and market in which I am looking for a job in, better yet many of them were literally asking me “can you explain to me how this system works?” or “what is X?”, which is the product I specialise in.
This made me think, It must be really tough for these people having to be out there making calls to devs and trying to extract information from them and at the same time trying to sell them on the role, how would that work? I mean as a candidate If I want to talk to a recruiter about a particular job and they have no clue what is the role, what kind of experience do I expect moving down the hiring process? how much confidence do I have in this recruiter and in their ability to place me with this company? I’m not sure if other candidates have the same thought process, but certainly these are things that crossed my mind.
Then I thought, If you’re working in a very niche tech field and you’re looking to learn about this tech from candidates, how many candidates do you have to lose before you actually build enough confidence and credibility so you’re able to sell the next candidate on the role, is there really enough candidates that you can do trial and error with? and just so I was sure about this, I actually went out and started asking these recruiters, “what do you do to learn about this X tech or whether this candidate is good for the role or not?”, and to my surprise it was actually by trial and error, every single tech recruiter I spoke to just uses trial and error with the candidates, as well as with the clients to learn their way in.. Then I thought, surely there must be a better way to do this, surely as a recruiter working in a very small candidate pool I can’t afford to do this. How many clients do I have to lose owing to the fact that I know jack about this tech or that?
There must be a better way to do this!
This is where I started doing a lot of research on recruitment and speaking to many participants in this market. Asking about their challenges, problems, daily frustrations, and I found 90% of the people I spoke to struggle with the fact they can’t get through to candidates, they can’t verify if these candidates have done the thing they’re claiming they did, and third and most importantly (this came with a lot of emotion and pain attached) hiring managers taking ages to give feedback and sometimes not even giving any.
And I thought, maybe there’s something here, maybe I can connect the dots together. But I did actually start seeing that many market participants do admit Recruitment is in a very bad state as an Industry, reputation is completely tarnished an that’s why these poor folks can’t get through to meaningful candidates over the phone, none of them (candidates) want to talk to recruiters anymore.
Also How can you expect to validate someone’s experience or verify it and you don’t even have any knowledge of the field they’re working in? that’s CV Matching 101, but funny enough some recruiters do seek to learn about these tech by starting a coding course on Lynda.com, but that’s not really how learn about the role or tech. Let me tell you now, You don’t need to know code to be a good tech recruiter.
Last point and certainly not least. There must be a reason why hiring managers are slow to give you feedback or just treat you like shit overall. My first inclination is to think they might just be too busy, or just too busy talking to 10 other recruiters they put on their PSL to source for this role and they don’t expect much from you as an individual. Maybe it’s because you didn’t position yourself as the trusted advisor who’s an expert in their field, but rather the generalist CV crawling type of recruiter who normally says: “I don’t know this field I just get you the CV’s and you decide”.
And let me tell you! Clients never know what they want, hiring manages included. Who on earth then is supposed to know who is the right talent to fill this role? if the hiring manager doesn’t, and the recruiter had rid themselves from that responsibility, who’s left to judge if this is the right fit or not? so far this activity has been predominantly based on a strategy called “taking stabs in the dark” for both parties. I can write 10 articles about how this strategy is one of the biggest reasons for failure on many Software Development Projects.
This is why I’ve started working with recruiters to help them build their reputation and be able to make more placements predictably by attracting more suitable candidates and picking up high paying clients. We do this by addressing the three points above using a proven system that I myself have implemented and experienced the results of, and was able to place 4 high salary perm developers in the window of a week without even trying. I will be publishing another article about this in the coming weeks. In the meantime to find out more about this story checkout my website here http://cruits.uk.