They will not become astronauts: who will be comfortable in IT recruiting

Before you submit your resume to an it recruiting agency, be sure to read this analysis of the profession. We agree that you can learn any kind of activity, but it’s about hard skills. Soft skills are of great importance here – the character’s warehouse, the ability / desire to sell, work with objections, feel “your own” both in direct selection and at the stage of approving a marketing strategy. But come on in more detail.

920,000 people graduate from Ukrainian universities annually
Only 15% of them work by profession
Every day we get about 15 responses to the position of an it-recruiter
Of the 15 CVs sent, only 1 indicate relevant experience in recruiting / it / hr or, at least, there is a brief cover letter that indicates the candidate’s capabilities and real skills
In a month, we were able to select only 5 people suitable for all characteristics
2 were hired

What is this talking about?

  • That to start work in it-recruiting you need:
  • Have skills or be able to “sell” yourself
  • Read the announcement in detail and be ready to learn (you cannot work with it without knowledge of the materiel)
  • Realistically assess the volume and uniformity of the work ahead

If everything is clear with the first two points, then we’ll talk more about the everyday life of an it-recruiter. In general recruiting, the main work is the analysis of job sites / resumes, the study of open profiles on social networks or direct calls to candidates selected by the client. In IT, monotonous sourcing in LinkedIn, Djinni, GitHub and other sites, where the working skills of specialists are openly represented, occupies 80% of the time.

To collect a pool of 5 suitable Senior + candidates, you need to process 500+ profiles. But the most difficult thing begins in personal communications at the time of transition to the 2nd and 3rd stage: after a technical interview and at the stage of receiving an offer.

The it-recruiting market is tailored for candidates: developers, engineers, testers, designers, etc. Middle + specialists can afford to choose between 3 offers and, as a rule, the recruiter who knows how to sell will work with him.

But there is good news for those who like to work. For example, a good it-recruiter:

  • Closes 3-4 vacancies per month, earning from $ 1,500
  • He receives a small percentage for the recommendation of his specialist (and in the case of a strong friendship, it-schnicks work with one recruiter, there is at least a few)
  • If desired, changes qualifications to it faster and develops faster within its framework
  • The first to know about the most interesting projects, technologies; will fall into a progressive, fun and active “party”
  • Mastering psychology, marketing and other useful sciences without much effort and in practice
  • Can work from anywhere in the world
  • They can become very successful if they do a little more than their colleagues. After all, only 1 out of 10 IT recruiter speaks with one candidate more than 3 times and almost none of the colleagues in other companies / agencies seek to automate their work. Although it helps a lot to not forget anything and earn a reputation as a responsible specialist.

UX vs UI: one designer on two chairs?

Let’s talk today about the important thing for an IT recruiter – the ability to distinguish between the tasks of IT specialists. Let’s start with designers who can be combined into 2 main groups UX and UI.

UX – aka user experience – a field of design that works with user experience. As the author of the famous book about UX-design Steve Krug said: “Do not make me think!” This means that the site / application / program should be so logical and conveniently arranged that the user does not have to think about how to use it. Only after listening to intuition, the buyer correctly understands where to click to select a burger, pay, enter the address and after how many minutes it will be delivered. The work of a UX designer is based on a study of consumers and their needs. Its main task is to provide comfort while solving a problem.

UI – or user interface – makes using the application / website / program aesthetically pleasing. Modern design, color-coded, matching the final look to the drawn layout, endurance of the corporate identity / brand book parameters – these are all about the tasks of the UI designer. It is he who embodies the digital product into reality, if I may say so :).

Simply put, UX is about functionality, UI is about appearance.

Often a recruiting agency is asked to find a UX / UI designer. Is it possible to combine 2 professions into one?

Before answering this question, you need to determine that UX / UI is more than just web design. On the one hand, it includes working with any product, not just web applications / sites. On the other hand, a UX / UI designer should have an understanding of marketing research, have experience and knowledge in two, albeit related, but different areas.

Therefore, if the product and the scope of tasks allows one person to close 2 positions at once, then why not. In large companies and design agencies, the specialty is still divided into 2.

By the way, one of our services is assistance in creating a vacancy. If you know what kind of workforce the company lacks, but cannot formulate a list of tasks, a salary level and determine the name of a profession, contact the Recruit Alliance.

Useful illustration taken from AltexSoft Tech Blog.

Value and characteristics of anonymous vacancy announcements

Anonymous vacancy. Who, for what purpose, and for what reason hides the name of their company? Let us get all this straightened out, whether this is some deception, or perhaps some trick to lure specialists, or just an objective necessity.

The answer to this question is ambiguous, and the cause and effect may be different.

Reason # 1

In each company arise situations that receive the “confidential” status. If such “confidentiality” is related to the issue of finding a specialist, then the employer cannot inform the market about the situation that has happened. Publishing an anonymous vacancy is the solution to this situation.

Let’s imagine that the company is going to have a restructuring, or a decision to replace the top manager has been made. The publicity of such moments with the company’s personnel being not ready to such situations can lead to employees’ worry, uncertainty about the future of the company, employees will start looking for work in case of their possible reduction, gossips can occur, conjectures arise, false conclusions. As a result, the stability of the company is broken, efficiency is reduced, and a lot of resources are required to resume normal working process.

Reason # 2

There are situations when it is important to find a replacement for an employee without causing their suspicion about the intention to part with them. Of course, many can say that it is not fair to the employee. However, the situations are different, and the situation that has arisen does not mean that the employee will be treated unfairly. A normal company that values ​​its reputation will always pay money for several months of the comfortable existence of such an employee and a calm search for a new employer.

There are situations when a company intends to part with a “difficult”, conflicting employee, when both the company and some employees suffer from him/her.

The value of an anonymous job

The main advantage of such a vacancy is its anonymity: the name of the company-employer has not been disclosed, and there is no way to track it. Thus, it is possible to avoid specifying the name of the employer, but at the same time conduct successfully searching for an appropriate candidate.

peculiar features

When searching for an employee with the help of an anonymous vacancy, HR is recommended to devote much more time and resources to the process of preparing a publication for this vacancy. This is due to the fact that in an anonymous job the name of the employer is hidden, that is, the employer’s brand will not work as part of this job. This means that special attention should be paid to the very text of the vacancy announcement: a description of the benefits and conditions of work, the correct indication of the target audience with the help of a clear indication of the profile of the desired candidate. These actions will help reduce the number of irrelevant resumes.


To sum up the forgoing, we come to the following conclusion: all anonymous vacancies have their own motivation and history. It can be said with confidence that anonymous vacancies are not accidental, the employer does not make sense and benefit to create and maintain their activity without good reason. And it is important for the job seeker to remember that employers who post anonymous vacancies on professional career sites are proven and can be trusted.

But the most important thing in this case is understanding of the motivation of each of the parties in difficult life situations, as well as the highest respect for their reputation and the reputation of their company in the labor market.

How a “proper” recruitment agency works

A recruitment agency is an organization that is designed to help professionals find a new job, and for an employer to find someone with a specific set of competencies that would fit the required position in the best way. The recruitment agency undertakes commitment to an employer to search for specialists for a specific vacancy and receives payment only from the employer. There is no “free” recruitment and an endless string of candidates, there are strictly 5-10 people who best meet the stated requirements. Such agencies call themselves, as a rule, recruiting or employment agencies. In this review we do not consider agencies that live at the expense of job seekers and declare “free recruitment” for employers, as “free service” is impossible in business by definition.

An obligatory parameter of the work of a “proper” recruitment agency is strict observance of the deadlines for selecting candidates, formalizing a formal contract and searching the people necessary for an employer within two or  four weeks maximum from the moment of signing the contract. The guarantees are provided with legal certification and undertaking of both legal and financial obligations to the employer who seeks employees via a recruitment agency.

Agency specialists should be able to describe step-by-step the selection algorithm for applicants, indicate the criteria by which potential candidates for the required position are selected. Only in this way employer scan understand that they do not throw out their money for the services of the agency, but pay for specific professional work. The cost of services, by the way, should also be documented and regulated depending on the type and amount of work done as part of the selection of applicants. It is important for the recruitment agency to have professional certificates, participate in any regional, national or international certification programs, ratings and professional associations of recruiters.

The next item, which is also always of interest to employers, who collaborate with recruitment agencies, is the cost of services. It should provide for a specific tariff model, the possibility of a stage payment or a flexible payment system, depending on what specific requirements the customer makes for the selection of candidates, how “deep” it will require to “dig up” the market in search of a specialist with a set of specialized characteristics and personal qualities, etc. Those who value their time and money also pay attention to the agency’s portfolio, whether it has experience of participating in a similar job search, and whether it has successfully selected people for a similar position, how long the agency usually searches for the required staff.

Each self-respecting recruitment agency is also characterized by its presence in the print and electronic media, by using online communications to conduct business and promote its brand and its services. Take interest what latest advertising campaign for the agency took place and how long ago it was, and what its duration was. Also, do not be lazy to “ask Google” for the latest publications, reviews about the recruitment agency on the eve of your visit there, rate the reputation of the company that you are going to entrust the search for the key manager you are interested in. Information about conferences in which representatives and management of the agency participated, possible scandals or awards, companies that previously collaborated with your chosen agency — any kind of information can be useful in order to get a certain idea about business, commercial, and information reputation of the agency chosen by you for possible cooperation. By the way, the study of such information will be useful for top managers, as well as representatives of middle managers who are going to submit their resume to a recruitment agency.

There are also “non-information” factors that are no less informative for both the applicant and the employer, and they can only be seen during a direct visit to the office where the specific recruitment agency is located. The situation in the office, the workload of employees, the interior, the presence of separate meeting rooms and interview rooms, modern office equipment are all small but important details that will tell you about the real situation in the office much better than any presentations, awards or diplomas and swearing assurances of business success and consistently high performance.

Is the candidate’s experience really important?

Many employers still treat the candidate’s professional experience very meticulously, hoping to save money on training a new specialist. And they do a disservice to themselves: the company not only does not win, but even loses. Job vacancies stay empty for a long time, promising applicants are eliminated due to lack of experience and they find another job. So what qualities, if not the experience of the candidate, should one bet on when recruiting an applicant ?

What? Haven’t you read it yet? You should read the interview in the “Office at the Corner” series in the New York Times, a conversation with Spreecast CEO Jeff Fluhr, the StubHub co-founder, the man who certainly knows something about recruiting and retaining talented employees.

In this interview, Fluhr does not hide his indignation about the traditional, cowardly careful selection of employees, in which only those who have already done similar work in a similar company (of the same extent, working in the same industry, the same region, etc.) become candidates.

In fact, you want to put a copy of its former owner on a vacant place, but this person should be filled with fresh forces, breathing with enthusiasm (most likely, a younger one, though you do not recognize this). You are looking for a cog that can be inserted into the mechanism without any special difficulties, so that the mass of the enterprise continues to move to the heights.

But Jeff Fluhr thinks such an approach is wrong. He explains this idea in the above interview:

“What I was often doing at StubHub as the company grew was to say, “O.K., we need a V.P. of marketing and we want somebody who’s been a V.P. marketing at another consumer Internet company, and hopefully, they’ve done these certain things because that’s what we need.” But the reality is that if you get somebody who’s smart, hungry and has a can-do attitude, they can figure out how to do A, B and C, because there’s really no trick to most of these things.

One of the things I tell people is that experience is overrated. I still sometimes find myself falling into the trap of thinking, when I’m trying to fill a role, “Has the person done the work that the role requires?” That’s the wrong question. It should be, “Let’s find a person who has the right chemistry, the right intellect, the right curiosity, the right creativity.” If we plug that person into any role, they’re going to be successful.”

The arguments of Fluhr are intuitively clear: after all, only in narrow-profile or high-tech areas can be justified such a radical requirement to have “at least 10 years of successful experience of similar work”.

Indeed, who will take a risk to lie down on the table for a neurosurgeon or take a flight with a pilot, be they executive ones, but with no experience?

As for the many other hard-to-close vacancies, admit to yourself: the problem may be, at least in part, in your thought that you have already had an ideal candidate who has already done the very job for which you are hiring him/her.

Ask yourself: do you really want to find the most talented employee, or do you need someone who simply does not need to be trained and who will not distract colleagues with constant questions about professional jargon and highly specialized abbreviations that are “so important” for your success?

When is it better to delegate the selection of top management to a recruiting agency?

Very often, companies do not order their own HR departments to search for top managers, but turn to recruitment agencies. There are several reasons for this:

An internal recruiter is busy with projects of a middle level of. They are pulled by all managers, internal customers, and they close the vacancies as fast as possible. Therefore, external consultants are engaged to close the position and not to waste time.

A situation when both internal recruiters and the market should not know about  a vacancy opening. Most often the agencies are engaged in this case. It happens that agencies are looking for a candidate, and the person is still working in this position – and a strategy of their replacement  is just being prepared. Because it is not always possible to dismiss a top manager overnight.

Internal HR managers are not always trusted the selection of top-level managers due to internal communication, internal connections. There are very serious risks that a person, who is planned to be replaced, will find it out and will go somewhere ahead of time, or vice versa – he/she will fix his/her position and remain in business. That is, various manipulations are possible on their part.

A situation where a company cannot act on its own behalf. For example, a manager knows for sure that he/she wants to have a particular person from a certain company, but there is an agreement with it not to take aggressive actions. In this case the agency represents the company.

A small HR department. For example, this often happens with pharmaceutic companies. Then the HR department actually controls the work of providers, its function is to provide communication with them.

Lack of access to the body (to the customer) from internal recruiters and the possibility of access from agencies. Then the agency is also given the vacant positions.

And there can also be an inverse task – they turn to agencies to employ a top- manager of the company or take him/her away from the company so that they themselves do not know about it. This happens more and more often currently. This is a hidden outplacement. That is, you need to make sure that the person leaves voluntarily, and they are sure that they themselves quit, having received the best offer, and in no case they went to the competitors of the company, to whom the employer does not want to let them go.