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Learn How to Review Technical Job Descriptions

A technical job description to the recruiter should be like the technical specification to the developer, who must understand every aspect of the software requirement in order to create a solution that solves an issue thereby satisfying the customer. Learn to read between the lines of a technical job description. Nothing is as it seems. A Job description is never straightforward. It doesn’t always contain all the information that makes for the best hire.

See Sample Exercise on Job Description Reviews

Human Resources organizations/departments  know this – that job descriptions don’t always contain everything recruiters need to find the right candidates. Please note that this is not usually intentional, sometimes it just may be because there isn’t an easy way to translate what the hiring manager knows into written text and into a technical job description.

What to Do

So the IT recruiter whether directly or indirectly through an account manager has to get the relevant technical job requirement out of the hiring managers head/heart onto paper,. To do this effectively the IT recruiter has to first:

  • Learn the technologies and processes employed by the hiring organization – whether it’s the .Net or Java framework. It’s important that the IT recruiter speak the language of the candidate and Hiring Manager. The easiest way to learn the terms is by using the word definition tool in Google, or by setting up RSS feeds on websites that publish this type of information.
  • Study the Job description – Every job description has unanswered questions – “why the need for a technical certification?” “How many other people are performing the same role in this team?” “What’s the pace of work in your organization”.
  • Ask questions – it’s better to spend some upfront time understanding the Hiring Manager’s need and finding the right person – thus saving time and  getting it right the first time,  than assuming that we know what the hiring manager needs

Some questions to ask are (1) What are the top 3 things this candidate must have? (2) If I bring 3 candidates with similar skills or experiences what’ll make you hire one over the other 2?

I know a few IT recruiters that feel this line of questioning is confrontational. But I can say from experience that you gain more respect from your clients and candidates when you ask and gain more insight to their needs than assume you know what they want and then cannot deliver.

Still Not Comfortable?

If you technical recruiter still does not feel comfortable with asking direct questions, perhaps a non confrontational way of getting this information is by using a Request for Information (RFI) document- where you have about 3 questions. These questions can then be sent to your client(s). The only issue with this is the time it takes to send and receive the information you need in order to start your recruiting process.

To learn more – Purchase my book on Amazon Technology Made Simple for the Technical Recruiter