The Technical Job Description



Chapter Contents

  • Anatomy of a technical job requisition
  • Request for information from the hiring manager
  • Questions for the candidate based on the job requisition
  • The Recruiter’s take

This book starts with the job requisition because it’s the beginning of the process of recruiting. It’s the purchase order, job order, or intent to purchase that a client provides to a recruiter that tells the recruiter the profile of candidate to look for. In order to do this successfully, the recruiter needs to really understand what the client wants.

This chapter reviews a typical job requisition, analyzes the demands and skills sets for clarity, and then rates the possibility of finding a candidate that fits the requirement. We will also take a look at the correlation between the job requisition and a resume to see when a resume has been edited to mirror skills from the job description and when a resume truly represents the capabilities of the candidate.

In technical recruiting, as in most professions, the best practice is to stay within a defined expertise. Choose an area of technology to focus on and recruit candidates in this or closely related areas. With focus in a specific area, the technical recruiter is able to dive deeply into an area to learn all there is to know. It also makes it easier for the recruiter to quickly review requisitions and identify (mis)matches. Areas of specialization may be based on specific vendors, such as SAP, CISCO, and Oracle, or may be based on technology implementation phases such as software development, database administration, network administration, and software testing.

There are two reasons why you want to understand the job requisition.  One is the ability to assure the hiring manager that you understand their environment and their need and can locate a person for the current position and possibly others. Another reason is the ability to translate this understanding when describing the job role to a potential candidate. Whether you are a contract or corporate recruiter, you must be able to describe the position requirements to a candidate as if you were the hiring manager.

Anatomy of a Technical Job Requisition
When you review a job requisition, you should have a few questions in mind: questions pertaining to the platform, the network environment, the size of company or number of users, the current team if any, the level of expertise sought, any skills mismatch, and the experience of the hiring manager.

Looking at the job requisition in Figure 1.1, Sample SharePoint Consultant job description, a few of these questions have been immediately identified and answered. The level of expertise sought is senior level.

Hiring managers and their human resources representatives know what they want and spend time creating job descriptions that capture their wants and must-haves. Your job as the recruiter is to understand these wants, desires, and must-haves, and be able to separate them to come up with a description that captures realistic demands (based on current talent pool and market forces) and attracts the right kinds of candidates.

When reviewing the job requisition, the first step is to underline or highlight every skills set.  See Figure 1.1

The second step is to start identifying answers to the main questions that revolve around the technology environment in the organization—answers that reveal the organization’s platform, network environment, existence of legacy systems, number of users, level and type of expertise, and current team.

The platform: During review you must identify the platform, which is usually the main environment in the company. From this requisition we can identify that this company is a Microsoft shop; this means that the company requesting the SharePoint Consultant has a major investment in Microsoft technologies.

How do we know that? It’s revealed through the mention of Microsoft technologies all over the job description—.NET, SharePoint, Microsoft SQL Server, BizTalk, Visual Studio, Microsoft CRM, Silverlight, and Microsoft certification. All these point to the fact that this company is heavily invested in Microsoft. So to answer the platform question, you can see that this shop is a Microsoft platform. Because the client is a big Microsoft user, it is possible that the client may also have a partnership with Microsoft. One of the requirements for Microsoft partnership is that a company employ X number of certified individuals. This may account for the desired requirement for the requested candidate to have a Microsoft certification (more on certifications in Chapter Thirteen).

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