I recently read an article entitled “Seven Reasons Why IT Recruiters Instantly Reject Resumes.” The gist of the article was that the role of the recruiter is to act as an aggressive screener for his client, and that only an ideal candidate with a well-cultivated job history and resume, should expect to receive a recruiter’s phone call.
When I think of my team’s approach, I see an almost opposite mentality to that of the author.
We’re looking for reasons to call as many candidates as possible, especially in the present high-demand market. We wait to make a judgment call after a personal conversation about what that person is looking for, and what he or she has done in his career thus far. I make assumptions during my first look at the resume, like most, but I’ve been happy to be wrong so many times that I need to have that initial personal conversation as the jumping-off point.
Otherwise, it becomes difficult to look past the analytical side, and leaves no room for culture/personality, which we know is probably important to a culture-oriented engineering team. More often than not, personality is at least as important as a laundry list of tools employees may or may not have had a chance to work with in production.
While we all make judgments of the fly, it’s important to remember that what distinguishes human beings from a piece of resume-parsing software is our ability to go past the paper and bring a more complete picture to the table.
Similarly, we have to remember that although this is part of our daily routine as recruiters, taking a new job probably doesn’t happen very often for the job seeker. It may have been awhile since they’ve had to write a resume, or figure out how to highlight their most relevant, marketable assets. It’s in helping them that I think we can make a big impact on removing the US vs. THEM stigma that pervades the tech recruitment industry.
While everyone makes a judgment on first glance (often a company’s own HR and even hiring manager are the toughest critics), as technical recruiters we’re in a unique position to exercise empathy. We should strive to create an environment where, whether or not we can help the candidate land his/her next job, the advice we give does ultimately guide them toward finding the job that suits them best.