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Building Your IT Team: How Your Recruiter Should Help

May 11 , 2015

The economy is growing again, and IT recruiting has become more challenging. A report by Deloitte titled "Global Human Capital Trends 2014" stated that the battle for recruiting talent now takes place on a field of talent networks that are unevenly distributed around the world, with people who have evolving views of what they want in a career. Many companies are updating their IT hiring strategies, worried that failure to adapt will prevent them from finding and hiring the IT professionals they need.

Even in a competitive hiring environment, taking time to find the right job candidate is well worthwhile.

CareerBuilder's 2015 job forecast reported that more than half of employers surveyed planned to hire full-time permanent IT professionals, up from only 29% in 2014. But the solution to IT recruiting challenges isn't simply to grab the first available programmer with somewhat relevant experience. Taking the time to find the right person for a position is painstaking, but wiser in the long term. If you want to work with an IT hiring specialist, make sure they understand the intricacies of IT staffing before signing on with them. Here's what to look for.

Does Your Recruiter Ask Enough Relevant Questions?

Successful IT recruiting involves understanding technical terminology and sometimes making fine distinctions. For example, if you're recruiting for a cyber-security expert and your recruiter doesn't know the difference between this and an information security professional, you may have a more difficult time finding the right job candidate through that recruiter. Your recruiter should do a lot of asking and listening. Ultimately you're better off being connected with one or two job candidates who closely match what you're looking for than being presented with half a dozen with qualifications only obliquely related to what you want. And a recruiter can't know what you want without asking, clarifying, and listening.

They Should Understand Which Qualifications and Certifications to Look For

Specific certifications and qualifications are important to many IT jobs. However, because technology changes so rapidly, discrete skills that may have mattered a few years ago may be less relevant today. While you certainly want your IT recruiter to bring you candidates with specific base-level qualifications, you also want candidates who are open to acquiring new skills and who have passion for information technology. For example, some IT hiring professionals look up job candidates on sites like GitHub to learn more about their enthusiasm for developing and sharing code with others.

They Should Help You Build the Proper Mix of Skills

Your IT hiring professional should understand exactly what your company's skills gaps are.

Your company demands a particular mix of skills and development potential, and the IT recruiting specialist you work with should understand this. They may ask you to develop a skills matrix where you spell out what skills your team already possesses and so you can clearly see where skills gaps are. Knowing where your skills gaps exist is critical for you when developing job descriptions, and is essential for a good recruiter in order to avoid wasting time on job candidates that don't address those gaps. Ideally, once you're through working with an IT hiring professional, your skills matrix should look significantly more complete.

They Should Know How to Match Job Candidates to Your Corporate Culture

As important as specific skills are for your IT team, even more important is cultural fit. Your recruiter should understand what it's like to work for your company. How formal is the work structure? How do people advance in your company? How might a given job candidate fit in within your corporate culture? Answers are especially important because of how much technology roles tend to evolve. When employees fit into the prevailing corporate culture, there's less turnover, stress is lower, morale is higher, and people take changes to their work roles in stride more than if they never felt like they fit in to begin with. Employee engagement, satisfaction, and retention all depend upon a good cultural fit as well as the right skills fit.


IT recruiting is always a challenge, and with demand increasing, it's critical that you work with an IT hiring professional with specific experience in successful placement of IT professionals. The recruiter that simply forwards a stack of resumes to you is wasting everyone's time. What you need is an IT recruiting professional who takes the time to get to know your company and who takes the time to learn much more about job candidates than what is listed on a resume. Ultimately, your IT recruiter should match job candidates to job opportunities where they'll thrive and where both employer and employee will benefit.