From Web Developer to Recruiter

03 Sep 2018

When reading this title any developer is going to ask “why the hell?”, and the question is going to be the same for a tech recruiter. Well if you are really interested, here is a short story that hopefully, in the end, will satisfy your curiosity.

Two years ago, I was a student at the American University of Armenia studying computer science, and as every junior programmer, I was searching for that perfect start of my career as a web developer. After a very very long time of searching, finally, I found an internship at one of the outsourcing companies. The main languages that I was using were jQuery, PHP, also worked with WordPress and Joomla.

In the beginning, it was so much fun. I enjoyed every single code line that I wrote; there was so much learning, coding was all I did. I enjoyed working with DB and even started working on my own little project with Vue.js and MongoDB.

But the issue with outsourcing companies is that if the client wants you to write your code with PHP, you simply have to write it with PHP. There is no time for you to experiment and play around, say with Node.js. There is a deadline and you have to finish it on time.

As time passed and I was still doing the same thing going through the same routine, I couldn’t stop thinking “Is programming, that I was dreaming so long about, this boring?”. And the thing is when you get bored at work, your productivity will never be the same. I somehow started missing deadlines and lost the spark and the enthusiasm that I had before.

At the time, I had already developed a rule for myself — if you are not fully enjoying what you do in life, you must change stuff.

That was it for me — time for changes! But as a typical Gen z and a university student, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life.

It’s funny, we always need to learn new things, its like hunger of knowledge that always needs to be fulfilled. This should be considered by the employers, otherwise, you will lose your employees.

I truly believe that companies always need to be ready for experiments, give their employees space to learn new things. The employees will still be doing the job, but feeling much more provided with fun space to play around and learn new things.

Going back to my story, I came to the decision to try a completely new thing and I came across this very funny job announcement — “if you like communication and tech, and have քթի ծակ” and more of this kind of phrases. The position was called “tech recruiter”.

Honestly, I had no idea what it was but decided to give it a shot. It turned out that there were people who work with different IT companies and developers and try to match them by various factors such as company culture, specific job requirements, salary, and more.

This was a new world for me. It’s like looking from the other side of developers. It was very funny too when you get to look at yourself from recruiters’ eyes.

Let me describe a very typical process of tech recruiting. Say X company is looking for Y developer, they send you the JD (job description) and the first thing you do is go over it and take out keywords such as Python developer who worked with Django and REST APIs with two years of experience. Easy right?

Then you start doing what we call “sourcing” in recruitment or research, call it as you want. It’s when you combine those keywords in google in a way it helps you get maybe 30–50 LinkedIn profiles of developers. Imagine when you have a DB and you are writing a query to find a specific set of data.

A side note: if you are a developer keep your LinkedIn updated.

The next step is to start communication. Here is the thing about developer/recruiter relationship, some developers don’t like recruiters because they think they just randomly write developers and suggest a job that is not relevant to them, or recruiters only care about the company and how fast they can sell it to developers. Well, guess what — not true.

Before writing a message to the developer, we look through all possible profiles that we can find on them and, trust me, we can even find out what your cat’s name was when you were three years old. Just kidding or am I 😉 ?

After making sure that the developer is really the person to work at X company, we message or have a call with him/her.

This is where my technical background helped me a lot. I was able to talk with developers in their language and understand their technical background.

The funny and probably the most shocking thing that I ever learned was that a recruiter, who doesn’t have a technical background, knows a loooot about the tech industry. So the stereotypes, that I had, just faded away. Maybe they can’t write code as well as developers, but they know how things work. Sure as hell!

And still, during the whole process you are going to read a lot of messages like “not interested,” “no,” “*blank” aka ignore, and some other harsh answers. On the other hand, there is the one awesome emotion when your candidate gets hired.

At that time, the recruiter is the happiest person on Earth. Imagine you are working on a product and finally, the day comes for release, and everything works perfectly and people love your product. Or you just built a model with 0.9 accuracy.

You might ask, do you miss coding? Yes, I do sometimes. Do you think you will do recruiting for a long period? Who knows. Do you regret leaving programming? Nope. Will you ever get back to it? Maybe, why not.

I hope this will help in taking a look at both sides and building a better developer/recruiter relationships.