How To Fix Technical Recruiting


Jonathan Wong / July 09, 2019

3 min read––– views

A few months ago, I posted an article called Technical Recruiting is Broken. I was frustrated with being incorrectly targeted by recruiters and wanted to share my perspective on what was broken with the process.

The response I received was overwhelming.

Over 10,000 page views and 200 comments from engineers sharing their stories about why technical recruiting was broken and their experiences. One person who was particularly moved was Angie Verros, the organizer behind Talent42.

Talent42 is the national conference focused 100% on helping recruiters hire top technology talent. We bring you keynotes from engineering leaders, tech recruiting leader presentations and panels, hands-on roundtables, and training. Companies like Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Google, Target, Costco, Uber, Disney, Nike, NBC, Etsy, and many search firms send their tech recruiting teams to participate in this practical, how-to conference that’s all about sourcing, interviewing, and closing the best tech talent on earth.

Angie wanted me to come out to Seattle and speak at Talent42 to share an engineer's perspective on technical recruiting.

Challenge accepted 💁🏻‍♀️

State of the Union#

Almost 75% of the 90,000 developers in the latest Stack Overflow Developer Survey are interested in hearing about new opportunities. Close to 60% of those appear to be switching jobs every 2 years.

75% are interested in switching jobs and 60% pull the trigger within 2 years.

There's a variety of reasons for this:

  • Their current company's yearly salary bump isn't cutting it.
  • Other companies have more competitive compensation packages.
  • They're enticed by the opportunity to work with new, exciting tech.
  • Culture change / office politics / etc.

On top of that, unemployment rates are low and the tech industry is booming. It’s an extremely competitive market, especially in places with a limited talent pool in comparison to the "tier 1" tech hubs (SF, Seattle, etc).

Technical Recruiter

Whatever their reason may be, the numbers don't lie. Now more than ever, engineers are looking to make a move. Plus, no one enjoys applying for jobs. It’s time-consuming and there’s an increasing number of hoops to jump through. This is a huge opportunity for technical recruiters.

Going to Seattle ✈️#

After committing to speak at Talent42, I spent the following months up until the conference doing research, preparing my slides, and practicing.

I combined my own personal experiences with my peers and others in the industry to explain what is broken, why it's broken, and shared what we can do to fix things to over 100 recruiters during a 45-minute keynote.

If you'd prefer the slides, you can view them here.

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