Stop Recruiting, Start Connecting

How can the recruitment process for software engineers and other high demand positions be remade? Jack Perkins writing for InformationWeek suggests that companies who need new employees need to get real. In an age of crumbling barriers, the divides that stand between work talent and the potential employer must go. 

Barrier #1: Traditional Staffing

Perkins questions the need for a formal staffing process altogether. The alternative: since software experts know a good candidate when they meet one, why not include these experts in recruitment activities? 

Barrier #2: Recruiters & Recruitment Spam

Recruiters ruin the hiring process by giving the prospective employee too many hoops to jump through. Talented people also do not like recruitment spam, and currently, they’re getting a ton of it. 

Barrier #3: Screening

Employers should bring potential candidates directly to the engineering teams, to make the screening process more amenable:

If a prospective candidate's LinkedIn, GitHub, and other online profiles look compelling, the engineer who talks to her shouldn't be “screening” her. That engineer should be leading the welcome wagon. The two should talk on the phone, go for coffee, whatever it takes to get the dialog going. Even the more introverted software engineer will jump on the opportunity to talk shop with a professional peer. 

Barrier #4: Passive Candidates

Getting at good talent means accessing what Perkins calls “stealth candidates.” These candidates are the best engineers (who are of course, already employed). So if they need to be plucked from another company’s vine and vetted incognito, so be it. 

Barrier #5: Poor Terminology

For starters, let’s replace the word recruiter with matchmaker. A matchmaker puts a candidate in contact with a development team, and then politely steps out of the way. Second, the word acquisition should be eliminated altogether. No serious IT professional wants to be acquired. Third, being hired by a colleague and/or peer is much more preferable than being hired by a boss. 

Barrier #6: Assembly Line Hiring

The new approach to hiring software engineers means replacing the “requirement assembly line” with peer-to-peer connections!

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