Hi! My name is Liza, and I am a technical recruiter here at GT. I think many of you who follow the LinkedIn feed might have come across “Pandora’s box” posts about conflicts between recruiters and developers. Perhaps, you even were a part of this confrontation which has been lasting longer than eternity. Since we all have different opinions about the relationships between recruiters and developers, a few uncomfortable work situations happened to me as well.
For example, last week a candidate for the senior Python developer position asked me the point of the recruiter interview and demanded to speak with the hiring manager immediately. Similarly, my colleague experienced a situation with a candidate for a mobile developer position, who refused to answer her question about the challenges that he usually faces at work arguing that he didn’t want to explain this to a recruiter because “recruiters are too stupid to understand it.”
I’d like to believe that such candidates are in minority; however, we have been facing similar problems more often recently. So, I decided to explain why recruiters exist in general, and why it might not be the best idea to have the interview with the hiring manager right away.
Disclaimer: I am writing this based on my experience and the best recruitment practices everyone should strive towards.
The recruiter as the candidate’s advocate
If you knew what kinds of “interesting” requirements technical leads and managers sometimes set for future candidates, you would be quite surprised. But usually, recruiters manage such unicorn requests at the very beginning of the process and tend to explain to hiring managers that looking for a full-stack-DevOps-Scrum-master in one person is actually a bad idea.
So, you should perceive the recruiter as a person, who is on your side, and who is your advocate, rather than anxiously expecting tricky questions from them during the interview.
The recruiter understands the candidate’s pains and motivations, and by piecing this information together like a jigsaw puzzle they try to match the right people to the right positions.
The recruiter knows, what questions the candidates usually expect to be answered during the first interview. They also know the salary expectations of a senior developer or why it is better to eliminate the test task from the recruitment process entirely.
The hiring manager’s first impression of the candidate also depends on the recruiter, and it will impact their decision in the next hiring steps.
By appealing to their vast knowledge and analytics, the recruiter can convince the hiring manager to provide the most lucrative terms of cooperation for the candidate.
The recruiter sees the full picture
Usually, when a new position opens, the company really needs some help. They demand it here and now, the deadlines are on fire, and there's no time to explain just find us some additional heads. Trust me, in such cases, team leads don’t want to waste their time on candidates who lie in their resumes.
Moreover, team leads don’t usually see the salary trends in the market. They can’t and they shouldn’t follow such tendencies because they have more important tasks on their project.
The recruiter, on the other hand, understands all legal and financial opportunities and blockers, the hiring manager’s needs, technical characteristics for the position, deadlines, etc.
Not to mention other external factors such as the understanding of the candidate market in different regions, salary expectations of each specialist, technical stacks and their differences, and company culture to add just a few.
Actually, the candidate’s cultural fit is a whole other topic. Believe me, it is also an essential criterion for productive teamwork with a new team member. Nevertheless, technical leads are not always able to clearly see what values are important for the team and which soft skills are critical for the new position.
It goes as far as some of you might have encountered situations when ambiguous job descriptions and an awkward interviewing process led to dissatisfaction with the new job. It turned out that the responsibilities were completely different from what you expected, the project was old and boring, and you couldn't seem to find a common language with the team at all. Often such cooperation ends quite suddenly and painfully, with losses from both the company and the candidate sides.
This is usually when a recruiter comes to the rescue. And, while keeping a huge amount of information in their head, they can advise both the team leader and the candidate, guide them in the right direction, and prevent such a sad ending.
The recruiter interview can save you time
Often, during the recruiter interview, you may be asked such a familiar and clichéd question: "Why have you decided to change your job?" In fact, the candidate's answer to this question helps the recruiter immediately understand whether it makes sense to keep the conversation going or not.
For example, if your goal is to grow into a leading position, but our opening doesn’t provide such opportunities, it is better to end the process after the first interview in order not to waste your time.
Moreover, the recruiter understands that candidates do not often read the job description from top to bottom and may miss important information, such as not noticing mandatory relocation to a different country, for example. Such situations seem impossible, while relocation is usually a significant and life-changing experience, despite this, I’ve encountered such candidates countless times. That is why it is worth clearly discussing all the conditions and organizational details of the vacancy once again during the recruiter interview.
Or perhaps you think that technical team members should handle this? I believe it is better to let their interviews focus on technical topics.
The recruiter is also a human being
A recruiter is a living person with their own worries and issues. Everyday communication with people can be just as exhausting as physical exercise, especially when one has to make 5 and sometimes even 10 calls a day.
The recruiter’s job is also quite stressful as we always depend on other people and their decisions, which limits our ability to control the results of our efforts fully.
Surely, this fact doesn’t justify recruiters who behave rudely or arrogantly during the interview (yes, I understand that there are such personalities on our side too), but it is important to treat each other as human beings. I believe only then the cooperation will be pleasant and productive, which is what I wish for everyone to experience :)