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Ask HN: Why technical recruiters mostly does not have a technical background
3 points by bisanthe 1607 days ago | hide | past | web | 4 comments | favorite
Hello, in my country most of technical recruiters are BA graduates. To test how interviews goes I have applied a few of them and went to interview. Interviews usually goes like that, rate your X programming language knowledge from 0 to 10 and they write down what you say. They have very shallow knowledge (mostly just the name of technology) about technologies and they cannot question you to verify your rating is realistic or not. I am working at a SW House and we are nearly 1000 developers here so there are always a few interviews nearly every week. Sometimes I ask managers to join interviews to ask technical questions and gave feedback about the guy's technical knowledge. They hired candidates which I gave positive feedback and also candidates which I gave negative feedback. After six months when I talked with managers they were very pleased about the performance of the guys which I gave positive feedback. So I decided to leave from my company to found a recruitment agency. I think that developers can understand developers better so I can find right candidate better than a BA graduate. What do you think ?

Recruiting is a lot like advertising- there's no proven formula, and results are delayed and difficult to separate signal from noise. Some people use these tools to significant advantage, and others just throw their money away without realizing their folly.

Your recruiting for maximum profitability involves both recruiting good talent but also standing above the crowd of mediocrity. You have to not only bring on A players, but interface expertly with the (mostly) C players hiring you.

The most successful recruiters are the ones who are able to hire for the A players while placing C players in stable jobs. Unfortunately, there tends to be no biscuit for helping a business avoid a bad hire, even if that ends up being quite valuable in the end.

What you may be perceiving as total ineptitude on the part of the competition may be a well-disguised (and perhaps unintentionally so) song and dance to appeal toward companies that are satisfied with low-grade talent.

In today's market, in the end, sadly, those who can, do, and those who can't, recruit. Recruiting just doesn't pay like doing tends to. Do you think you can change that?

"I think that developers can understand developers better "

Very true and I am with you on that. However, when it comes to hiring, it is unfortunately not just about developers understanding developers. The reason most recruiters are not really technical is simple. Most Clients do not give a shit how technical a recruiter is. Clients have requirements and the bigger the client is, more lazy they will be to do any legwork on their own in finding good candidates. All they do is to outsource to these "technical" recruiters who charge a fee to find that right fit.

So this model works because clients are ok with it. But may be it is ok. Hiring includes searching through endless resumes, screening, salary negotiations, etc. which the recruiters can help with. For a developer, it sounds like nothing (I feel the same way) but clients value those steps a lot and pay essentially for that. Not for how techie a recruiter is.

Mchannon is right.There is no proven formula for this.In fact, there is no proven formula for anything.If that were the case, Steve Jobs would have been a simple worker.Pure talent is always an exception yet there are always few exceptions.

Thanks for the answers guys, at least I want to try for 5-6 months and will see what will happen. I will write down progress.

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