7 Social Recruiting Goofs That Turn Off Tech Pros

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Recruiters have the best of intentions when they try to connect with tech pros on social media. But as a recruiter, you may inadvertently repel the very people you’re trying to attract if you commit one or more of these critical blunders.

“The candidate population is very candid about what they like and don’t like,” explained Matthew Ripaldi, senior regional VP for Modis, a tech-staffing agency. “They’re really turned off by the fact that recruiters are bombarding them on social media, especially application developers who claim recruiters are driving them nuts.”

To help you obtain maximum value from your social media outreach, here are seven key mistakes to avoid when recruiting tech pros. 

Becoming a One-Trick Pony

Instead of picking up the phone and having a conversation with a candidate, many recruiters have become totally reliant on social media. As a result, they don’t know the first thing about tech professionals or their career interests before they pitch them a job. Savvy recruiters understand that social media has its place, but they use good old-fashioned face-to-face meetings and phone calls to get to know a candidate’s career objectives and build rapport.

Bombarding Candidates

If you uncover a hot candidate on a professional networking site, you’ll annoy him and will eventually cause him to tune you out if you bombard him with private messages and in-mail.

“A developer will not even bother responding if you blast them with messages on Twitter,” Ripaldi said. “And they really hate it when recruiters send them impersonal in-mail messages that have clearly copy-and-pasted from a template.”

If you’re initial outreach doesn’t work, try a different approach. And customize your messages so you don’t become a “spammer.”

Not Offering Relevant Content

Are you offering candidates valuable information, or are you simply pitching them jobs? Third-party recruiting firms in particular should be able to positon themselves as thought leaders and experts by providing market intelligence, salary information and resumes tips that help candidates land their dream jobs. Remember the 80/20 rule: 80 percent of your content should be educational and only 20 percent promotional.

Lack of Tech Cred

If you want to recruit tech professionals, you need to speak their language, said Katrina Collier, a social recruiting specialist and founder of Winning Impression.

“It’s the recruiter’s responsibility to make an effort to learn about the technical requirements and platform before they post a job or approach a candidate on social media,” she added. “Technical people are logical, algorithm-minded thinkers, so you need to use precise wording to describe a position not touchy-feely words.”

Spend time with a developer to get up to speed, or ask someone from your tech team to explain the role and responsibilities to the candidate, Collier suggested. But whatever you do, don’t misrepresent your technical abilities or your credibility will be totally shot.

“If you don’t know something about a project, admit it,” Ripaldi said. “Because if you state something that’s not accurate, it will really turn a tech pro off.”

Check-the-Box Screening Techniques

Many recruiters insult tech pros by asking them a series of “knockout” questions after finding them on social media. If the candidate has the right skills, they immediately pitch them a job.

“You should already know that information before you reach out,” Collier said. “Recruiters should confirm three things that indicate that a tech pro is well-suited for a job opening.”

Social aggregation tools such as Dice’s Open Web pull together data from more than 130 social sites so you can easily find background information about tech candidates with very little legwork. Plus, they allow you to drill deeper into sites like GitHub and Dribbble, so you can see a candidate’s code or design work.

Asking for Referrals Right Off the Bat

If you’re asking for referrals from strangers on social media, you’re offending your audience and committing an unforgivable faux pas. Referrals are based on trust and a successful working relationship, which means you must earn the right to ask.

Empty Social Media Profiles

You expect a candidate to have an up-to-date professional profile and photo, but is yours incomplete? A tech pro is bound to check out your qualifications and reputation before responding to your initial outreach.

“The reputation economy is here,” Collier noted. “You need to represent yourself in an authentic and transparent way because your reputation as a recruiter is your most valuable asset.”

Image Credit: Bloomua/Shutterstock.com

Comments

2 Responses to “7 Social Recruiting Goofs That Turn Off Tech Pros”

January 05, 2016 at 4:39 pm, RobS said:

Don’t forget these:

* Pitching me to locations that I’m not in. I keep getting recruiters asking if I’ll relocate 2500 miles away but I left that area for a reason and indicated that I only want to stay within a 50 mile radius of home.
* Teasing me with a job because “There are things on my resume that show a great match”. Tell me what those things are. In some cases I included “obsolete” skills because I used to work with them and could potentially work with them if the job is right, but most likely I’ll need a lot more details. I won’t waste my time if I’m simply “a good match” based on unknown criteria. (e.g. I work heavily with job by much prefer .NET and won’t stay in java in my next job.)
* Fail to respond to my response. I sometimes respond to message and ask things like “what part of town is this job in” and get back no response. Not much confidence there that I’ll go back to you for anything else.
* Fail to communicate with my preferred tools. I once gave a recruiter my cell phone while we set up a specific interview. Apparently this number was distributed to the whole company and I kept getting nuisance calls for months after I got another job. I finally indicated that I should only be contacted via e-mail and they complied, but I lost a lot of respect for their system.

How have you helped me in the past? Why should I trust that you’ll even be there in 6 months if I need you? I don’t need a fly-by-night, heavy-turnover recruitment agency.

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January 05, 2016 at 4:41 pm, RobS said:

correction:
I work heavily with java…

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