What Technologists Do (and Don’t) Want From Recruiters

Sometimes, it’s an email. It may also be a cold call, or a social media message. Whatever the delivery method, recruiters find a way to reach technologists like you in an effort to recruit you for a new position. A new study shows what piques your interest, and what makes you want to ignore those calls.

Hired’s annual “Global Brand Health Report” has a lot of interesting tidbits about tech companies, but also dives into how technologists end up at those firms. In a completely shocking turn of events, cash still rules everything around us: 53 percent of respondents say compensation powers their decision to accept job offers, outpacing company culture (42 percent), the opportunity to learn new skills (39 percent), benefits (26 percent), and a defined career trajectory and growth opportunities (26 percent).

Income being the first thought we have about a job is not surprising. Hired’s report also notes that 71 percent of technologists want to know the salary range for a position up-front. This group says knowing what they’ll make straight away encourages them to interact with recruiters. Similarly, they want to work for recognizable companies, and are more likely to engage with recruiters who send personalized messages.

So, what keeps technologists away? In a nutshell, obfuscation and opacity. Hired writes “when reaching out to candidates, companies should share full details about the company mission and product upfront, including key features on the product roadmap to showcase their overall vision. It’s also valuable for tech talent to hear about the lasting impact the technology will have on potential customers or the world at large.”

Hired found 49 percent of technologists queried in their study say they turn down job opportunities because they’re simply not interested in the company’s product. Forty-three percent will refuse an offer from a company with a poor reputation, while 41 percent say a lack of knowledge about a company dissuades them from accepting or entertaining a position. Around 41 percent will sour on a job if they’re not interested in the company mission, while 34 percent are most concerned with company culture.

If we’re distilling these findings, one concept jumps out: culture. Though income will always be the main motivating factor, the rest of Hired’s findings can be attributed to company culture. Even benefits can be a reflection of a company’s culture. Netflix is a great example; it set a standard for parental leave, which earned it high marks from onlookers. Not coincidentally, Netflix ranks second (behind Google) in this survey for which public companies technologists most want to work for.

10 Responses to “What Technologists Do (and Don’t) Want From Recruiters”

  1. Back to the original question, I lost count of how many times a recruiter is your best friend until right after the interview when you don’t get the job. You never hear from them again. Most don’t even tell you whether you got the job. Strange.

  2. Glen Grigsby

    Why don’t we cover the subject of the title. The biggest thing I want from a recruiter is “REGULAR UPDATES” If they have submitted me for a job, I want to here about the status regularly. Even if there is nothing to report, let me know you haven’t heard back. The main thing I don’t want is to be ignored. If I call and leave a message asking for an update, or wanting to provide information, I expect a return call in a reasonable amount of time, not two weeks later.

  3. Steve Snyder

    About 99% of these “cold calls” from Tech Recruiters go right into the Trash. Why? They don’t read or scan through my address. I don’t have my street address on my resume, but I DO have right at the top, my name, my town and state, and my contact info. I live in NJ. I get emails that have a short term contract position in NY, VA, or even some other remote area. I used to reply to these emails, asking if a “private helicopter or jet is included” because they are oblivious to where I live.

  4. I have been scammed several times by hiring managers of various companies and I believe the recruiters are totally unaware of this happening to candidates. I have gained expertise in BI and becoming more and more SME. I have been interviewed several times by hiring managers (phone interview) and have done awesome in answering questions and asking questions regarding all different aspects of BI. I am finding out that some hiring managers are simply wanting to have phone interviews with me to STEAL IDEAS TO USE! They never had any intention of moving forward with the hiring process with me but simply to get ideas to use for their own organizations and companies. I am simply disgusted! What happened to integrity? I do totally awesome during the interviews and then the hiring managers are LUKEWARM with their response regarding my performance and mostly likely ghost on me about the next steps of the interview process. They then probably want to hire someone else after I spent a lot of time preparing for the interviews that I though were legitimate….

  5. I just called one of the recruitment agencies coordinating my latest phone interview and was told that most likely this position was ALREADY CLOSED! WHAT THE HELL?! So basically, instead of the phone interview being canceled so I would not waste my time, this hiring manager went forward knowing full well that the phone interview would be totally useless for me

  6. I wish I could say that I had good luck with recruiters, but in my recent job search they have been nothing but trouble, taking my time to discuss these ‘opportunities’ (sometimes for hours, requesting resume edits and all kinds of things!) and then 90% of the time I never hear from them again. They simply disappear into the shadows of an other day of job searching. I’ve decided that they are not worth my time or effort so I no longer respond to them, regardless of what lure they drop in front of me.

  7. Buford T. Justice

    For the most part, recruiters are worthless — especially the rent-a-recruiters. If they are one of the India body shops, contract work companies, or (even worse) “temp” agencies, they’re email just goes in the trash without even being opened.

    As far as “what technologists want from recruiters” goes, how about a recruiter that has the slightest idea about what they’re recruiting? If I’ve been working 10 years in the information security industry while investigating Linux server breaches, don’t spam me with “Exciting Linux Administrator Opportunity!” or “Challenging Opportunity for Java Development on Linux!”