When you are looking for a technical recruiting firm, it is important that they meet some general standards.
That doesn’t just make the recruiter look bad, it makes the company look bad.
Haven’t they trained their recruiters on basic differences in the language and technology requirements necessary to do their job successfully?
A technical staffing agency needs to understand the technology they are recruiting for, have some background in that technology, strong communication skills, a large (and responsive) technical network, and a great process. These are fundamental and provide a foundation for a technical staffing agency to search for that candidate that will ensure your vision becomes reality.
Without these five listed attributes, the process will become messy. Horror stories from software engineers can be conjured up with ease. Recruiters with no knowledge of what it takes to deliver in a technical role put the success of your recruiting program and reputation of your brand at risk.
Every wrong match made translates to lost time and money. Whether that’s the recruiters time spent going after the wrong candidates and prolonging the time to hire, or your time because they submit a clearly unqualified candidate.
We’re a team of software engineers that know these struggles all too well, which is why we say Parsed has a recruiting process built by engineers for engineers.
We often ask ourselves, how could a technical staffing agency that’s never written a line of code properly vet a software engineer. The following criteria helps to differentiate a technical staffing agency that recruits versus a team that can actually find the right candidates and add value.
1. Experience in Software Development
A technical staffing agency that is recruiting for software engineers and technical resources must have experience in the field. Without experience, the only way for a recruiter to find a candidate is to keyword match.
If the job requires experience with X, Y, and Z languages, the recruiter will simply look for people with X, Y, and Z listed on their resume.
However, experienced engineers know that’s only a part of the story, and requirements go beyond keyword matching. A recruiter must understand the nuance requirements of a role to understand if a candidate will actually perform in the role.
We believe that’s impossible unless they have experience in software development.
Tip: Working with a technical staffing agency that understands software engineering will allow you to spend less time vetting unqualified candidates, and more time going deep with great candidates.
2. Understanding the Differences in Technical Languages
We’ve seen this mistake often both as developers being recruited and as an agency that’s used recruiters. Recruiters mistake these languages as being equal when reading through a candidate’s resume, and then send those candidates to you.
Traditionally, recruiters focus on quantity over quality.
If they can send a large quantity of candidates that are close, the odds are in their favor that you’ll choose one of them. In reality that helps no one but the recruiter.
Recruiters need to understand the differences in language and requirements so they can provide better quality candidates, save you time, and actually add value to your hiring process.
Tip: Working with a technical staffing agency that understands the differences in language and development requirements ensures they’ll focus on the quality of candidates they are delivering, not the quantity.
3. Network of Engineers
Software engineering is in high demand, and recruiting software engineers is tough business. No matter what a recruiter tells you – recruiting great engineers is hard.
We’ve had the benefit of being a software engineering firm first, and we’ve developed a network of hundreds of developers through our development projects.
When we decided to provide recruitment services for tech companies hiring software engineers, we were able to leverage this network. We didn’t have to cold call a hundred engineers trying to convince them to change jobs.
We had a quality brand and good relationships, so our network responded positively when we introduced a new opportunity to them.
It didn’t just make staffing easier for us, our clients were able to find and land great developers for their team drastically quicker than they had in the past.
Look for companies like ours with a network of engineers.
Tip: Technical staffing agencies will tell you they have a huge network to pull candidates from in their recruitment process. It’s easier said than done, so look for signs that the agency actually has a reputable network.
One of the ways we nurture our network is sponsoring a meetup where relationships with other software engineers are formed.
The importance of being accessible to the development community at large is crucial. A great network allows your technical staffing agency partner to search in their network for an engineer.
4. A Defined Process
We approach the recruiting process differently from other technical staffing agencies.
The Parsed 3 Step Vetting Process carefully vets software engineers through three defined steps before they become Parsed Approved.
Parsed Approved means that the candidate has been fully vetted through our process. After the resume is checked over and the qualifications look promising, the first step to this recruiting process takes place.
The soft skills screen looks to identify a candidates soft skills, cultural fit, and basic technical fit for a job.
The second step of The Parsed 3 Step Vetting Process is a coding challenge, which puts their skills to the test to ensure they can actually write code.
The final step is an in-depth technical interview with a senior engineer, which aims to probe into a candidates approach to problem solving and coding.
About 10% of candidates make it through the process to become Parsed Approved.
Tip: Make sure your technical staffing agency partner has a good process. Recruiters that simply screen keywords for resumes and pass them over the fence to a hiring manager add little value to the hiring process.
Communication is vital for a proper relationship between all parties involved in the recruiting process.
Many horror stories are a direct result of recruiters’ lack of communication and honesty with their clients or their candidates.
This collective experience held by many of our software engineers was the foundation for building a new type of technical staffing agency that focuses on quality over quantity.
We strive to be different.
Tip: Recruiters are always responsive and positive pre-sales (as are most sales people). You have to look deeper at how recruiters talk about their process and recruiting capabilities. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. A lack of honesty (or stretching the truth) is an indicator that communication will be a struggle during your engagement.
Finding a Technical Staffing Agency for Your High Growth Tech Company
Recruiting is hard, and not core to most growth organizations.
That’s why you work with professional recruiters.
However, in an industry like software engineering it’s not easy for a recruiter to add value to your process if they don’t appreciate the nuances of software engineering candidates and roles.
When looking for a recruiting firm, these five points will help you find a great technical staffing agency partner.
Learn more about The Parsed 3 Step Vetting Process at Parsed Recruitment.
Parsed builds mobile apps and recruits top tech talent for tech companies. Parsed helps its customers launch apps on both iOS and Android. We specialize in using React and React Native to build mobile applications. We augment in-house teams with React Native development expertise and help companies staff great React developers. We are a team of passionate developers, project managers and designers.