Technical Recruiters: Why They Do (or Don’t) Like You

Without a technical recruiter, your life goes a littletechnical recruiters something like this: Blindly search for a technical consulting contract while you balance combing job postings, your current contract, and personal life. Seems a bit daunting, doesn’t it?

This whole process can be made much easier with a technical recruiter. While you’re off spending time at work or with the family, they’ll be searching for you. They know the business, who is hiring, who to talk to, and where your talents would be appreciated. They find you a contract without the pressure.

While a technical recruiter will certainly make your life simpler, you need to show them the same courtesy. It’s a symbiotic relationship and if you treat them well, they’ll make sure you’re never without a contract.

So what do you do to keep your technical recruiters happy? Below, we have a list of things recruiters love and hate. (Hint: Make sure you’re doing the things they love, and they’ll redeploy you at every opportunity.)



What Recruiters Love:

1.    Honest, Open, and Communicative Candidates

Technical recruiters and their consultants have a relationship. And, like all relationships, the early stages set the groundwork for future success.

If you are honest about your desires, open about your strengths and weaknesses, and keep the lines of communication open and clear of static, your recruiter will have a better understanding of what you are searching for. They’ll be able to find a contract that meets your needs, which is good news for the both of you.  

If you refuse to be honest and open, your recruiter will bring you contracts that aren’t best fits. Shooting these opportunities down without truthfully explaining why will frustrate your recruiter after a while. If you do this constantly, you may find that they are unwilling to work with you in the future.

Setting proper, realistic, and firm expectations is the foundation for finding satisfying, successful employment and for forging a lasting relationship with your recruiter.


2.    Candidates With a Willingness to Invest Some Time

While a technical recruiter is supposed to make your life easier by searching for your contract, you need to be willing to invest some time. We’re not talking weeks or days. We’re talking a couple of hours (tops!) to speak to your recruiter about what you want out of your workplace.

Why do technical recruiters love candidates who are willing to do this? Having this sort of conversation allows your recruiter to learn about you, both on a technical and personal level, so that they can find you that perfect match. And a perfect match? It’s a win-win for both of you.


3.    Candidates Who Are Business Savvy/ Open to Recommendation

Recruiters love contractors that have been through this process before. Veteran consultants understand how things work, what agencies need to do, what hiring companies need. In short? Recruiters love someone who understands the timeline and process of technical recruiting.

If you’re not a veteran technical consultant, don’t worry. Recruiters will still love you … if you are open to learning the process and to going with the flow. A good recruiter will understand that the process is daunting, and even frustrating, to people who have never been through it before. If you have concerns, voice them but be open to what your recruiter is telling you. Don’t dismiss them.



What Recruiters Hate:

1. Candidates That Disappear

Here one day, gone the next. There’s always a reason, but that reason likely didn’t pop up out of nowhere. If you have other opportunities you’re chasing, that’s fine. Recruiters understand. Just keep them in the loop.

Remember: Going AWOL makes your recruiter look bad but it makes you look worse. If they have to cancel your meeting with a manager and 3 developers because you went missing, it can have negative implications on your future. Not only will your recruiter not want to work with you anytime soon, but neither will those managers or developers. They’ll remember you went AWOL when you want another contract with them two years down the road.


2. Candidates Whose First Question Is About Money

We all need money, that’s for sure. However, recruiters don’t like it when your first question is about your paycheck.


It shows that you are more interested in making a big paycheck than about your field or workplace environment. These candidates tend to be more flighty, and in the end don’t pan out as well as those who don’t ask about money right away. This explains why recruiters don’t love this kind of candidate.


3.    Candidates Who Are Trying To Re-Invent the Wheel

Recruiters have to work within the systems and procedures of their clients, and therefore have very little control over the process.

While recruiters understand a candidate’s frustration with this, they do not appreciate it when the candidate calls them, yelling, demanding that they change the rules just for them.

They can’t.

If you don’t like the client’s process, that’s fine. Communicate that to your recruiter, so that a productive discussion can occur. The bright side? This process might make you realize that you don’t want to be working for this particular company.
Now that you know what recruiters do and don’t like, what category do you fall under? Are you the kind they love to work with? Just remember: If you communicate, invest time, and are open to suggestions you are well on your way to being the kind of consultant recruiters redeploy at every opportunity.


What others things do recruiters love and hate? Let us know in the comments section below or join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn!

Thanks to Doug Hay for the use of their respective photographs.