Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Inside the Mind of a Tech Recruiter

When I look back over the years I can see how the interview process has changed. For example, when I was searching for my first job it was more about my willingness to learn and whether or not I had reliable transportation to get to work on time. As time progressed the interviews began to include questions surrounding years of experience as it relates to the job. Nowadays there are online characteristic assessments, knowledge tests and certifications. Fast forward to tech recruiting...

So how does a tech recruiter put professional evaluations ahead of personal opinion in order to identify exceptional candidates during an interview? That is an excellent question!

Recruiters are often interviewing experts in their respective fields so we prepare in advance before the interview. We study the requirements by breaking down each of the skill sets needed and we ask the hiring manager questions to better understand the project. If we’re not familiar with a development language, we will make the effort to learn it and learn it quickly. We research its history, we compare and find common threads between other development languages, we get involved with meetups and dev groups and we attend classes. Yes, we will even download a Virtual Machine (VM) and examine and modify code. We also search online for tech blogs and we develop tech questions by considering topics from current technology discussions. We research answers to our interview questions and we consider other possible solutions. Then we began the interview process. One interview after another we evaluate the responses from multiple candidates as we distinguish differences from one response to the next. We carryout phone interviews, Skype interviews and in-person interviews (when needed).

The idea behind all the researching is to insure that we execute an interview process that will effectively measure a candidate’s many abilities and reduce the recruiters influence of personal opinion. Measuring a candidate’s abilities include gauging their knowledge of the technology language in question, their skills in finding solutions to language barriers, and their ability to provide examples that illustrate other skill sets like a candidate’s ability to recognize their limitations and their willingness to ask others for assistance (teamwork!).

Over the years interviews from Customer Service to Sales and from Quality Assurance to Executive Leaders has led to identifying different interview response patterns. These emerging patterns help in identifying exceptional and qualified candidates. For example, does a candidate provide clear examples of projects they've worked on and the process involved in its success or failure? Yes, it’s actually true that exceptional candidates have worked on projects that failed!

As organizations began to advance the recruiting process and apply more data analytics to the interview mix we are going to see an emerging trend that will require recruiters to understand even more areas of statistical data and research. As this trend develops we are likely to see tech recruiters responsible and accountable for assembling extraordinary teams that will consider every level of development and management. The recruiting process will move away from individual hiring and focus on team hiring.

Author: Dr. Eduardo Diaz, helping you exceed expectations.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Looking back to go Forward

As you know, we’ve discussed multiple topics ranging from “Keys to a Strong Resume Summary”- a brief look into what recruiters and hiring managers expect to see in a resume, to “That was a great solution!”- a perspective on the value of acknowledging others for their efforts. The goal of each discussion is to look at situations from a positive perspective. While it’s true that we could discuss negative events in our work lives or complain about the manner in which we felt ignored by someone in the work place, our ability to recognize what can be learned from these events and sharing this information with others can be insightful and encouraging.

Sharing knowledge gained from our personal struggles is one way we can help others to see that there is light at the end of a tunnel, even if it means that we have to turn around and head back. In other words, although we could share events from a point of anger and WIFM (What’s in it for me?) it seems to be more productive for everyone if we shared events from the point of opportunity and how our knowledge can help others succeed. This is not to suggest that we ignore our trials and the tribulations which brought us to our point of an epiphany. It’s simply to suggest that we avoid getting caught up in the negative energy that is often associated with the difficult path that helped to strengthen our character and our ability to persevere.

For example, I remember a time when I was six years old and my father, a business man, professional welder and general contractor, believed that it was necessary to punish me for not having the intuitive knowledge of knowing the names and use of every tool in his tool box. I recall a time when he was working on a welding machine out on the back patio of our home. I wanted to sit outside and watch my dad work. I looked up to him. Unfortunately, I had already learned that my father was not a patient person. Going to him for advice or asking him questions so that I could learn was not something that I would recommend to anyone. I learned to fear my father and how he would respond to situations. It kept me from learning from his incredible knowledge and personal life experiences. When my dad worked I knew that he expected me to help with the level of knowledge that a seasoned professional might have. I knew that I couldn’t offer him any value at that time because I didn’t have any knowledge that could be of use to his standards. As I was standing inside our house next to the sliding glass door I watched him work. He took the welding machine apart and he was troubleshooting the problems. My curiosity and admiration of how my father was able to repair machines kept my attention. Then, my father caught sight of me and asked me to bring him a tool. After that I knew I would be in trouble because when he asked for certain tools I had no idea what he was talking about.

Rather than going into the details of the negative events that transpired I learned that we all need to take time to understand the strengths and opportunities of others. Whether they are our friends, family or colleagues, it’s important that we understand each other’s skill sets and abilities. Having this knowledge will help us to understand how everyone can contribute. This knowledge will add value to not only completing projects, but it will add to the value of recognition of others. In terms of co-workers, it can help us identify training needs or apprenticeship opportunities. Taking a positive approach that is geared at helping others succeed will have a positive impact for years to come.

Author: Dr. Eduardo Diaz, helping you exceed expectations.