IT is one of the hottest fields to work in as a recruiter, considering there is high demand for it, it is needed in just about every sector, and it tends to give you well-paid roles to fill. Many successful IT recruiters are people who previously worked in or studied IT, but found they preferred a more people focused job or a competitive sales environment for their career, rather than using their IT knowledge to work on projects or in the IT departments of companies. Others are people whose aspirations have always been in recruitment, and who chose to focus on IT simply because it is a great area to work in as an agent.
Of course, those who don’t have an IT background may be at a slight disadvantage when discussing technical roles, though even those who do have some IT experience or education may end up recruiting for technologies or project roles they are not familiar with. So, how much IT knowledge do you actually need to do well as an IT niche recruiter?
What Do Candidates Expect?
Candidates in technical specialisms will only expect you to know a lot about the actual work they do if you tell them you do – usually, they see their specialisms as very specific and wouldn’t expect anyone who wasn’t, say, an Oracle database administrator to know anything especially technical about that. They do, however, expect you to know more about the job you are talking to them about than they do, so that means you have to understand where different technical roles fit in a project or team and know about the technologies and methodologies being used.
A load tester, then, would not necessarily expect you to know how load testing is done but would expect you to know whether the client uses HP tools and whether the project uses an agile methodology. If you don’t understand these things about a job, it is not only difficult to talk to candidates, but also to match job requirements to the CVs on your recruitment database.
What Do Clients Expect?
As with candidates, unless you tell a client you’re an expert in a given technology or IT role, they won’t expect you to be especially technical but will expect you to be conversant when it comes to the things involved in the job. You don’t need to know how to code, but they will, of course, expect you to be aware of the different languages, toolsets and development frameworks developers work in in order to find them the right sort of people.
What all of this means is that the knowledge needed to be an effective IT recruiter is a lot more theoretical than practical. Learning about project structures and where different roles fit, learning about where different technologies are used, and being aware of the different skills needed, for example, for project-based work compared with support work, are far more important than actually being able to do any kind of IT work yourself.
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