IT recruiting can be a very easy job for the right candidate and a equally difficult task for a candidate who is not a good fit. Essential recruiters are expected to deliver the best available candidate in the right rate/salary at the right time. It sounds very simple but unless the candidate is well equipped with knowledge and tools to deliver results he/she will fail miserably. IT recruiter skill and efficiency requirement may vary from organization to organization. The results that they deliver will also depend on what type of firm has employed them. Companies that hire IT recruiters are either staffing firms, consulting firms and large firms of specific verticals.
Staffing firms have a simple parameter to hire and maintain the recruiting staff. How many placements did you make? How many can you make and what type of revenue can you generate? These firms are in the business of making money out of the bodies they can put with their clients. They are not concerned about how will it impact the company overall, what type of projects they have in the pipeline, what is the culture of the company etc. Their main motto to get the right candidate and close the position ASAP. They earn revenue from the margin they get from a placement or get a % fee of the salary offered to the final candidate.
Staffing firms mostly add physical value to the process and are not stake holders in the company’s progress. Typically organizations hire such firms when they do not have proper recruiting staff internally or they have so many positions that they cannot handle with their existing resources. Due to the way staffing firms work the recruiter hired by them can thrive or perish quickly. The recruiter needs to be sharp, should be target driven even if he/she is not quality conscious and should know which positions to work on and which will close. The quality and number of submissions will really matter in this type of setup. Due to the increasingly competitive market the margins are sometimes marginal and in every position there is lot of competition. In situations where the firm is working on VMS systems the speed and sense of urgency plays a very important role. Recruiters who succeed in such setups are very different from other recruiters.
Consulting firms hire recruiters to work as part of delivery team. A consulting firm is the one which delivers projects to the customers. They provide IT solutions to customers rather than just putting bodies in positions. In this type of setup the recruiter needs to be much more informative about the type of work being delivered and should have good technical knowledge. This role would normally have lesser positions to fill but much more laser targeted search.
The recruiter in this role needs to work closely with the delivery team and even involve then while screening candidates. Passive candidates are always the best but in such situations passive candidates should be tried to be found first. The time at disposal in such situations is more so rather than settling for any candidate, target the best match and passive candidates if possible. The margins earned in this type of placements is normally much higher than staffing situations and the control over hiring is also great as the decisions are made by the technical managers of the company itself.
Finally the recruiters being hired by Vertical firms are a different breed altogether. They are normally working in an organization which is not involved in IT type of work. They are the ones who have to delivery alone and cannot expect much help from anyone in the company. Companies which hire such recruiters are normally mid sized or large and they have put aside a decent budget for such recruiters.
Candidates who they look for are very experienced (normally 7+ years) and pay well (90-100k+). Such candidates are very process driven and quality conscious. They have all the time in the world to hire candidates suited for their organization. We have seen such recruiters working on 1 position for 2-3 months at a stretch. They are not stressed by targets but by the quality of candidates they can bring on the table. Such recruiters have been seen working as head hunters and only target candidates which are working with competitors or are very passive in nature.
The tools being used by these 3 categories also vary. At Kites Consulting we normally work with the first two type of firms and understand well how their internals work.