Establishing partnerships with your engineering managers can give you an edge when you’re recruiting developers. They can draw on their past experiences to identify what the passive tech candidates you’re trying to attract are looking for in new jobs. But without setting clear expectations around communication throughout the developer hiring process, you run the risk of losing their trust. To help you establish a stronger line of communication with them and stay on track to hit your hiring goals, here are a few strategies to help you get started.
You were hired to recruit tech talent. To meet your goals, you need to write job listings that grab developers’ attention, learn how to engage with them, and make the interview process as easy for them as possible. Because these activities directly affect your ability to do your job, it’s only natural to assume that you can do this minimal feedback from a hiring manager.
However, leaving them in the dark about your tech recruitment strategy will make them unsure of whether or not you’re doing everything you can to find great tech talent. Matt Sherman, an Engineering Manager here at Stack Overflow, suggests starting by getting their thoughts on your tech job listings. He adds, “A job listing that clearly has copy-editing help from an engineer resonates with candidates. Asking them if they would apply for the job is an excellent way to open an ongoing line of communication regarding other components of your recruitment strategy.”
Recruiting and hiring developers is never straightforward. Even with a strong developer hiring process in place, there will still be times when you need to resolve scheduling conflicts or regroup after a top candidate withdraws from consideration. Of course, there are plenty of scenarios in which you should alert them immediately. But when it comes to broader issues, don’t forget that your engineering managers have other responsibilities outside of tech recruiting.
You can show them that you want to hit your hiring goals and respect their time by sending them calendar invitations whenever you want to give them updates. Even if they have to decline, this will help you avoid emailing back-and-forth and chasing each other down in the office when something urgent arises.
It’s only natural to form strong opinions about certain candidates, especially when you’re convinced that they would be incredible additions to your engineering team. But it’s important to be sensitive to the fact that the person you hire will directly impact the developers your company currently employs. John Witchel, COO at GitPrime, says that recruiters can foster better relationships with their engineering managers by deferring to them to make the final hiring decision. He adds, “A better strategy is to say ‘let’s move this candidate to the next step,' and then schedule it for me. Instead of trying to drive the decision, a good recruiter will drive the process.”