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You're doing it wrong! (Recruiter Edition)

Recruiting, I am sure is a tough job (I wouldn't actually know), but often being on the other end I see pitfalls that a lot of recruiters fall into. So for all of you recruiters, please do not do these things.

The Linkedin Summary

We all know that a major way to find candidates is through social media, the top one is Linkedin. Linkedin allows you to instantly find candidates that have the skills you are looking for.

In Linkedin the summary is really a place for a person to express who they are, where they would like to be in 5 years, and how they wish to get there. This is usually a good place where people leave information for recruiters.

If you find a candidate with qualifications that are suitable, spend the 5 minutes to read their summary. Their summary could include information that will help in your efforts to recruit this person. Showing that you spent the few minutes to read their summary in your initial contact message will go far. Ignoring their summary will most certainly be your recruitment downfall.

The Problem

At the end of the day, a developer wants to solve a problem. Developers want to solve interesting problems, or problems which not many people can solve. Sending an email saying hey im looking for xyz candidate with experience in ruby will probably not get much attention.

Think for a moment about why you are hiring someone. You hire people, because your company has a problem, and that problem needs to be solved.

Sending an email stating a problem you have, and why you need this person to help solve it, will ultimately prove better than a list of standard qualifications necessary for the position.

Ultimately you should try to get them excited to work at your company. Free beer, and pizza is not a recruiting tool, just a way to disguise what could be a poor environment to work in.

First Contact

First Contact


  • Address the candidate with the name they have listed on websites/resumes
  • Present clearly what you are looking for, and what you are not looking for
  • Ask them what their future goals are
  • Ask them if they know anyone whom would be interested (if they are not)
  • Tell them why your company is worth working for. Be honest, provide stories from your own experiences
  • Be honest about the job, they will leave if they find out it was not what you said it was


  • Assume their name is a nickname (ex. addressing someone named Dave, as David)
  • Contact someone asking for qualifications that are clearly not listed on their resume
  • Being unprepared during an interview (phone or otherwise)
  • Sell them your company with offers of free gifts (both before, and during employment)

...and if they turn you down, be polite. Leave a lasting impression. You only get one shot to show your organizations value. Even if they turn you down, they may refer others to you.

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recruiting culture