If the market is still this hot, why work with a recruiter?

Posted by Zac Kallas on 10/18/22 9:15 AM
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3 reasons every developer and engineer should be paying attention to those executive recruiter messages.

why work with a recruiter

A few weeks ago, I was a guest on Hayden Wade’s Zero Plus One Podcast to talk about today’s still-hot IT and engineering job market.

 We get into the details on trends I’m seeing right now, the hiring manager mistakes that most often turn candidates off, when job seekers should work with a recruiter (and when to go it alone), and some very specific tips to help hiring managers and candidates edge out the competition. I hope you’ll listen to the conversation. But I'd like to highlight some of the most surprising and time-sensitive topics we covered. Here, I detail my answer to the question I still get from engineering candidates:

If the market is this hot, why would I work with a recruiter?

There is some real misinformation out there about what executive recruiters do, what they don’t do, and who pays (it’s the client, not the candidate). But that confusion carries a price, preventing highly talented engineers from accessing some of the best jobs out there.

Here are 3 reasons that every engineer – no matter how in-demand they are – really should take that call or reply to that InMail from a reputable recruiter:
  1. An Inside Track: Many of the best positions in IT, development, or engineering, never get posted online. Often, the minute an employer creates and approves a job req, it’s handed to an external, executive recruiter who has been working with that company for years. That is the case with most of the Twin Cities’ most highly respected employers. That is certainly the case for us at SkyWater. We’ve been doing this for a long time and we’ve built long-standing partnerships and reputations with these companies.

  2. Real-time Market Information: On any given day, my team is handling 60+ IT roles and talking to multiple, strong candidates for each one. Our knowledge of market dynamics is literally up-to-the-minute. We know which candidate profiles are in greatest demand, and how different employers value different skill sets, experience levels, aptitudes, and work styles. We see, in real-time, how the hiring process shifts.
  3. Network Leverage: For every position we fill, there’s one candidate hired and other strong candidates who just weren’t the best match for that single opportunity. Those candidates haven’t been brushed aside and forgotten. That recruiter continues to advocate for them. At SkyWater, we share their profiles throughout our entire team through ongoing, detailed discussions of the candidates, their strengths, needs, and preferences. For the candidate, the benefits are huge, instantly and exponentially expanding their job search network. But it’s also one of the reasons our clients turn to us. They know we’re in constant communication with a large, well-vetted, vibrant talent network. While I know that’s not the case at every recruiting firm, it is the only way we operate at SkyWater.

Are there times when a candidate wouldn’t benefit from working with the recruiter?

Sure. When you have a trusted referral source who works inside the organization where you’d like to work and that referral source has credible influence with the hiring manager, an executive recruiter won’t add much to your efforts with that one employer.

In further blog posts, I'll also be highlighting other hot topics Hayden and I covered.  In the meantime, I’ll leave you with one piece of advice: read that InMail from the recruiter. Within seconds, you can identify whether they’re with a reputable firm, agree to a short conversation, and see where it takes you. You have nothing to lose.

At SkyWater Search Partners, we work with many of the most highly respected engineering employers throughout the Twin Cities. If you’re a hiring manager looking for ways to attract the right talent to your team – or if you’re a talented engineer who might like to know if there’s something better out there for you, please reach out.  We would love to talk!

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