Trust me, I know. I know how daunting it can seem to dive into IT recruitment for the first time. I’ve seen it on the faces of colleagues when I worked in the industry. The trepidation when you initially start to browse through IT CVs and technical job descriptions; when you make that first call to an IT Manager or HR. Suddenly the world starts to look like a very unfamiliar place indeed. However, if you currently find yourself in this position, let me allay your fears a little. For there exist key snippets of knowledge, and a certain mindset that, if adopted are pure gold as you head into your new career. In the following three articles I will keep it simple and show you how this mindset and this knowledge can be quickly acquired, and how it will be instrumental in accelerating you towards becoming that credible and confident recruiter in IT.

Firstly – Don’t Panic!

In the following articles I will start to give you an overview of key IT concepts and roles, not with tremendous detail but just enough to keep you going until you find your feet and are ready to explore more adventurous concepts. But all in good time. Firstly, I’d like to offer a few basic tips in terms of acquiring the mindset of a successful recruiter.

Aside: Some of what follows is basic recruitment state preparation and training which you should already have received (or will receive) from within your company (your Sales Trainers, Managers and mentors). However this is by way of a heads up so that you are aware of the basics, and so that you can start this new role with a firm footing.

1) Know your worth

So let’s get this straight. Just in case you may have had to sit through the negative comments of some misguided fool spouting their own misconceptions about the role of the IT recruitment industry. I need to tell you one thing. I’ve been training in the IT recruitment industry globally for over 16 years. Not just to consultants, but to HR and project managers too. Not just to people who are at the candidate delivery end like you, but also at the coalface where the IT skills are put to good use. Not only within some of the leading agencies, but also for the likes of Barclays, Capita and IBM. And I can honestly say that never before has the role of the IT recruitment consultant been such an infinitely valuable and necessary one.

Over the years the term ‘middle man’ or ‘agent’ has often casually been spluttered out with a degree of mild derision by certain ignoramuses, who can’t even see the irony in the fact that they are often using a technology platform, app or social network to voice their opinion. Utilizing the very technology that we as IT recruiters source and enable every day to make the world a more exciting and palatable experience. Briefly let me give you a bit of an insight into how the same derisive logic has fared thus far. I was weened in the recruitment era of the late 1990s. I remember vividly at the time how we were warned by those same naysayers about how this new technology called ‘The Internet’, with its ‘job boards’ would absolutely wipe out the need for anything like a human IT recruitment consultants in the future. The term ‘disintermediarization’ was on everybody’s lips (the idea of the death of the Middleman). And here we are 20 years later, with a global IT recruitment industry that has not only survived, but flourished. In fact never before has there been such a need for the human touch when it comes to supplying the ethereal DNA behind the planet’s striking new metamorphosis.  The truth is that, especially after the last decade, this planet doesn’t know what has hit it. Literally, IT has swept into every facet of our lives. From the way we communicate to the way we impart and absorb knowledge. From our work to our entertainment. From how we book our holidays to how we overthrow nations. You my friend are not about to sell double glazed windows, you are not selling cars (and btw that industry had better watch out). You are selling the most sophisticated and valuable commodity in the business world today, the IT consultant.

You see the truth is this. In 2017, the majority of the world doesn’t have a clue as to what the hell just happened to them! How did it all come to this? The world is in a daze. They sit in awed silence at the next new IT paradigm, which they secretly know, will change their lives. And, in that stupor, they calmly accept that they will have no choice but to embrace it. Because if they don’t, their children certainly will. In the back of their minds the people of the world are thinking

“Wasn’t it only yesterday when we were playing snake on a Sony Eriksson phone, sending documents by fax, watching films on videos rented from Blockbusters and listening to music on CDs brought from HMV?” 

And here they are today. Having to decide if they should opt for the fridge that orders your shopping for you, try out those Cloud enabled specs, or indeed make the next car one that will simply drive you to work in the morning whilst you read the newspaper (read tablet). Make no mistake about it. You, as an IT recruiter, are sourcing the wizards, geniuses, magicians and the sorcerer’s apprentices that are changing the world. This dark art called ‘technology’ is taking on a life of its own, and you are the provider of the lifeblood.

“JavaScript developers with NodeJS, Cloud Architects, Systems Engineers with BYOD experience, IoT cyber specialists, Ethical Hackers with Blockchain and Bitcoin experience”  

You see, to the majority of the outside world for whom technology is just some nebulous dark art, you may as well be working from the east tower at Hogwarts!

Oh, and one other thing. That point I made about IT changing everything in the future? There’s another thing the vast majority of the world doesn’t know…

they ain’t seen nothing yet!

There is a reason why there are so many IT recruitment consultancies present in all the major countries of the world, and why so many new consultancies are sprouting up at an even faster pace. Because there is a need. Such a need! Technology is moving so fast and throwing out so many new concepts that no one can afford to be left behind. The truth is that global banks, pharmaceuticals, and retailers et al, all know that any one of these new-fangled technologies could be the next big thing in terms of gaining superiority in their sector. And to ignore or miss it could mean them being relegated to becoming the next Blockbuster. As a point of reference, my last article contained a piece on Blockchain which as a concept could wipe out certain areas within the financial sector if they don’t adapt to the paradigm shift. And no one saw it coming.

So, there isn’t a single industry sector that remains unaffected in some way by technology. And this essential elan vital called 21st century IT is what you, with your candidates, bring to the table. What’s more, the corporations don’t really know where these candidates hang out. So, this is where you come in. They desperately need someone like you. Your job is to know your niche, your industry, and the people who provide this valuable skillset. To the end client, an outstanding IT recruiter is the one person who lives, breathes and sleeps this stuff. Someone who is tapped in to the scene, and familiar with the landscape of IT. Someone who understands how to engage with the candidate, and who has their finger on the pulse of the candidate community.

This is you, the IT recruitment consultant of the 21st century.

Now read Part 2 of this series to learn more.

Ayub Shaikh.