Hi Danny,

I have a question specific to IT recruiting, especially developers. I did IT recruiting back in the day before job boards, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. even existed. Back then if you wanted a good candidate you called them at their work and would have a conversation then or most likely, after hours. I left the IT world for a while (healthcare and hated it) and recently moved back to IT (never should have left). I am old school in that I still like to call these java developers at their desks to go along with LinkedIn, emails etc. However, it seems like nearly everybody I call at work gets angry. It is almost like they are shocked I am calling them at work. I am shocked that they are shocked! I know things have changed a lot in the past 15 years but is it now a faux pas to call these individuals while working? I don’t seem to have issues with other IT folks, just these developers who tend to be short on personality anyways. Any ideas would be appreciated.

My Response:

A rookie we have is recruiting developers. In his first 10 sourcing calls, he was hung up on mid pitch twice. So you are not alone.

That said, as I told my rookie, we MUST delineate between developers, who 1) Seldom get calls at work, so they are at turns annoyed and freaked. 2) Seldom get calls from anyone anytime. I know it is trendy to say “geeks get the girls,” but my suspicion is that idea was conceived by a geek who was compensating, and in the whole, geeks don’t even get phone calls, and IT people in general, who, as you point out, might need to be initially engaged by a clever LinkedIn message or referral, (and that has forever changed the “smile and dial” world you knew), they are opportunistic, used to recruiters, and overall willing to speak. Most IT recruiting AccordingToDanny members have issues in figuring out who is serious and who is wasting their time, because they are all willing to chat and dance, but that doesn’t mean they are going to change jobs.

But developers? Sigh. Yeah, they are a rare breed. Referrals and emails and after hours calls are the only way. IT is a big world, I’ll leave it to you to decide if they are worth the heavy lifting.


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