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Why Do IT Recruiters Who "Speak Tech" Earn More Money Than Their Peers?!

How many times have you looked for a software developer only to figure out later that you are looking for the wrong person?


How many times have you looked for a software developer only to figure out later that you are looking for the wrong person?

There was a recruiter during my recent webinar who was sharing a job description (JD) which he couldn’t find the little per for. The title was “Drupal DevOps Expert.” We were analyzing this JD during our webinar and I quickly understood that this actually does not make any sense.

Because really how many develops Drupal experts do you know? After 15 years in IT I actually don’t know any… Which probably means that there’s something wrong with this particular title, right?

So, as we analyzed this JD further, we realized that they are actually NOT looking for a Drupal DevOps Expert but rather a web developer who will be using Drupal (Content Management System) to create a website. This developer should also have some experience in working with DevOps tools.

1. Understand Who To Look For

First, whether you are a business development manager or a full end-to-end recruiter, you need to be able to quickly analyze who exactly to look for and match with the standard, traditional IT roles.

There are over 70 typical IT roles on our mind map:

This mind map is included in the Tech Recruitment Mind Maps Booklet.

Are you looking for a Fullstack JavaScript Developer who uses Node.js and Angular?

Or a Data Warehouse Engineer who uses PL/SQL in Oracle?

Or a Web Developer who uses Wordpress?

However, hiring managers often look for Software Engineers, Backend Programmers, Java Developers, Video Specialists, IT Consultants, …

From those titles, it’s not clear right away who to look for.

As a BizDev manager or a full-cycle recruiter, I need to ask questions to reveal WHO EXACTLY are they looking for so I can match it with the standard IT role:

  • “Mr. Hiring Manager, you’re looking for a Java Developer, what exactly will this person work on? Backend APIs or an Android mobile application?”
  • “Thanks for letting me know you’re looking for a Backend Developer. Can you please clarify what programming language do you use on the backend so we know who exactly to look for?”
  • “When you say you’re looking for a Video Specialist, what technical stack do you see this person working with?”

Thanks to these questions, you’ll be able to reframe the not-so-clear job titles to those standard and typical IT roles.

This is only possible if you can “speak tech” with the hiring manager. Ask about the candidate’s responsibilities and the technical stack he or she will be working with.

If you can understand WHO EXACTLY are you looking for, you're significantly increasing your chances of finding and placing the right candidate.

2. Easily Identify Who Is A Good Fit

The recruiter I mentioned above spent weeks looking for the "Drupal DevOps Expert" with no successful placement.

After we reframed that we're looking for a Web Developer who uses Drupal and has some DevOps experience, it was SO MUCH EASIER to find potential candidates on LinkedIn.

The boolean search string was:

("Web developer" AND "Drupal") OR ("Drupal" AND "Developer")

This was a huge "Aha!" moment for recruiters present on this webinar, especially the one who couldn't find the right person for weeks.

As you probably understand by now, this is only possible if you understand the IT landscape and what do those IT professionals actually do at work.

You'll start noticing these patterns and will be able to quickly gauge what makes sense and what doesn't...

3. Screen Quickly And With Confidence

The faster you identify candidates who are not a good fit, the more time you'll have to spend with those highly qualified candidates.

I really like CVs with clear titles, i.e. "Senior Frontend Developer."

Since only JavaScript/TypeScript are used on the Frontend, I only need to check what framework does he or she use.

Is it Angular? React.js? Vue.js?

I label this in our CRM and move on to the next candidate...

However, some candidates change technical stacks, they work with different technologies over time and sometimes they don't even know what exactly do they want to do... see a CV I received just yesterday:

We can see a mix of skills and programming languages such as JavaScript/TypeScript, C and C++, Java, Kotlin, PHP, Python, ... All of them are very different and so it's quite unlikely this software engineer would be proficient in all of them.

Hence, I'd ask such developer what language and framework do they want to focus on going forward and try to match it with a relevant vacancy.

"Hi Joe, I saw on your CV you have been working with several programming languages. Which one would you like to use and focus on going forward?"

As mentioned above, it's essential to understand the IT landscape, programming languages and software frameworks so we, recruiters, can call candidates and ask about their experience and career plans.


I often meet recruiters who are frustrated because IT professionals are not responding to their messages. IT recruitment can be FUN and very lucrative if you learn to "speak tech" so you can speak the same language with Hiring Managers and also Candidates.

They can quickly notice if you are worth your salt as a Tech recruiter.

If you'd like to get better at Tech recruitment, understand the IT landscape, learn to analyze tech JDs, and speak with candidates with confidence, join the next group of 20 recruiters in the Tech Recruitment Program.

Get your VIP ticket and join the next group of 20 recruiters, headhunters, and HR specialists.