I was told very early in my recruiting career that being a Tech Recruiter was difficult. "It's not really an easy transition if you're not a technical person to begin with." I was applying for a recruitment agency and the recruiter looked at my experience (at the time, only at a rental car company) and flatly told me that I wasn't a fit for her openings.
Make friends with the experts
My favorite go-to question when I'm learning a new role is "if you had to explain what you do to someone non-technical, how would you explain it?" I learned that the true experts, the ones who really have passion for their work, know how to explain their craft in laymen's terms. It was in fact a data scientist who explained data science using a restaurant metaphor. The chef is the data scientist (coder), sous chef was a data engineer (sort/clean data), the waiter is the business analyst (gather business requirements) and the data infrastructure and governance was the actual restaurant building.
Podcasts, Google alerts, forums and articles
I take my dog out on long walks and this is where I catch up to my list of podcasts. I immersed myself in whatever industry and craft I was working on. Human-centered design and design thinking podcasts opened my mind to smart cities, people centric products, innovation and futurism. Digital marketing podcasts inspired me to start up an Etsy shop and write better product descriptions. I was so inspired by the work my Lean Six Sigma practitioners did that I decided to get my yellow belt. There's content on every technical topic out there. Even on YouTube, TikTok and Instagram are great media for research (lol). You just have to start reading, listening, and paying attention.
Know the business problems
This is not just for technical recruiting. Hiring talent and filling an open seat remedies a pain point. I love asking this during a client intake when taking on a new role. What problems are we working on? What project will this role focus on? What is business problem down the road do we need to start working on? Knowing your business problem means you can approach the experts and ask, "we are trying to solve XYZ with ABC, how would you approach it or have you done something similar in the past?" Rule of thumb, the ones who are experts can explain this in layman's terms as well.
If this is not obvious, curiosity is the theme of this post. Showing up with curiosity will always serve you in any role you work on, most especially technology. Keep asking questions. Stay inquisitive. Here are a few articles I read that really got my nerdy pants excited:
Did I miss anything? Please comment any advice you'd share to early tech recruiters!