Whether you’re just starting your career in recruitment or already have several years of experience those tips will help you increase your knowledge, skills & become a better partner for candidates and Hiring Managers.
1. Stay updated with recent news & announcements
IT is a fast-paced industry and it’s important to have at least a high-level overview of what’s happening on the market. It’s also good to know what your competitors are working on vs what the company you’re representing is offering – this can help you not only attract candidates with the right message but also have more in-depth conversations with them.
When I was a Talent Sourcer at Microsoft, I had my favorites websites (*in addition to getting insights from candidates), below are some of them:
- SourceCon – must-have for all Sourcers and Recruiters who are doing direct search/headhunting. Lots of great articles with sourcing tips, tools, information about conferences/webinars, competitions where you can check your skills.
- The Verge – all about technology.
- TechCrunch – recent news about startups and technology.
- Hacker News – a social news website that will give you a nice overview of what’s happening in tech.
- Channel9 – created by Microsoft, you’ll find there lots of interesting videos, podcasts, and interviews for those working in the Engineering area (not only for Developers).
- Microsoft Open Source – everything about open source at Microsoft 😉
- The Official Microsoft Blog
- Microsoft Life – read stories from people working at Microsoft.
You can create similar list (add webstes to your favourites/bookmarks bar) and read news on regular basis.
2. Read / write your own stories
Head over to DEV Community and/or check blogs written by Engineers. You’ll see what’s trending’ & what the industry is talking about. It’s not only a great source of information but also a way of sourcing for potential candidates.
If you’d like to increase your credibility&visibility consider starting sharing your knowledge with others via e.g. blog, podcasts, or videos.
3. Follow people from tech & recruitment on social media
By following industry experts, Engineers, CEO’s you’re gaining access to up-to-date news. Like point 1, here I also had “my list” that was kind of a mix of people working in tech (i.e., Satya Nadella, John Papa, Adam Sitnik) and recruitment (Irina Shamaeva, Kasia Tang, Jacek Krajewski, Maja Gojtowska).
4. Attend meetups and tech events
Whenever possible try to join meetups and tech events. Even if you don’t understand everything, use this opportunity to network and later connect with people via social media. Believe me, your chances of getting your invite being accepted increases when you’ll include in invite information that you’ve attended someone’s presentation or liked the discussion in which they took part.
5. Improve your hands-on skills
This one will require more time investment from you than the previous points but may play a key role when it comes to increasing your knowledge and tech skills. Consider doing a programming course (*or other, depending on what roles you’re recruiting for) to get a better understanding of how programming languages work and what is happening ‘behind the scenes’.
You don’t have to pay any money as there are lots of websites which offer free (and good quality) content. The ones I was learning from were mainly Codecademy, freeCodeCamp, and Udacity.
6. Get a Mentor
How to do that? You can ask your Manager/Team Leader to help you find a Mentor. Or maybe you have someone you’d like to learn from? Don’t be afraid to reach out to that person directly and ask whether he/she is open to becoming your Mentor. Worst case scenario: they will say “No” or won’t reply to you at all – best: they’ll agree to start having mentoring sessions with you.
When I was learning to code, I decided to reach out to those people I already knew and had established relationships with. You can read more about my mentoring here.
2 things to keep in mind:
- You can have more than one Mentor at the same time – at some point, I had 3: with one I was having discussions of what I should be doing to become a Software Engineer, 2nd person was coding with me and my 3rd Mentor was helping me improve my communication skills.
- For me mentoring is all about building relationships and trust and it’s not something that happens overnight. Sometimes there’s a “chemistry” right from the beginning and you understand each other perfectly, sometimes you might need more time to start speaking the same language. Remember that if you don’t feel comfortable, you can always finish mentoring.
What are your ways of increasing your knowledge and tech skills?
Thanks for reading & have a nice day,