The need for good technical talent has been well-documented in the media. Over the next six years, there will be an estimated 1.2 million unfilled jobs in science, technology, engineering and math in the United States. Hiring top technical talent has become a priority for innovative companies, but uncovering the ideal candidate has proven difficult. To help bridge this gap, we need dedicated technology recruiters to match exceptional IT professionals with the leading technology corporations of today.

You may be wondering, what does an IT recruiter do? I think of my job as one part a constant student of technology, the other as relationship-builder. If you love meeting new people and learning not only what the latest technology is today but what will drive innovation tomorrow, then IT recruiting is for you.

So what are my secrets on how to become an IT recruiter? Most importantly, you must possess a curiosity for technology. Technology is always changing, so it’s vital to keep up with the most cutting-edge practices to ensure that your clients and candidates trust your expertise and that you stay competitive in the industry. Also, you need to voraciously read about the market to stay on point. To stay relevant, I always update my LinkedIn preferences to follow groups that share articles on the most trending topics in my field.

Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions! IT clients and candidates are always willing to talk about new and emerging technologies. Keeping up-to-date will make you that much more reputable when reaching out to your next candidate or client.

This dialogue will also hone in on another skill for IT recruiting: being able to relate to people on a personal level. I’ve found that when my candidates trust my expertise and advice in the field, they come to me first and are confident that the opportunities I’m presenting are the best fit for them.

By the way, no IT candidate – or day in IT recruiting – is the same as any other. I think of technical candidates as snowflakes–each is unique in the way their career has formed and the skills they offer. Be cognizant of the fact that different experience with technical projects mixed with different educational backgrounds will result in individual uniqueness. Finding the perfect match based on skills sets and personalities is my favorite part of being an IT recruiter!

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