Is coding a ‘language’ recruiters should know? It depends – if you [recruiter] plan to specialize in technology recruitment -I’d say it’s a good idea to learn.

What exactly should recruiters know about coding?

There’s lots of software code in the world – Google alone has more than 2 billion lines of code in its repository.  So, the idea of learning a variety of coding languages can be a bit daunting. Getting a little coding experience under your belt as a recruiter in tech is an incredibly valuable skill to have.

Why?  For starters one major advantage I’ve had to to learning about the fundamentals of code – higher response rate from potential hires.

How so?

One conversation that I hear far too often at tech meetups – developers and software engineers are continuously mistaken for technologies they have limited knowledge of.

For example, [Software Engineer] – is not always the same as a Backend Developer. Thus many candidates avoid responding to LinkedIn InMails from recruiters.

Sure technology titles can be a bit confusing – even for the most technical people out there…learning programming languages will help many of us [recruiters] avoid that awkward moment where you mistakenly reach out to a Java Developer with a JavaScript Developer role.

A common mistake:

Focusing on years of experience – this can be a tough one for recruiters [including me] to assess.

Throughout my technical recruitment career I’ve come across candidates who have worked for big box corporations and other candidates that have worked with small startup companies.

So, which candidate has the stronger technical background? It depends.

Tip: don’t exclude candidates experience solely based on their previous employers.

Speak with candidates about what they’ve worked on – it’s important to probe/get to know their skill set. Have the candidate speak on their project work, challenges they encountered within their role, successes and achievements. In addition, find out how your candidate keeps up with different technology trends- and what their passionate about.

Here are some other things to do right now to get you started:

When I began my career in technical recruitment I decided to take courses with . This online learning platform allows anyone to learn software and technology in an easy-at-your-own-pace format.

Also, check out local coding schools in your area – Vancouver has some pretty amazing schools – Lighthouse Labs and CodeCore Bootcamp. In Los Angeles, General Assembly is pretty popular too. Keep in mind a bit of your own personal time, don’t forget tuition, goes into taking courses through a coding school.

Like all things out there – change is going to happen.

Programming languages are bound to evolve, so keeping up with technology and trends can be a tough one – how can we [recruiters] ensure we are staying up-to-date with tech knowledge?

Between now and the end of the year attend meetup group events. And it’s OK to sit in the back and observe. You’ll get more comfortable the more you do it – it’s important to go out there and meet programmers, developers, and engineers – they are happy to share their insights on trends, tools, cool stuff in general – plus it’s important to do some genuine networking.

You may not be an expert at coding but be good enough and your candidates will trust you with their career.

[Image Credit: Shutterstock]

About Angela Bortolussi

Angela Bortolussi is Recruiting Manager [Specializing in Technology I Product] for the Vancouver and Los Angeles Recruiting Social’s office.

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