The Secret Sauce: How Today’s Recruiters Find You Top Talent


The sauce isn’t that secret, as much as it is special.

Certain Silicon Valley Oracles may gaze into their Series A tea leaves and warn about bubbles bursting, but the tech industry is actually having trouble keeping up with its growth. Startups and established companies are desperate for top talent. The needs of the industry and the continued decline of STEM (Science, Tech, Engineering & Math) college graduates has demand far exceeding supply.


Everybody needs quality tech talent. And the best recruiters find the best of the best employees. Each has their own way of producing for clients, but they all share some common traits. Here’s what goes into that secret sauce.

It’s not easy!

Searching for top talent (like a pro coder) is a full-time job, and then some. You would think that technology makes it easier but as the eternally-single bunch says, “The good ones seem like they’re all taken.”


Recruiters know they can’t just sit back and wait for resumes to fill a database, and it’s not as easy as pulling all the keyword matches on a company to see who lines up. Recruitment today is all about attitude and approach. Top tech talent finders don’t operate from the standpoint of “I’m doing you a favor because I’ve got a job that’ll interest you.” That approach doesn’t work on the best prospects.


Unless you’re Apple or Google, people are not just going to fall all over themselves just because you’ve got an open position. Now, it’s more about marketing the suitor than procuring the candidate.

Secret Sauce Ingredient 1: Understand the “why”

Recruiters are after more than just a job description and as a company, you have to participate in this process. It’s a team effort. Salary and benefits? Big deal. What’s your mission? Recruiters have to be able to explain why working with – not simply for – your company will enrich both the world and the candidate.

Secret Sauce Ingredient 2: Know the company culture

People work with other people more than they work for companies. Good recruiters understand the importance of getting the meaning of those propositions out in front of candidates. Specifically: What’s it like to work here?

This ingredient spoils rapidly if you make up stuff. But you do want to spend time and thought on creating honest talking points for recruiters regarding your company’s philosophies about time off and vacations, community commitment, philanthropy, and all of the things that contribute to the employee bonds that strengthen your organization.

Secret Sauce Ingredient 3: Nontraditional spaces

Job boards? That’s like walking up to a slot machine that just paid out, and expecting it to hit a jackpot again. Recruiters have moved on to less-traveled locations, but don’t expect them to reveal all their sources.

Secret Sauce Ingredient 4: Social media

LinkedIn is perhaps the most valuable tool for recruiters in every area but tech. There’s richer hunting on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even Snapchat. Recruiters worth their weight in gold know these general social sites are useful, but also that exclusively focusing on them is for amateurs. They also hang out on GitHub, Stack, Overflow, and of course, Reddit.


It’s still a recruiter’s responsibility to vet talent. Social media has made this an easier job. How good is a coder’s body of work? Today, you can see it for yourself online.

Secret Sauce Ingredient 5: Networking and relationships

Move on if you discover that the recruiter you’ve contacted gives you any kind of anti-social vibe. They’ve got to spend most of their time making new connections and strengthening existing ones. Recruiters will tell you that many of their best candidates come from referrals, and skill at social and professional networking is the way to keep the pipeline full.

Secret Sauce Ingredient 6: Learning the lingo

Top recruiters don’t just casually learn buzzwords about coding languages and specific tech skill sets, and they can’t just mention these as ‘must-haves’ to candidates they’re trying to interest. They have to truly understand these qualifications and their utility.

Make sure you see recognition bells ringing in the eyes of your recruiter when you start wading into the nitty-gritty technical details about what your perfect job candidate must possess. If the recruiter can’t talk the lingo, how will they know they’ve found the person you need?

Secret Sauce Ingredient 7: Become a psychologist (sort of)

Finding the right tech candidate is only the first challenge. Knowing what will get their attention is the next one, and good recruiters have to display people skills more than ever in the tech industry.


Job skill prerequisites satisfy the first round of a search, but it’s crucial to know what priorities resonate via industry, specialization, and even personal traits.


LinkedIn surveyed 1,000 global female engineers. The website found that work/life balance ranked as more important to them than compensation and benefits, relative to their male counterparts. In addition, there are awesome Baby Boomer tech professionals. Their personality traits are far different than their Millennial counterparts, the latter of whom may be more interested in a specific workplace culture and working for an organization that is making a difference.


If a recruiter can’t put their finger on what’s most important to an individual candidate, they’re going to deliver someone who ultimately may be disappointed with their decision to join your company.

Secret Sauce Ingredient 8: Ghost chasing

We’re not talking paranormal phenomena, here. In this case, a ghost is a prospect who is certainly not actively looking, and may even prefer not to be sought after. Keyword searches seldom turn these people up, but pattern matching comes into play.


The recruiters who are consistent in bringing fresh but highly-skilled and senior-level tech candidates to your company are doing this because they know how to look for people who aren’t looking for a job – and don’t even necessarily think they want to be looked for.

Secret Sauce Ingredient 9: One ring


Successful tech recruiters take advantage of something many people forget. You know that thing in your pocket or purse? The thing you use to take selfies or send text messages? It’s also a telephone.


Recruiters are aware, due to Ingredient #7, that many people appreciate personal attention. Reaching out with a phone call is an effective and underutilized way to share an employment opportunity. It’s also a powerful way to differentiate the news from the pack recruiters who are using email.

More special than secret

Magicians never reveal how they produce a rabbit out of that hat. A recruiter won’t be that recalcitrant, but they do have sources they prefer to keep to themselves. Nevertheless, they will and should be transparent with how they go about finding tech talent for you.


If you’re searching for a recruiting partner who is skilled, knowledgeable, and straightforward about how we make the magic happen for your company, contact Capital Markets Placement to get started.

#SecretSauce #Recruiters #TopTalent

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