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Recruiting in Silicon Valley: What skills do I need?

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Recruiting in the Silicon Valley: What skills do I need?

There are certain skills and abilities, like thinking outside the box, that are useful attributes for recruiting in the Silicon Valley and Bay areas.

The job and candidate market is as unique as its undulating landscape. However, its popularity brings complications for a recruiter or headhunter.

With companies often looking for the best candidate while being unwilling to compromise. Below are some of the skills that a successful recruiter in the San Francisco and Silicon Valley market needs to have.

Neighborhood Knowledge.

When looking for a job, a potential employee will want to know as much as possible about the neighborhood they’ll be working in.

Because of this, local knowledge is good to know. A good recruiter or headhunter will know how easy an area is to commute to. And the kinds of facilities that are available.

They will be able to give potential employees a good sense of the area. And not just what the client claims is a positive feature.

Also, when a potential applicant lives on the other side of town. Pushing them hard to interview for a position might be a complete waste of everyone’s time.

Knowing which neighborhoods include a park to hang out in during lunch. Or which have an appealing small-town feel gives the recruiter an advantage that others might not have.

Network, Network, Network.

Recruiters and headhunters normally are good at networking. But to be successful in the Silicon Valley and the Bay area this is a skill you need to double down on. 

The top 10% candidates in the tech sector will not be readily available for you to click and fill jobs. Attending networking events within your industry is critical to meet local industry contacts. 

Attending an event will not give you instant black book of candidates who are immediately available. But you will meet people who will be happy to stay in contact, connect and potentially introduce you to a friend that is not happy in their role.

Try Meet-up or Eventbrite which is a great place to search and keep up to date for upcoming events in your industry.

Building a Personal Brand.

Build a personal brand is critical in a highly competitive market. And I don’t just mean an awesome headshot on Linkedin. I mean sharing your expertise and industry knowledge with your audience to show that you are the true expert in your field.

This is a big topic, so check out my blog post here on easy ways to build a brand using Recruiterly.

The Role of Writing and Marketing.

Getting the word out about a new job vacancy in San Francisco or Silicon Valley. Often depends on submitting advertisements to get the vacancy noticed in a place where there is already a lot of noise.

With the tech job market booming, there are plenty of tech-related sites to place jobs. These include tech-specific job sites, the San Francisco sub-Reddit boards, and Craigslist job listings for San Francisco.

A recruiter or headhunter will have to study copywriting themselves to improve how they present jobs as ‘opportunities’ to encourage the readers’ responses rather than “just another job ad”.

Remember there are 1000’s of jobs in tech, so make sure you understand your clients EVP’s (Employer Value Propositions). So you can communicate via adverts and when “selling” the role to a prospective candidate.

Remember, if the job sounds boring and its distribution in the wrong place. Fewer people will apply and those that do will likely not be the people that the employer will be interested in.

Presentation and Interpersonal Skills.

A recruiter must be good on the phone and in meetings too. Relationships and influence are not as effective over email in a competitive market.

Whether pitching a new prospective client on why their firm should be used to locate their next hire. Or counseling expectations with an impatient Bay Area client that needs to fill their vacancy quickly. Or pitching the latest start-up company to a VP of sales.

Interpersonal skills affect job performance as a recruiter or headhunter..

Also, for repeat business, when a client is delighted with the hire. They’ll use the same recruiter the next time. Which means repeated revenue and placement fees,

Working as a recruiter is not easy. There are many ways to do it poorly if you are unfocused. Or possess the right knowledge without knowing how to apply it successfully.

Recruitment is a rewarding profession, but it is also one that’s tougher than it looks in the bustling San Francisco and Silicon Valley job market.

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