Hung Lee Profile picture
5 Aug, 22 tweets, 9 min read
How to build social capital with software developers (as a tech recruiter)

The gap in respect between the recruiter and tech communities is vast. I spoke with tech recruiters, community builders, software engineers and hiring managers to find out how to close it.

A thread.. 👇 Image
1/ Learn about the tech(!)

No one is expecting coding expertise, but recruiters must at least be familiar with the work, how technologies fit together, what roles in an engineering dept do what and why. Kamrans tech roadmaps, a great place to start 👇… Image
2/ Er….actually do learn to code (a little bit)

Give it a shot, why not? You will learn more about coding by actually trying to do it. Take a Udemy beginners course, crank out some crappy code. The value of the embedded learning will far exceed the cost to gain it Image
3/ Join online recruiter communities

No need to figure it all out by yourself - join online communities of recruiters and learn what others already know. You’d be surprised how much knowledge is freely shared in these places… Image
4/ Join online developer communities - IF there is no gate.

Listen and learn if and when you get in. Please no newbie moves - direct solicitation, job posting etc - ineffective, burns bridges, and reduces credibility, not increase it! Image
5/ Be honest with the mods if there IS a gate!

Own the fact you recruit - don’t fake who you are. Approach by offering your expertise. You are not a coder but you know how companies hire coders. This is inside information that devs might actually care a great deal about. Image
6/ Publicly ID as a recruiter - own it!

Most online communities are anonymous. Here’s where honesty is your superpower - have a tag or nickname which identifies you as a recruiter. Why not have a bit of humour about it too ;-) Image
7/ Gain trust by giving trust.

Share your LinkedIn early when interacting, remember you nothing to hide. Bonus - viewing linkedin requires the viewer to be also logged into linkedin, giving you a chance to see who has ‘viewed your profile’ - cool way to get both parties to ID Image
8/ Be helpful where you are the expert.

Look for comment threads for opportunity to contribute - problems with recruiters, issues with references, salary negotiation etc. This builds profile, credibility. In some communities, this is even explicitly displayed as a number Image
9/ Offer to moderate or create ‘the jobs’ channel.

Every significant community will have one. If it's not, create one. Provide a place where members can get job advice. Great position to be in, whilst building cred with the wider community by adding value to the community Image
10/ Consistency & Reliability Over Time = Trust.

It's a simple formula. It's also simply true. Be present in those spaces where engineers are and contribute positively to them. North star? Leave the community in a better place than when you found it. Image
11/ Made a great connection?
Find where your contact is elsewhere online. Follow their twitter account. Connect on LinkedIn if they have it. Be ambiently and benignly present. The opportunity to relevantly engage will emerge (see 8). Dean Da Costa page 👇 Image
12/ Energy in, before energy out

Customisation is a demonstration of ‘energy in’ and encourages reciprocal response - ‘energy out’. Have you done your research? Example by @RecruitMark. Going to get a better response than ‘hope you’re well’ email, eh?
13/ Open questions > closed questions

Open questions build social capital. Closed questions expedite transactions. Understand which type of question to use and when. Image
14/ "Comment on programmers' marketability"

DO NOT commentate on how well they fit in with the job (something you can’t know), or whether you think they should be interested in it (again something you can’t know). Commentate on what about their profile made you reach out? Image
15/ In conversation with a software engineer?

Make the most of your time. Rare opportunity to learn from an expert. Budget time to learn from this person. Do not be the recruiter who rushes people off the call. And guess what? Listening is good for relationship building Image
16/ Keep in touch, especially if you DON'T have a job for them.

Move this relationship away from being purely transactional. Ask how they are doing, contribute something to the community that they may be able to help with, share some research you’re doing on salaries etc Image
17/ Develop a system to maintain contact

Memory alone will not suffice - recruiters deal with 1000x the number of contacts compared to normal people. At most basic, this is assiduous use of calendar; but better tools are out there - use a CRM. Image
18/ Attend these conferences online / offline
99.9% of other recruiters will not do this. Be the 0.1%. Main value? Not networking or leads, but fodder to fuel future conversations with people you need to engage with. This list looks ok
19/ Create community where is none.

Recruiters have enormous networks and are naturally advantaged as community builders - we just need a mindset shift from 'candidates' ➡️ 'community'. This doesn’t have to be ‘jobs for developers’. It could be developers for whatever Image
20/ Brainfood Live On Air
Above thread came mainly from this conversation 👇 - give it a watch if you want to get more context…
Hope you got value from this thread. If you did, give it a RT or send it to a recruiter who might need it. If you have any comments or critique, replies welcome.

Subscribe:, a weekly newsletter I curate which I hope improves recruiting practice


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More from @HungLee

21 Jun

Last week, I started a conversation on how to hire more women engineers. Hundreds of people - tech recruiters, women engineers, CTO’s and founders shared thoughts and experiences.

This thread is a collection of THEIR insights 🧵 Image
1/ De-bias company culture

If your founding team are male, good chance your culture inadvertently becomes optimised to hire for MORE male team mates. Think about your rituals, language, values - audit all of this to ensure every job candidates feels that they can belong Image
2/ Improve Demand Planning

Inclusive hiring needs MORE time. Old KPI’s like ‘TTH’ (time to hire) are killers for diversity goals. Better workforce planning gives you longer runway to build and hire from a more diverse candidate pool. Use a tool like Foresight 👇 Use Foresight Forecast
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