As a recruiter and headhunter, my job is more than just finding the right people for a role. My job revolves around the process of helping people get the right job. A large part of what I do on a daily basis is based around supporting developers and helping them feel as confident and comfortable throughout the interview process; from start to finish.
Despite just being in the recruitment industry for a short time, it’s really surprising how often developers are lacking in self-confidence; Impostor Syndrome if you will. Considering how rigorous the interview processes can be and how competitive the market is, I can definitely understand why some developers feel and believe that they are not as competent as others/oneself thinks they are. Thus, I take pride in my job when I help developers through the entire process; guiding them through and being their support system. My support can come in many forms - motivation and encouraging pep talks, helping them process and overcome previous rejections, preparing them for interviews or just to be a listening ear when they need one. Even though my primary role is to place great candidates in some really world-class companies, I never underestimate my role as a friend, a ‘therapist’ of sorts and a guiding hand for these developers. Given the current world economic climate (no thanks to COVID19), I have noticed more people developing feelings of depression or generally feel unmotivated. There can be many reasons for this, and I can be sympathetic towards all. It hasn’t been easy for everyone, myself included.
While I work with developers and get to know them a bit better, I would like to think they know that I have their best interest at heart. I have always told any candidate I work with, that they can be as open and upfront as they wish to be, and rest assured that everything they say to me remains confidential. Not only does it benefit the recruitment process, it benefits the developer too. Like any relationship, having an open and honest communication line can help the journey be that much smoother. After getting to know the developers, I adapt the way I approach things with them. I build them up, motivate, encourage, reassure and help them prepare for anything to the best of their abilities. This helps them work on their confidence in themselves in general, as well as how they approach interviews. As a naturally shy person myself, I know I have to push myself out of my boundaries of comfort which is very challenging for people like me. Hence, I can relate to the anxiety and nervousness developers feel when having to go through sometimes brutal interview processes. Being able to relate to them has definitely helped me understand emotions better, and allowed me to change my approach when guiding them.
When I get feedback from clients about the developers, regardless if it was positive or negative, I make sure to talk the developers through it. It is natural that we would all want to avoid hearing negative feedback, but I see it as constructive criticism. Even if the companies don’t come back with anything negative to say (maybe out of saving face and being nice), I always press the clients to give me some. Negative feedback can help developers improve and build upon themselves. Regardless, there is nothing worse for developers than being rejected from a job and never knowing the reason why. This is the one key thing that holds developers back from being the best versions of themselves.
Above all, nothing tells me that I am doing something good then developers come back to me and tell me that my guidance has helped them and made a difference in their career. Some developers I’ve worked with failed through a process I managed for them, secured a job somewhere else, then come back and express their gratitude for guiding them and giving them the feedback they really needed to improve themselves. When I hear this from the developers I work with, it lets me know that I am doing something right and made a big difference in someone else’s life.