Like everyone else in the IT world I deal with a lot of recruiters, and I'm constantly surprised by how abrasive and tactless many of them are. They act as though they are dealing with their available positions as a commodity, but they don't want to give out any details regarding what they're really selling until you have your wallet out. This means that recruiters need to make their first pitch their most convincing, not with catch phrases or other nonsense, but details about the job. I've spoken to many recruiters who still have a hard time with this. To them it's all about the pitch, but to tech employees it's all about the details.

Any tech employee that a recruiter talks to is far more likely to buy what they are selling when they know as much as possible, how much does it pay? What are the benefits like? How many on-call incidents are there per week? and so forth. Asking questions like these are critical to a good interview, and more importantly a job where you'll actually be happy. I've previously linked this repo <> on Twitter that goes in-depth regarding questions that you can ask potential employers but I've realized that just isn't enough. Helping recruiters ask the right questions is equally important because if they don't get it we're all just wasting time asking these questions in interviews.

If your organization has a recruiter, or you know one that's having a hard time you need to sit them down and explain why details are so critical to tech employees. No one in IT cares about being a rock star or working at a global scale. They care about what the pay looks like, what the benefits look like, and all the other details of the job. You need to help them understand that their first impression is not only the most important interaction, it is their only interaction. They should treat that interaction as though they are throwing a bottle out to sea while stuck on an island. Would they write 'This is a great island, you should come visit!'? Absolutely not. They would focus on as many details about the island and how to get there as they could reasonably fit on the note so they could be saved. Emails to prospective employees should be treated the exact same way. If they aren't recruiting like they're on a desert island then they are not doing it right.

I felt so passionate about this 'first and only' communication mindset that I provided a template for exactly what this email should look like in the recruiting book I wrote. It's such an easy thing to overlook and so many recruiters are doing it because they aren't recognizing how much impact (positive or negative) the first contact really has. If you can impress upon a potential candidate in your first email that you have researched them properly and aren't there to waste their time you will encounter people truly interested in your organization and the work you are doing. So if you're recruiting stop throwing a million bottles into the sea and start focusing on what the current looks like.