Top Seven Things to Know When Working with a Technical Recruiter

By Michelle Knight

Partnering with a technical recruiter gives you confidence that you will hire the best IT expert available that you need.

As Jim Collins says, “the right people are your most important asset.” But hiring the long-term person you need can be difficult when you have critical technical and soft skill requirements. Just talk to one of the 75% of technology companies with difficulty finding a person with their required abilities in a position.

So, hiring managers contract recruiters to find a good employee or take care of hiring tasks, like relationship building, administration, or marketing. This support, especially, comes in handy considering remote working or attracting the expert candidate you need, who is unwilling to risk changing jobs.

However, not all recruiters are alike. Choosing the wrong one will leave you frustrated and wasting time. Charlie Phillips, CEO of Catapult Recruiting, a small boutique IT recruiter. Phillips shares seven recommendations towards hiring and working with your hiring consultant.

Decide Whether You Want to Engage or Partner with a Technical Recruiter

When you engage with a recruiter, you get support to fill a generic or short-term technology need. You employ several headhunters to “post and pray,” get your job description out to as many eyes as possible to assess responses for the best fit. Think of it like shopping for work outfits – you go to different stores, try on a wide variety of possibilities, select a choice, and return the clothing you do not want.

Partnering with a recruiter gets you precisely what you need more efficiently and with a better experience. This type of relationship comes in handy when your technical business problems are complex, or you must have a specific solution to stay and grow your business. Comparing this to the clothing example, you go to Nordstrom’s or WhiteHouseBlackMarket (WHBM) to get refined and tailored pieces to you.

Catapult Recruiting goes the extra mile to understand its customer’s business problems truly. Phillips states:

“We ask a lot of questions and invite our recruiters to customer business meetings to know what our clients need in the specific job position they are trying to fill. We do total participation with the client and adapt to changing customer needs and readiness to grow.”

Choose Between a Large or Small Firm

Whether you use a large or small recruiting firm, you will get very different experiences and results. Charlie Phillips describes:

“Large recruiting firms get a ton of job opportunities from massive corporations, who use Vendor Management Systems (VMS). These headhunters do not focus on building relationships. Rather, they source a lot of people into mass quantity job orders, which results in disappointing candidate experiences.”

A smaller size boutique recruiter takes the extra time to become experts in your job posting. Phillips explains further:

“Catapult Recruiting spends the extra time to look at the pain points and know what IT skills a manager needs. In addition, it works with the candidate, who is a match, to communicate that person’s experience for that specific job.”

Ask About the Job Posting Throughput

Some recruiting companies go after hundreds of jobs from various companies and spend less time figuring out what a company needs or what a candidate brings to the table. Charlie Phillips adds, “If you don’t look at the first five candidates from these firms, you will no longer receive candidates for that position.”

A smaller boutique firm partners with the hiring manager for the long term of that job. Catapult Recruiting gives you “the kind of respect and attention that you need.” If you do not choose that candidate, Catapult “will try to find out why and work with this feedback until you get what you need,” confirms Phillips.

Determine If You Need to Be Picky

Have you ever wasted time with technical talent who did not fit in with the work culture – e.g., the developer with outstanding Java skills who your analysts find condescending? Then you need to be picky.

Large recruiting firms strive to submit as many resumes as possible to these various jobs. They apply stock candidates to a standard template job, whether it matches your needs or not.

Small boutique recruiters allow you to be more selective when your job posting requirements are complicated. Founded by seasoned IT professionals, Catapult Recruiting stands out in its technical depth and breadth, tools used, and candidate connections to find your expert for your specific needs.

Ask How the Recruiter Interacts with Job Candidates

Job candidates want a new job for a reason, usually not to make more money. You want to get this information upfront.

Large recruiting firms listen shallowly, consolidating similar candidates into template profiles, a good guess about what a job candidate wants.

Small boutique firms spend more time listening, learning, and working with job candidates. Charlie Phillips says:

“We teach Catapult recruiters that we want to emphasize truly working with the candidate, actively helping the job seeker to build his or her career. Recruiters collaborate with the candidates on their resumes to bring out their fantastic skills within their work history; so, it clearly aligns with our client’s requirements.”

With Catapult, the hiring manager gets more explicit information quicker and better matching candidates to interview immediately.

Ask How a Recruiter Gets Its Candidate Hotlist

Large companies rely on job candidate volume and communication speed to get their top candidates. Boutique recruiters spend time developing relationships with technology talent on hand. Phillips notes:

“Catapult sponsors a lot of networking events in town to get to know a lot of people. While we see many passive candidates at these meetings, we build trust with these people. So, if they change to actively looking for a job, they know us and come to us. We also have the flexibility to go to other locations to get candidates and build on these relationships. “

These advantages allow Catapult to have a greater variety of technology experts who have known backgrounds delivering on business problems, a hotlist of talent. Since Catapult cultivates these relationships, these professionals turn to Catapult Recruiting first to find a better job.

Figure Out Your Branding Strategy

Most recruiters pass along company benefits packets and other marketing literature for their clients to prospective hires. But that approach can leave job seekers depersonalized and having a poor candidate experience. As a result, they become less likely to apply to your company again or purchase something you make.

Small boutique recruiters get more involved in marketing. Phillips says:

“Catapult Recruiting is a marketing branch of our client. We explain why a company is a good place to work, benefits, work set-up, team size, and retention. We know about the work culture and will take the time to communicate this to the job candidate.”

As a result, Catapult also gives personalized information to that ideal technology expert for you and provides a great candidate experience for all applicants. Not only will your best hiring option more likely take your job, but you turn job applicants into your advocate and purchaser.


Catapult Recruiting represents the best of a boutique head-hunting firm, a partner with both the hiring manager and the job seeker. Charlie Phillips says:

“We build deep relationships with the client and the candidate to understand what talent a company needs and provide them with the very best talent available. We have a good lifecycle for getting the candidate from the submittal stage to an interview and then placement.”

Find out more to get the partnership you need and your next best expert.