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Started in 2012, Talent42 has become one of the most important conferences in technical recruiting.
While we weren’t able to attend this year’s event, held June 27-28 in Seattle, we enjoyed following the action on the conference’s Twitter hashtag. And plenty of action there was. More than 2,300 tweets from nearly 400 unique users included “#Talent42,” according to an HRmarketer conference report. Seventeen of those tweets caught our eye for different reasons. Let’s take a look at them.
17 #Talent42 Tweets That Caught Our Eye
Comment: Equal ownership by the driver (hiring manager) and navigator (recruiter) is essential for a successful route to select the right hire. If either fails to take ownership of his or her role, arriving at the best result becomes much more unlikely.
17 #Talent42 Tweets That Caught Our Eye
Comment: No one likes to be “closed.” The recruiter-hiring manager relationship should be a partnership, not just a client/service provider scenario. Create buy-in from the initial intake meeting, define the technical screen together, maintain strategy sessions for collaboration, and hold one another accountable.
17 #Talent42 Tweets That Caught Our Eye
Comment: Hiring managers need to do more than tell recruiters which skills/tools are needed. They should guide recruiters to understand how the skills/tools are used, and how advanced the right candidate needs to be in each skill/tool.
17 #Talent42 Tweets That Caught Our Eye
Comment: Taking a look at the image, some of hiring managers’ “unrealistic” desires are far from ideal. For example, 11 engineers on the interview team would create a horrible candidate experience. And wanting perfection is often the enemy of good—strive for perfection in screening for the core competencies, but accept good to adequate levels in skills current team members already possess.
17 #Talent42 Tweets That Caught Our Eye
Comment: “What is trainable?” indeed is an extremely important question to ask. To properly screen for competency and experience, a technical recruiter needs to understand which skills the right candidate must walk in the door with, and which skills are OK to develop over time and are trainable. This understanding must come from communication with the hiring manager.
17 #Talent42 Tweets That Caught Our Eye
Comment: It’s critical to be strategic as a technical recruiter. Being able to ask the right questions to reveal and understand what hiring managers really want allows a recruiter to serve as an advisor, make more quality hires, and develop better relationships with hiring managers.
17 #Talent42 Tweets That Caught Our Eye
Comment: Setting expectations with the hiring manager at the beginning of the recruiting cycle helps increase the hiring manager’s confidence in the talent acquisition team.
17 #Talent42 Tweets That Caught Our Eye
Comment: We love the second element of presenter (and Talent 42 co-founder) John Vlastelica’s slide here, particularly the term “sourcing sprints.” Why? Because it’s terminology IT hiring managers are comfortable with. In software development, a one-, two- or three-week development cycle is often called a “sprint.” By using the same term, a technical recruiter can help a hiring manager understand the similarity between sourcing and software development. It also can help increase the hiring manager’s confidence in the recruiter by showing that the recruiter is working strategically to find talent, rather than shooting in the dark.

Comment: Calibration should include agreeing on the technical screening steps for both early and late in the funnel. This includes which steps to automate as part of initial screening, and for candidates who advance through initial screening, which steps people will handle (e.g., technical interviews).
17 #Talent42 Tweets That Caught Our Eye
Comment: These are great questions for technical recruiters to ask hiring mangers, especially when there is an impasse in strategy sessions.
17 #Talent42 Tweets That Caught Our Eye
Comment: When hiring managers don’t feel responsible for hiring talent, they can easily become disengaged in the recruiting process. By making them responsible for hiring results, Netflix helps ensure they are properly engaged and involved in this critical effort.
17 #Talent42 Tweets That Caught Our Eye
Comment: Machines are capable of many things, but they aren’t capable of being human. While automated tools are becoming more and more powerful for assessing skills, only humans can effectively assess technical experience, which is critical for success in IT roles. So the human factor will continue to play a vital role in the technical hiring process.
17 #Talent42 Tweets That Caught Our Eye
Comment: We think a programmer competency matrix is great for IT professionals when they evaluate each other, but that it’s unrealistic to think this will change anything for recruiters who don’t have hands-on technical experience in the programming languages they’re recruiting for. It’s virtually impossible to properly evaluate programmers’ level of competency in those languages without having strong competency yourself.
17 #Talent42 Tweets That Caught Our Eye
Comment: We agree: diversity is a conscious choice. Design the hiring process for inclusion, and seek outsourced assistance to reduce internal bias.
17 #Talent42 Tweets That Caught Our Eye
Comment: It is possible to deliver speed and quality at the same time. The key is to eliminate unnecessary delays in the hiring process. For example, many employers rely on internal tech panels for technical interviews. While doing so can contribute to quality, the logistics involved (e.g., scheduling interviews, evaluating results) often results in delays of several days or even weeks. In comparison, technical interviewers available through eTeki assess technical suitability in 24 hours or less.
17 #Talent42 Tweets That Caught Our Eye
Comment: Consider the candidate experience at every stage of the process. In the case of technical interviews, use a interactive video platform with integrated tools (such as a code editor), have interviewers who possess the relevant technical expertise to have an effective technical discussion and properly evaluate candidates’ experience, and ask tough questions that enable top candidates to shine.
17 #Talent42 Tweets That Caught Our Eye
Comment: At eTeki, we don’t want to replace recruiters with our outsourced technical interviewing services. We just want to help them submit the right candidates to hiring managers, and improve hiring results.