Is Domain Knowledge Essential for IT Recruiters?
One of the most dynamic areas of business endeavour today is I.T. recruitment.
Information Technology, of course, has always been complex and multi-dimensional – a mystery to many. Now, however it’s become business-critical as a result of the digital transformation revolution of the past few years – now accelerated by COVID.
So how are I.T. recruiters coping with the new era? And is domain knowledge – an in-depth grasp of a specific I.T. field – essential for anyone looking to hire a tech-head?
“In the past, the traditional HR centralized recruitment methods would suffice, says Vivian Xiang, one of Asia’s top I.T. recruiters now working for CXC in Hong Kong. “But the generalist approach will no longer guarantee you get the very best candidates. It had its day.”
IT Recruitment : Knowledge is power
Vivian is a firm believer in the old adage that knowledge is power. She also thinks that I.T. recruiters who have strong domain knowledge offer a wealth of advantages.
“Particularly in IT, you need to have functional, up-to-date knowledge about the industry and the field you are actively recruiting in to be able to successfully interact with both hiring managers and candidates. It’s all about trust and transparency.”
Many industry observers agree that this approach is one in-sync with our times, especially since we now live in an era populated with entrepreneurs and technology start-ups where key decision makers themselves are from tech background. “To communicate effectively with them it’s essential that you all speak the same language, adds Vivian; “and if you’re a recruiter working with recruitment agencies then extensive domain knowledge is also a key factor in differentiating yourself from the rest of the recruiter pack and winning more business”.
“Knowing stuff puts you in front in any field. For example, the pursuit of knowledge is a cornerstone of the CXC culture here and our company encourages all recruiters in the team to take at least one course a quarter, with all costs borne by the company”.
Do not neglect the human side of business
Coalface knowledge aside, leading recruiters like Vivian are also quick to acknowledge that the human side of the business is equally important. “Though COVID has made it more difficult, it really helps to get face-to-face with candidates… to assess their behavioural and motivational instincts. You need to recommend people who have drive, integrity and a natural curiosity. Including a personality that will ensure they can fit in and thrive in your client’s corporate culture.”
Even though recruitment in the future will become more and more tech-enabled, Vivian believes that the human element will always be there.
“In recruitment, the future factors that will impact the profession; for example A.I. and the interactivity of mobile devices etc, are already happening; says Vivian. “Personally, I sort of view these as ‘tech-timesavers’ that make tasks such reaching candidates, scheduling calls, sending CVs and tracking processes quicker and easier. The big benefit that comes from it is being able to devote more time to focus on the candidates and the hiring company and its culture”.
“For example, I have some corporate clients who value intrinsic passion far more than a pile of qualifications and certifications, and I recruit accordingly. Others place domain knowledge at Number One. You need to be open-minded and flexible to achieve the perfect match.”
Practice Director – Hong Kong Follow Vivian on LinkedIn
Vivian has over 10 years’ experience in the IT and technology recruitment spaces in the greater China market. She has excellent experience delivering customised tech recruitment solutions for both corporate companies and start-ups. With Vivian’s strong adaptability and communication skills, she performs well as both an individual recruiter and team manager.
Vivian’s strong passion and acumen for technology has enabled her to excel in this rapidly changing technology space, delivering for companies looking to digitise their businesses.