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Day Two Cloud 088: The Tech Recruiter – Friend Or Foe?

Episode 88

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If you’ve been in tech for any length of time, you’ve probably run into tech recruiters. Sometimes they reach out to you because they have a position to fill, and you showed up in their LinkedIn search results. Sometimes you reach out to them to let them know you might be available for that perfect opportunity.

But are tech recruiters on your side? Are they looking out for your best interests? Or are you just a piece of meat they hurl at potential employers in the hopes of getting a match and getting paid? How does this whole tech recruiting thing really work?

Our guest is Taylor Desseyn, Sr. Recruiter Advocate at Vaco. Taylor knows tech recruiting forwards and backwards. He gives us an insider’s view of how recruiters look at you and how you should look at them to maximize the benefit of the relationship. Because it IS a relationship. And like any relationship, you need to work at it.

We discuss:

  • Pet peeves we have with tech recruiters
  • A recruiter vs. your personal network
  • Differences to look out for in choosing a recruiter
  • Understanding what the recruiter is responsible for
  • Maximizing your engagement with a recruiter
  • When to run away from a recruiter
  • More!

Sponsor: Onix

As an award-winning cloud solutions provider, Onix provides consulting services for cloud infrastructure, collaboration, devices, enterprise search and geospatial technology. For a limited time, Onix is offering your organization a FREE 6 Hour Cloud Data Strategy Workshop (normally valued at over $2,000). For more information on this special offer, visit

Show Links:

@tdesseyn – Taylor Desseyn on Twitter

Taylor Desseyn on LinkedIn – Taylor’s blog

Guidance Counselor 2.0 – Taylor’s podcast



[00:00:00.330] – Ethan
[AD] Day Two Cloud sponsor Onix is a premier Google cloud partner and an AWS advanced consulting partner they’re also an 11 time Google Cloud Award winner and was recently recognized as tech times number one for best cloud consulting services in 2020. For a limited time. Onix is offering a free six hour cloud data strategy workshop. That’s kind of a big deal. That’s normally a two thousand dollar service. For more information and to find out more about the six hour Cloud Data Strategy Workshop, visit [/AD] [00:00:38.140] – Ned
Welcome to Day Two Cloud. Today, we’re talking about recruiters and I know I know Ethan, we’re going to talk to a recruiter, but don’t turn off. Don’t turn off that station. It’s good. It’s a really interesting conversation with Taylor Desseyn. He’s the senior recruiter advocate at Vaco. And it’s just I’ve dealt with a lot of recruiters and this was not what I expected at all. So, Ethan, what stuck out to you in this episode?

[00:01:07.000] – Ethan
Well, like you, I’ve worked with my share of recruiters over my career and have had my share of bad experiences. I just felt like a piece of meat and gristmill trying to get me matched up with the job to move on next, and meet the numbers and Taylor points out in the show that it doesn’t have to be like that and explains how to find a recruiter. That’s more on your side. I learned a lot listening to him. I love the show.

[00:01:28.720] – Ned
Yeah, it was absolutely fascinating. So I’m not going to belabor the point. Enjoy this episode with Taylor Desseyn, senior recruiter advocate at Vaco.

[00:01:36.850] Taylor. Welcome to the show. If I could just get you to first summarize technical recruiting. Let’s start there and then expand out.

[00:01:46.720] – Taylor
Yeah. So technical recruiting again, Ned, Ethan, thanks for having me on. I will tell you, technical recruiting as a whole is defined as a mess.

[00:01:57.490] – Ned
Would you describe it as a hot mess?

[00:01:59.560] – Taylor
It truly is. It truly is a hot mess. I mean, no, I think technical recruiting in today’s world has been flipped on its head. Right. I think what’s happened is, is that for the longest time, recruiters were so focused on DM’ing people time and time again in their local markets, typically. Right. Because like the company I work at Vaco, we’re very siloed to our own cities.

[00:02:26.830] Right. So previously to covid, I recruited engineers in Nashville and then now covid flipped on its head and we went totally across the country now. Right. So I think to describe technical recruiting right now in today’s world, it is ever evolving and is quickly evolving. And I will tell you this, the good ones are rising to the top very fast and the bad ones are doing the complete opposite, very, very fast.

[00:02:56.530] – Ned
Interesting. So do you think that’s because now you’re playing to a national audience and so people can be more selective of the recruiter they work with?

[00:03:04.330] – Taylor
One hundred percent. Yeah, because, I mean, let’s face it, you can be in Montana and now get called by every single recruiter instead of probably like three or four. Right. Because now if you’re in Montana, you probably have a skill set that you probably know about that is very technical and is very in demand. So you probably move to Montana because you knew that it can be done remote period pre-pandemic. Right. I was working with a Scala engineer in Montana.

[00:03:28.930] Right. He’s in Montana. Scala’s in demand. He’s going to be able to work remote pre-pandemic. Now, you have Brian Smith in the south of Tennessee getting called by 90 recruiters for a dot net technical skill set that. Used to be just so he could get a job here in town. Now he’s getting calls across the country. So it just is it’s been flipped on its head. Technical recruiting has been flipped on its head. And if you’re not trying to learn and trying to get better and trying to help yourself and increase brand, which if we want to get into, we can the importance of that right now in a totally digital workforce, I think you’re going to lose.

[00:04:12.250] – Ned
Wow. OK, now I’m going to be honest and be upfront. I haven’t had the best experience with recruiters and I might be describing some..

[00:04:19.870] – Taylor
Me and you both.

[00:04:20.140] – Ned
But I’m never entirely certain they’ve got my best interests at heart. And they also really often slide into my LinkedIn DMs with jobs that I’m either totally unqualified for or it’s like some random thing on my resume from 10 years ago. So what’s up with that? What’s going on?

[00:04:40.650] – Taylor
Ned, Ned. You got to take that cold fusion off of your LinkedIn from ten years ago. Man, I told you that time and time again, you know, for me. So I get this question a lot, right? It’s it’s why recruiters DM’ing, are they not even reading? Are they not even taking the time out of it? And for the listeners who are listening to this, like I’m going to answer your question right now. No, they’re not taking the time out to right? Us as recruiters.

[00:05:03.430] We are responsible for hitting metrics. Right? At the end of the day, the reason why the recruiting industry is broken is because you try to put metrics on people and that doesn’t work. And so what happens is, is you, DM, youDM you DM, and you’re just like, hey, templated messages, templated message, templated message. And then because here’s the deal, Ned, even though you have done cold fusion 10, 15 years ago and you don’t want to work the role, the recruiter is going to cover one hundred, two hundred people in a day and five people are going to probably get back to that person.

[00:05:38.320] Right. It’s not necessarily about relationship building. That’s what I’m saying from the question beforehand of what’s technical recruiter right now. It’s a hot mess because the the the mass of DMs have probably escalated, but it’s also causing those individuals to, like, really hurt themselves. And so the reason why we message is because my team doesn’t, I manage a team of nine recruiters. I make sure that we try to really focus on the human aspect of recruiting. But for me, like we try to take more into account of like, hey, how many quality people are you meeting a week?

[00:06:13.150] Right. So my team, I want us to meet at least eight people a week. Right. A lot of other recruiting firms are like, you need to talk to 15 to 20 a week.

[00:06:23.230] So when that happens, you’re going to get the DMs in in your inbox that are just ridiculous.

[00:06:29.080] – Ethan
So how are you finding these people then, if you’ve got this, like you said, if your metrics driven, because that’s how you’re measured on whether you’re doing your job or not, are you even looking, like manually at LinkedIn profiles or resumes or using just the keyword search?

[00:06:43.900] – Taylor
Keyword search, baby control f all day. And here’s the deal. Right. I used to be the recruiter that we’re talking about.

[00:06:51.580] I started at Vaco nine years ago, almost 10 years ago at this point, which is crazy to think about. I moved up to Nashville to do music like everyone else and realized I was serving tables six nights a week and losing money, not paying any money or not not playing any gigs. So but when I started, I just didn’t know any better. I think a lot I think the issue with with recruiting these days is that there’s not an emphasis of training.

[00:07:14.620] Right. While Vaco has gotten better training, we are still not there. And I think you could talk to anybody at Vaco, and they could admit to that. And so I think we’re trying to get better. But what happens is, is sales organizations try so hard to push, push, push. They don’t realize that sometimes slowing down to speed up is going to be your greatest strength.

[00:07:36.550] – Ethan
Who’s even your your customer? Let me let me put it this way. I have had lots of jobs over the years in tech, but most of those have come word of mouth. That is, I knew someone or I was at an event and got talking and so on and kind of found out about an opportunity and it went from there. I haven’t really worked with recruiters other than a time or two. So is your recruiter, someone like me, a technologist, or is your customer a company who’s trying to fill a position?

[00:08:03.100] – Taylor
Yes, this is a good question. So I’m going to I’m going to kind of break it down kind of a few ways. Right. So first off, I told my my my boss, my coworker that, listen, I want to hire individuals who are fun to be around, who have high EQ and who have no experience recruiting. Now…

[00:08:22.040] – Ned

[00:08:22.280] – Taylor
Yeah, so, so, so, so a lot of people are going to listen to like OK, your team must be terrible. Actually we’re not. I would say we have the best recruiting team in the country at Vaco. And here is why. Because what happens is, is I have sat down I’ve personally sat down with each recruiter and I’ve trained them. Hey, what is the UI look like? What what is the back end right? What tech goes where? Let’s break down the SDLC. Right. I think a lot of times recruiters are just like, hey, I need a .net developer and let’s search .net.

[00:08:50.390] Let’s be honest. There’s there’s so many flavors of .net, even with .net core at this point. Right. And so and so then you have to search like do you need a web forms of Win forms, like what are you doing? Right. And it’s like there’s no training from that perspective now. So let’s put that there.

[00:09:09.530] And let’s answer Ethan’s second question about like who’s calling us? How does all that work? Right. So how does that work? That works by usually companies who can’t find the jobs after thirty days, they then call us.

[00:09:26.030] So they are already have internal H.R. and their internal development teams trying to tap the referrals before we even get the job order. And then it’s our responsibility to frantically I mean, just I mean, I’m telling you, like it is like so I don’t know if any I’ll serve tables at all growing up.

[00:09:45.640] – Ned
I Did.

[00:09:46.240] – Taylor
I served I serve tables. You know how? Like, it’s in the middle of the shift and somebody brings back some food that was given to the staff or like a cake that was like someone’s birthday. And I was like and like it’s like it’s like vultures, like it’s like it’s like no one’s ever seen food before. That’s the exact same way it is with the recruiting team where we get a new job order because it’s like, oh my gosh, like whoever’s giving it to us has already had a chance to obviously tap their network.

[00:10:09.970] And so then it takes us spinning our wheels, hence the massive amount of DM’s. Because of the fact that we’re already getting to job orders 30 days late

[00:10:19.930] – Ethan
But you can’t just be looking to LinkedIn raw, right? You’ve got to be digging through a database of your own that you guys have built in the last decade.

[00:10:26.170] – Taylor
We do, we do, and that’s why. So one of the things that I’m really, really big on with job seekers and how to vet recruiters, that’s what I’ve been really loud on with social media lately, is like, how do you vet a recruiter? Right. We vet jobs as a job seeker, like, OK, we don’t like this job because of this reason. And we don’t like you know, I’m saying we ask when we go to the interview or prepare and we ask questions, you talk to recruiters like, yeah, sounds good.

[00:10:50.830] Right, and it’s like, no, nobody vets a recruiter, and so I’ve been very loud on like, hey, how do you really, like, focus on what questions to ask a recruiter? And the biggest thing that I talk about is. See how long that recruiters have been doing their job, because the reason is because they have a bigger book of business. So the typical recruiter going to Ethan’s question, I’m a little long winded sometimes. The answer to this question.

[00:11:16.370] – Ethan
It’s all good man.

[00:11:17.090] – Taylor
A typical recruiter, meets around five to seven hundred people a year. A year. So extrapolate that where I’m at 10 years. You see? So, so so if you’re a job seeker and you meet anybody now, I said this two years back and I got really I got a lot of kickback from my team cause my team was young at the time. I said don’t work with any recruiter under two years. And most of my recruiting team was under two years. I heard about that. So but the thing is, though, the reason why I say that is because I didn’t really even know the city of Nashville.

[00:11:51.720] So I started in Nashville. Then I moved to Raleigh and it was in the Research Triangle area for a year and then moved back to Nashville. And like when I was in Raleigh for a year, like so many good connections, I love those guys and girls out there that have made friends was still in touch with a lot of them.

[00:12:06.590] But when it comes to, like, knowing your network and knowing the companies in town, it takes time. No recruiter under two years, in my opinion, can be super effective and being an advocate for you.

[00:12:25.460] – Ethan
So so if I, so it sounds like most of your customers are then the companies, but if I’m on the other end looking for a job and I ring up Taylor, do you work for me as well?

[00:12:36.930] – Taylor
So yes and no. So there’s two sides, there’s two sides, and again, great question, Ethan, I appreciate this a ton. And so we’re uncovering some goodness in this and I love it so much. So so you have the clients who call us, right? So our job is recruiters is to be proactive. Right. So we’re talking about the 10 to 15 to 20 people a week, industry average. You know, we’re extrapolating that out over a year or two years because what we try to do is we try to build this entire network. Right. So, like, let’s say Ned calls me tomorrow and goes, hey, I need a cloud guy or girl.

[00:13:10.030] I’m going to be OK, Ned. Well, first off, what platform you using? Right? Most recruiters won’t even ask that? Like, Sure, I’ll go get cloud, I will get a cloud guy or girl multi-cloud.

[00:13:17.890] – Ned
All the clouds!

[00:13:18.220] All of it. All the same. So but but it’s so so we do that. But so for us it’s like I want to bring so if Ned calls me tomorrow for an Azure resource and I’m going to go to the people, the five to ten people that I’ve met in the last six months who have touched Azure. And then we go, Ned, what’s, Azure’s big. What specific functionalities are you looking for? OK, well, we need serverless functions, durable functions, all that stuff. Right. OK, great. Then I go back to my 10 people. I’m like hey ten people who has durable functions. You two, two people have it? OK, great. Hey Ned, here are my two people who have durable functions.

[00:13:56.530] You want to talk to them. So that’s how that works. So what we do is we try to build this entire network of people and we and we have spreadsheets, Excel spreadsheets and things. So we have to keep track of people.

[00:14:10.390] – Ethan
So you don’t so it’s more like, hey, Taylor, I’m a resource. I’m kind of on the market looking if you happen to run across somebody, hey, make sure I’m in your database so that I’ll match when you’re looking to fill a position.

[00:14:24.190] – Taylor
Correct. Yeah, sure. For me, less, less database. Just more like keep checking in with me so I can have it within like my like notebook or whatnot. But yeah, absolutely. They like for me I always tell people, the individuals who are not actually looking for a job are best for me because I want to meet everybody and then let’s be very intentional with what jobs I send you.

[00:14:46.870] – Ned
Oh, that’s very interesting. I want to back up on that because you said you want to talk to people who aren’t even looking for jobs. Just want to, you just want to get to know them. And then is it going to be a sort of thing where you’re constantly checking and be like, hey, you need a job, you want a job yet or is it more of a, I’ll let you know if something crops up, I think you might be interested in or reach out to me when you’re ready to look.

[00:15:08.530] – Taylor

[00:15:09.450] So, so, so, so my thing is so so you so you brought up a really good point. And I’m really glad because we’re going to segue into kind of what my what I’ve been doing the last year and kind of uncovered from a recruiting at scale. We’re going to break down what at scale means from a recruiting perspective. Right. Because what I do, what recruiters do, we are like doctors. If you typically don’t come to us until what, something is wrong.

[00:15:35.050] – Ned
Right. I got laid off from my job and now I desperately need another job.

[00:15:39.370] – Taylor
Something is wrong. But my thing is, is because I selfishly, to be honest with you boys, I’m on this podcast. I want to be on this because I’ll tell you this in ten years, if Ned or Ethan are wanting to spin up something on their own and need resources, I want you to call me. And that’s what recruiters don’t understand, is that this thing that we do is a lifetime long game.

[00:16:04.450] And because so what I’ve done in covid is I basically have completely changed how I do business. So I am not DM’ing you on LinkedIn anymore. I’m not emailing you off Dice and CareerBuilder. I have a live show, shameless self-plug guidance counselor 2.0, you can check it out. Every single morning I go live and I have guests or talk about various things that I’m dealing with or job seekers, because here’s a deal. There are people that I know that aren’t looking that watch it every day and DM me is like, oh, that was good.

[00:16:36.370] That was good. Because, you know, what’s going to happen is when the economy goes back and everyone’s comfortable looking for jobs again, who do you think they’re going to call Ghostbusters? No, I me.

[00:16:46.720] – Ned
Unless you start a side business as a Ghostbuster and then.

[00:16:49.000] – Taylor
Exactly. I’m the biggest scaredy cat. I hate scary movies, so I would be terrible at that job. So, yeah. So it’s all about being top of mind. Right. Which were a lot of recruiters understand now because we’re totally virtual that listen, if you’re just DM’ing people day in, day out, like it’s only going to get you so far ten years from now.

[00:17:07.220] – Ned
Now, does it matter what type of job I’m interested in, if I. Does it matter if I’m looking for full time work or I want to go contract work or project? Like, does it matter what type of job I’m looking for that I should get with a recruiter? Or are there certain types of jobs where it doesn’t make sense?

[00:17:22.940] – Taylor
Yeah, I mean I mean, the recruiters should be asking you that. Right. Which is which is another kind of signal indicator thingy where you should see if the recruiters are asking you good questions. Right. So if I’m gonna talk to Ned and I go, hey, Ned, do you want more of the consulting side? Do you want, like part time? Do you want consulting long term or do you want to do direct hire salaried stuff?

[00:17:45.370] You know and then Ned goes well, you know, Taylor, actually, I’m open all of it. OK, great. Well then Ned goes, you know what Taylor, I’m only going to bounce for a salary job. I’m in a salary job now. I’m not going to bounce for anything else. Then I’m only going to keep your mind for salary jobs.

[00:17:59.780] And so but here’s what I’ve been trying to think of, is trying to and this is so I’ve launched another shameless plug, Taylor Desseyn Dotcom. I, what my goal is, is I’m trying to wrap my arms around these the seven thousand people that I’ve met.

[00:18:16.700] And it’s like, how do I take all that data, all of it. All those individuals. Keep in touch with them. But it’s like different levers to pull. Right? So it’s like, do I keep in touch with the people I met last 30 days differently than I’ve met four years ago? Right. And it’s like, how how do you try to focus on. Keeping in touch and being a human to people. When they may not even need you right now, but they may need you five years from now, so that if we’re talking about, again, the original question, what is technical recruiting?

[00:18:47.720] That is what recruiters and individuals should be thinking about for the next 10 years, because in my opinion, we’re going to be mainly remote probably from here on out.

[00:18:57.480] – Ethan
[AD] Ned and I are stopping the show for a moment to talk about today’s sponsor, Onix. Onix is a cloud solutions provider and they’ve got the credentials and awards that tell you they know what they’re doing for me or Google Cloud partner AWS Advanced Consulting Partner, 11 time Google Cloud Award winner, Tech Times number one for best cloud consulting services in 2020. You’re going. I don’t care, Ethan. What is Onix do? All right. Fair enough. Onix provides consulting services for cloud infrastructure, collaboration devices, enterprise search and geospatial technology.

[00:19:27.210] Let’s drill into this. Think about one of the recurring themes of Day Two Cloud. We have said for in many episodes there are companies that do lift and shift of workloads to the cloud and they are sorry they did that. They pay dearly for that approach. They don’t automate well, the companies don’t leverage cloud native services. They don’t consider application delivery design like they should. And why do they have all these problems? Cloud brings a lot of new technologies into an I.T. shop.

[00:19:53.010] It is hard to get it all right the first time, even with training, even though you’re smart, even though you’re a very capable engineer, even if someone gives you the luxury of time that most of you, frankly, are not given by your senior management, well, OK. This is where the real value of Onix comes in. Onix is going to help you figure out what you really got. That’s the discovery process. And it matters because you kind of think, you know, everything you’ve got in your infrastructure that’s got to move to cloud, but you probably don’t.

[00:20:17.880] Onix is then once the discovery is done, going to help you construct a plan. This is important. How do we move all the stuff we’ve got into the cloud? That plan is going to include a lot of the nitty gritty detail about getting that data moved to the right place and stored in the right way and then visualizing what’s actually happening in the cloud and more. Even stuff that maybe you haven’t considered before. Like machine learning, they have experienced cloud based machine learning nerds on staff at Onix.

[00:20:44.340] All right. Another Day Two Cloud topic that comes up a lot, automation Onix can help you there, too. They have specialists with deep expertize in cloud toolset and automating that tedious stuff that you’ve been screwing up, trying to do it all by hand. Been there I’m right there with you. Well, Onix can build you a data pipeline, integrate it with the existing tools and databases that you already have, and then bring new functionality to your current data solution.

[00:21:08.490] You’re like, I don’t know. That sounds complicated. It maybe it is. But once they help you build all that fancy stuff, they’re going to train you on the solution. So it’s it’s good, right? You’re all good. Pretty cool stuff from Onix. And for a limited time, Onix is offering your organization a free six hour cloud data strategy workshop. That’s a service they would normally sell for like two thousand dollars or more.

[00:21:30.030] But it’s free for people who respond to this offer. And if you want more information, visit One more time. That’s Let me spell Onix. Don’t get confused here. For more information about their six hour cloud data strategy workshop. And now back to today’s episode. [/AD] [00:21:56.580] – Ned
One of the things that I was always told when I started my career was, you got to build your network, you’ve got to you’ve got to practice good networking. And that always felt very phony, right? You’re going to build you you’re going to go meet these people with the express purpose of broadening your network so you can tap them for something later on. Not not because you care about them as an individual. No,no,no. You need something in a year and you’re going to know that person who can give you that thing.

[00:22:19.710] And it always felt very unnatural to me. It sounds like what you’re describing is a more natural interaction. Would that be fair to say?

[00:22:28.380] – Taylor
Yeah. Yeah. So networking, this is another topic I’ve been really big on over the last year. What is networking? So first off, networking was really, really weird and awkward before the pandemic. Right? Code conferences.

[00:22:43.030] Yeah, I’ll tell you what, listen, I’ve hung out the bottom of hotels with with with me with all nerds a lot. And I’ll tell you, it is awkward, right? Like everyone hangs out and cliques. No one really talks. Everyone then talks about, like, coding. And it’s just like man like a very cliquey.

[00:22:57.630] – Ethan
It’s not what we’re good at, Taylor.

[00:22:59.520] – Taylor
It is not. It’s so bad. It is so bad. And so, so, so what I’ve done is I thought about that and I’ll try to be intentional with my messaging during the pandemic. Right. So literally right now, if you’re still listening to this, how long with twenty minutes through. If you were listening to this right now I want to get this. If there’s anything you get out of this entire podcast episode, it’s this right here, that networking right now and probably for a very long time is liking and commenting on people’s statuses.

[00:23:27.640] – Ned
Expand on that.

[00:23:28.690] – Taylor
Yeah, absolutely. So first off. You need to be spending an absurd amount of time on LinkedIn to network now, the next question is, is Taylor do I need to network? Listen, that is a question that you need to ask yourself, right? There are some engineers that I know in Nashville and across the country who don’t network and who are just fine, who are incredibly technical and who can submit one resume, crush the interview and get the job.

[00:23:51.290] But I think as a whole, most of the engineers that I know go to code conferences, involved in meet ups, want to give back. I know a lot of engineers that that want to give back. And for me, I think LinkedIn and Twitter, I’m really big on Twitter for networking right now. I had a few people on my on my live show to talk and break down Twitter right now. But for me, you need to be networking.

[00:24:15.920] You need to be getting in the DMs, slide it in the DMs, but also also be intentional. Right. Hey, Ethan, listen, I saw that you run a podcast. I run a podcast. I’ve had issues with my mic levels recently. How do you do it over Zoom? Well, Taylor, thank you. You see what I’m saying? And that’s the way to do it. People are like, hey, Ethan, you need a job.

[00:24:39.040] It’s like, please stop talking to me. So, so. So the DMs, but also to right. Like let’s say Ned’s post is the thing about the latest release on Azure or AWS or GCP or whatever. Right. You can start commenting and liking that. And that’s the equivalent of like a hallway conversation at a code conference.

[00:24:57.740] – Ethan
Well you’re hitting on something here that’s you know, the idea is to first be a person, establish a friendship and a real relationship that’s honest. And, yeah, eventually at some point, it’s something you can trade on that relationship that you have.

[00:25:13.850] But you can’t come in, come in hot with the I need something from you. Can you give me the thing that I need because. Because who wants that? But the trick, Taylor, with this approach is you do have to be genuine. You really do have to find something that’s interesting and, you know, compelling about that person that makes you. I want to know who that person is. I want to get to know that person and not have it be the.. I’m getting to know you, but it’s really kind of fake because someday I’m going to ask you for a favor, you know?

[00:25:48.980] – Taylor
Yeah. You know, I had had a gentleman on today on my live show, and he said one thing I really stuck out with me. He goes, he goes the moment that I stopped cold emailing people looking for a transaction and started looking for a relationship, things changed. And and for me, like I was so jacked up, to be on this with you boys, because, like. You guys are my new friends now, right? And like literally like like you could never call me again for anything, but you post on Twitter, you post on LinkedIn.

[00:26:23.340] Like, I’m going to be all up in those comments. Right. And it’s just like for me it’s like but but but but the thing with recruiters is that we’re so pressured, we are so pressured to hit numbers. That and again, what I’m doing to be totally transparent, to be totally honest and transparent, it has been so hard for me and I have felt very imposter syndrome. I have felt very insecure in my business by completely. Like the thought of being on a podcast as part of my job is not accepted in the world of recruiting.

[00:26:54.610] – Ned
Interesting. I would think that would be an essential part of networking is getting on podcast and talking to people.

[00:27:00.960] – Taylor
And just it’s not it’s not literally many people. And I will tell you this, I’ve had individuals at Vaco say things. Sidebar, without me not knowing that’s come back to me. That is like, oh, well, he he’s not doing, you know, the the numbers.

[00:27:18.360] – Ned
Right. Right.

[00:27:19.180] And it’s like, go ahead Ethan.

[00:27:22.050] – Ethan
Well, so keep thinking about this networking thing. You brought up LinkedIn and Twitter and you bring it up at a time when people are becoming increasingly sensitive to their use of social media and so on because of its addictive nature and all that. You didn’t say Facebook, you didn’t say Instagram and 20 other networks that you might have mentioned. You said.

[00:27:39.870] – Taylor
I did post a Tik Tok video, by the way, and it’s got seven thousand views overnight that is wild. We don’t need to get into that. But holy smokes, that’s it. I woke up this morning. It was like two hundred followers. Like what is happening?

[00:27:51.660] – Ethan
But let’s drill into LinkedIn and Twitter because we want to ask you. But let’s focus on LinkedIn and Twitter specifically for a minute here. Why did you select those two as most valuable for networking?

[00:28:01.720] – Taylor
Yeah, so again, great question. So for me, I went to school with a guy named Brandon Arvay with Branded78 in Lexington Kentucky. It’s a small social media marketing company that he runs. And for the longest time he was like, I’d love to work with you, I’d love to work with you. It was like, OK, ok, ok, ok, OK. And finally the pandemic. I said, ok, ok, ok, let’s work together.

[00:28:22.320] And and so he’s cut me a crazy deal. He’s basically allowing me to be his kind of like his guinea pig with a lot of platform building and a lot of things that he’s trying out for other clients. And he and I’ve had a ton of conversation around what do we need to focus on right now. And I said I said, man, I said, I’m just feeling Twitter, LinkedIn. I’m just feeling it. Now I’m branching out to Instagram now. I’m starting to put more content out on Instagram and then I’m kind of experimenting with Tik Toks. I just do so many videos, right, with the podcast, recording the podcast and the live shows and all that have so much video content. But when it comes down to it, the reason why I say Twitter and LinkedIn is for two reasons. One. Both the organic reach in my mind and when I say organic reach, I went to listen, I went to school for marketing.

[00:29:09.060] I’m not a marketer. I don’t know what any of this stuff means. I just kind of say things. Sometimes I make myself sound smart. But the organic reach, aka being able to find somebody not in your network because they like something. Is like like let’s say I didn’t know Ethan, but Ned and I were connected and Ned liked Ethan’s post, I’ll know Ethan because Ned liked it. Like, that’s how crazy Twitter and LinkedIn right now. So I’m going to where the organic reach is the highest.

[00:29:36.590] Now, also, number two, both are fairly professional. Now, you can say Twitter is not professional. You’re right, it’s not. But the dev community within Twitter is huge. I’ve met so many developers over Twitter, so I just told my business partner, Brandon, I said, we just need to go. We need to double, triple, quadruple down on Twitter and LinkedIn. And now I’m even thinking about going even deeper on Twitter, because then you have the spaces that I got, clubhouse rival, then you have their newsletter feature they’re starting to do now.

[00:30:12.350] You can actually send newsletters through Twitter to your followers. And then they’re talking about like basically Patreon, where you can pay for premium content. So it’s like Twitter’s finally figuring it out, which is making me realize that, like, I maybe maybe need to to focus on that some more. So that’s just high level, right?

[00:30:31.310] – Ethan
Well, in LinkedIn, that that’s pretty intuitive, right? You’re going to where the people are that have the skills that you’re looking for and they’re talking about the things that are related to the jobs that trying to fill and so on. And yeah, Twitter has a lot of those communities and so does LinkedIn, but so does Reddit. I guess this.

[00:30:51.290] – Taylor
Reddit, you know, somebody listed this like, oh, you talk about organic reach. Will you be on Tik Tok? Well, I’m experimenting with it. And a few post later and it went crazy. Right. But I think it’s but again, for me, I realized so for me, I have doubled down. I’ve posted fleets, the stories feature and I post on LinkedIn multiple times a day. If you’re focused on that, like that, like that’s a full day. It is a full day. And so for me, I’ve just decided I need to go super narrow these two platforms, which has allowed me to cultivate a network.

[00:31:25.460] Right. I mean, there are people that have followed me on Twitter that I’ve admired from afar for a very long time. They’re starting to follow me now. And it’s like, wow, because what’s happened is, is enough of our mutual. Because Dev, Dev, Twitter, everybody runs kind of in the same circle. Right. Like like you can follow pretty much like the top ten, fifteen accounts and you can start seeing who else follows them. And if you just get in that, which is another reason why Twitter so powerful because you can kind of find your niche within the groups perspective. And so it just kind of starts cultivating this network that you wouldn’t be able to get on LinkedIn.

[00:32:00.380] – Ethan
There’s a deeper point here. Sometimes it is not as much about what you know as who you know. That is, you don’t have to be the most the very best, most top skilled engineer in a particular craft to land a job. You do have to find that opportunity, though.

[00:32:18.440] – Taylor
So I so I spoke I had a great pleasure to speak virtually at Code PaLOUsa. Louisville’s code conference, with Chad Green shout out Chad, Um last year. And I said he did a cool like interview one on one with the speakers before their sessions. And I said you could be a terrible developer and a really good networker and still be OK in your career. And he kind of was like, well, I said, listen, I understand that this little billboard material. But like for me, I think Ethan, I think you make a point. I think networking is what I say, the social currency of today.

[00:32:57.140] – Ethan
But engineers, the way we think. We tend to pride ourselves on our skills. These are the things that I can do.

[00:33:02.110] – Taylor

[00:33:03.260] – Ethan
Yeah, but do you know anybody? Can you talk to other humans?

[00:33:06.140] – Taylor
Probably not.

[00:33:06.140] – Ethan
You know, that’s that’s a pretty big deal.

[00:33:08.870] – Taylor
Yeah, yeah.

[00:33:09.800] – Ned
Yeah. All right. So let’s say, Taylor, that I’ve decided I want to go with you as a recruiter. What questions should I ask you from from the get go if I’m thinking about bringing you on as my recruiter to help me find my next job, what questions do I need to ask you to make that determination?

[00:33:30.350] – Taylor
So the initial meeting, so first off your initial meeting with a recruiter needs to be a Zoom call? Right. So I’ve been very loud about this. If a recruiter isn’t willing to do a Zoom call with you, move on.

[00:33:40.880] Right. Why in the world would you not want to meet the person who’s potentially responsible for the next part of your career? Like, to me, that’s ridiculous, and so and I’ll tell you, recruiters got lazy, crews really got lazy now because we’re a year into this pandemic thing and now they’re just like having a seven minute phone call with you and they’re done. Right. I mean, it’s gotten bad. And so, like for me, I think first off, it’s asking me, hey, Taylor, can we do a Zoom call?

[00:34:06.060] Hey, Kelly, can we do a zoom call? Hey, Zack, can we do his room call? Well, actually, could we just do a phone call Ned? No, I can’t do it. And then I wouldn’t talk to them again. After the Zoom call. So a few things like the initial meeting with the recruiter needs to be more of just feeling out how they do things. Right. So, like, I would love for someone to ask, like, hey, how do you like what’s the process of working with you?

[00:34:29.420] I will tell you, I’d probably send you a tech eval that we use. Shout out Brad Westfall., I got to give him a plug. He he’s part of one of the React Core training guys with Michael Jackson and all those guys. He actually was sick and tired of recruiters sending him terrible tech evals. So his side hustle is to create his own. So we use his suite. So again, that’s But so I usually send an eval or two because I’ll talk to you as much as in depth as I can.

[00:35:03.960] And at this point, I know I mean, honestly, like humble brag, I can talk to you in about six minutes and know if you’re good or not. Like it’s not rocket science at this point. But I miss sometimes. I’m not perfect, so I’ll send tech eval out. Then I’ll say, hey Ned can you give me a reference or two? Because my goal my goal as a recruiter is when I submit you to a client, I want to have a little packet.

[00:35:24.360] Right. We did a reference. We tested and I zoomed him. So as a client, you’re like, oh, OK, cool, well, then I just need to have a quick phone call and that’s it, right. So so the initial call. Ask the recruiter how they do business. Another question too, ask the recruiter how many times they should check in with you or check in with the recruiter. Because for me, like, just text me once a day, just text me.

[00:35:48.460] It’s fine. Text me. Right. I think a lot of times people don’t know how to approach recruiters because they’re like, oh, I’ve never heard back. Well, when’s last time you checked in with them two months ago. Yeah. I don’t hear from my mom for two months if I don’t check in with her. Right. So it’s like you got to check in with us because of the volume. Right. The volume is I try to get really loud about for meeting that many people. We have to maintain those relationships as well.

[00:36:13.280] It gets a lot, so you need to check in a lot, so that’s the first initial meeting. Now there are some questions. What I would do, what I would ask real quick, I’ll give you like a five that are really important if the recruiter sends you a job. Which is this is where it gets really, really important. First thing I would ask the recruiter, one, how long have you been working with this hiring manager or how long have you been working with this company?

[00:36:39.000] Right. And that’s really important because it shows longevity, which, again, is most important with recruiting. Right. I’m going to have a different way of doing my business from a 10 year person as a two year person.

[00:36:48.360] – Ethan
Well, wait a minute. What am I trying to avoid here? Why would I qualify the recruiter with that specific question?

[00:36:54.180] – Taylor
Because if they say, oh, this is a new client, then then, you know, you’re going to be probably in store for some bumps. Like you like seriously, like I tell people, hey, Ethan, this is a brand new client, I have no idea what I’m doing. Like, we’re we’re going to figure this out together. It’s expectation, right? What is the biggest issues with recruiters is there’s no expectations. Every single call I have with a developer, hey, you’ll hear from me a little bit. Now, if things don’t work out, I’m going to go under. You probably won’t hear from me for weeks, but then I’ll pop back up with a job and then you’ll get an offer. So it’s setting expectations.

[00:37:26.260] – Ethan
So. So wait a minute. You just said. Something’s key here. You’re not. Your role as the recruiter is not simply match these people, then schedule an interview and say, hey, let me know if it worked out. There’s the. The recruiter is responsible for more stuff.

[00:37:43.800] – Taylor
And that’s what people don’t understand. Is that we’re basically glorified admin assistants, too, like like there’s so much you can say, project manager, I may have upset some project managers, but like like like guiding. We have to guide the individual through the entire process. Right. We have to make sure the individuals are lined up for phone calls. We have to call them after the phone call and debrief with them and see what they talked about to make sure nothing was said that was inappropriate.

[00:38:09.370] Or we had sometimes managers go rogue. Right, that we set them up for the second call and maybe the third. I’m saying. So there’s a lot of like. Moving parts, instead of just saying, hey, Mr. or Mrs. Manager, here’s here’s Ethan, have fun, that’s that’s not it.

[00:38:24.220] – Ned
I’m curious because you mentioned how long have you worked with this client or with this company? Is part of that just you can prepare me for the interview process because you understand their style of interviewing. Is that something you you think is a responsibility of the recruiter?

[00:38:40.660] – Taylor
Yes. The recruiters should prep you and give you the entire background of dealing with that manager or what’s going on.

[00:38:48.130] – Ned
Awesome. Now, another big thing is salary negotiation because. You’re working for me? Yes, the job seeker, but you’re also working for the company that is potentially giving the job, so now you think about it. What is your incentive to maximize my salary when you’re also working for this other company? So, like, how does salary negotiation work and how am I sure that the recruiter has my best interests in mind at all?

[00:39:20.500] – Ethan
Yeah, Taylor, yeah.

[00:39:23.760] – Taylor
This is this is such a good question, because this question I get a lot that I got asked a lot pre-pandemic when I spoke at conferences. Is let’s talk about money, recruiters and rates and things. I will tell you this. So let’s break down both sides. One is the direct hire salary side of things. Right? So we negotiate a fee of first year salary with the client before we even send your profile over.

[00:39:50.720] If that’s the case, the more you get. The more I get right? There you go, so that’s it, I mean, pretty straightforward. Now. Now let’s talk about the contract, because that’s where recruiters are like jacking down rates. Try to get you very low because we we have a margin. Right. The client gives us a bill rate. The client gives us a rate and we have to make it make sense for the job seeker and we have to make it business sense to make us money, too, from our end.

[00:40:21.940] Right. And so I talked about this the other day. The job seeker needs to know what they’re worth. I see so many times job seekers just start looking for jobs and they’re like, I might, hey, so what’s your PTO? I don’t know, how do you not know your PTO? OK, well, then next question. 401k match? I don’t know. OK, this is going well. What is your monthly benefit cost? No idea. All right. Well, you need to go. Because what happens is from an hourly perspective, my goal is to try to lump together everything and come out with one hourly rate. And I break it down with candidates where it makes sense and basically, OK, I got you all this, and so what we do is we try to fit that big lump number, in between that rate the client does gives us.

[00:41:13.510] – Ethan
This is people that are working for a company thinking in terms of salary and not counting the fact that their health care is worth X and that 401k match is worth X. In other words, the total compensation package, that’s what they need to come to the table with so that they can compare where they’re at to what the offer might be.

[00:41:31.990] – Taylor
If you work with me and you schedule a meeting with me, I use Calendly, shout out Calendly , I’d to love to get sponsored by them because they’re fantastic.

[00:41:41.770] They. I filled one of my questions you have to fill out as a job seeker is you fill out your entire comp package. Now I just, I just started asking for it because I’m sick and tired of like getting to the end of it, people not knowing because that’s really important. I mean, I had a guy, he was like what, I’m not kidding you like one hundred two hundred bucks a month and only three thousand dollar deductible. And I just told him I was just like, bro, I said, that’s great.

[00:42:07.600] I said, that’s great. I said, I can’t match that, but I can get you. And we walk through kind of everything together. And he ended up taking the job through me because I was able to walk through, OK, we can’t get you this, but I can get you this and then. But that’s how it works from a salary and hourly perspective, which is why you need know your entire worth to make sure you’re not getting gypped on the contract portion.

[00:42:30.670] – Ned
Now, is there a place or some set of resources you would point someone at who’s trying to assess their worth because they might be underpaid today and not realize it? So how do you even figure out what your market value is?

[00:42:43.720] – Taylor
Talk to a recruiter.

[00:42:48.610] OK, I say that. Yeah, I say I obviously kind of say that kind of funny, but I mean, so I’ve had a lot of conversations with developers and that’s one of the that’s where recruiters really can can help you. Right. So many times developers think, and not developers, job seekers period. Right. Again, I come at everything from a developer engineering side of things. But the recruiter sees salaries in your city across the board.

[00:43:14.060] – Ned
True, right.

[00:43:14.970] – Taylor
If you ask me right now what the top end of salaries right now and the, the mid tier, I could tell you. And if you don’t have so, so many times people see you like, OK, I’ll just use recruiter to find a job and I’ll be done. No, they can help you write your resume. They can help you write your LinkedIn. They can help educate you about the market. Who’s hiring, who’s not hiring. Where do you want to go? Where where don’t you want to go? We’re like an Encylclopedia Brittanica. I don’t know if I said that right.

[00:43:45.130] – Ethan
I think you did. Going to that salary, that geographical location and stuff. How is that changing? How is your market value changing?

[00:43:53.110] – Taylor
It’s going up.

[00:43:53.800] – Ethan
In remote work world.

[00:43:55.100] – Taylor
It’s going up. Yeah, I’m seeing it. Salaries I’m starting to see. I’m starting to see salaries creep for the first time in a year, we’re starting to get salaries that are 10 percent, at least higher. It’s not a ton, but like we just got a job order today. And I was like, OK, so that was like, I’m bad at math. Maybe twenty, twenty percent. Twenty five percent higher than usual.

[00:44:22.880] – Ned
Wow. That’s that to me that’s shocking because I would have thought because the employers can select from a much larger pool the laws of supply and demand would say, well, they can now pay less because they have such a broader range of the good talent.

[00:44:38.180] – Taylor
Let’s face it, let’s be honest. The good talent that most of the companies are trying to go after is still limited.

[00:44:44.270] – Ned
Right. Right.

[00:44:45.110] – Taylor
Right. I mean, like for me. So I had Josh Cypher, he’s the QA engineering manager at WebFlow, and he hopped on my on my live show with me. And we were talking about how, like, they had pay bands and they’re evaluating getting rid of pay bands because now they want to pay somebody in Montana this rate.

[00:45:06.500] But then Amazon’s coming in and paying that person in Montana, San Francisco money instead of Montana money. And so they’re losing people because there’s no pay bands for some of these larger clients. It’s just a fascinating world right now. I mean, it is it is the Wild West. I mean, I’ve had three or four people just peace out on me on contract just just because, they either didn’t work. And they just their performance was bad because candidates know that they don’t live in that city. They don’t have to worry about their reputation or they can just bounce on a project because for a variety of reasons.

[00:45:47.120] – Ethan
Taylor, give us some more red flags of recruiters you shouldn’t work with. You give us a couple earlier. One was, I’m not going to meet with you on Zoom, nah. And another one was if the recruiter doesn’t have a lot of experience with the client they represent and that’s kind of a red flag. Any more?

[00:46:03.370] – Taylor
I mean, those are the big ones, I mean, I check the references tab on LinkedIn, while that isn’t huge, I think I think it does help, right. I mean, if you have a recruiter that’s got 20 recommendations versus like zero, like, that’s like that’s a huge difference. And that’s that’s really important that’s not a must. I think the big thing is to is just like vibe. Right. Like like how are you vibing with that recruiter or are they like, Hello, Mr. Ethan Banks. Or is it like this, or is it just a hangout?

[00:46:33.820] Because I think a lot of times people are like, how do I judge a recruiter? I think you do it by the Zoom. I think you do it just by the other things I’ve talked about. But I think you also just has to be by feel, right, because this person could technically be with you your entire career. But I have had people that I’ve worked with 10 years ago still reach out to me.

[00:46:55.300] – Ned
I think that actually leads me into the last question I had, which…

[00:46:58.390] – Taylor
I love it.

[00:46:59.570] – Ned
You know, is the recruiter relationship useful after I got my dream job? Like, do you stay in contact with those that you’ve placed that you think, no that’s their forever career, they’re going to be there for the next 20 years. So does it make sense to even keep talking to a recruiter or keep talking to that person?

[00:47:15.250] – Taylor
I mean, let’s face it, no one stays at companies for 20 years anymore, right? I mean, it’s not it’s not a thing. And so and so I think having that in the back of your mind, I mean, I think, you know, I tell my recruiters team, my recruiting team is fairly young and they a lot of them get upset when they lose a good candidate because they care about the candidate. They want to place the candidate. They’ve built the relationship and the candidate goes bye-bye. Right. But I tell them, I’m like, listen, you did, you laid the groundwork.

[00:47:42.460] You laid the foundation of a relationship that’s going to last you in 10 years, for 10 years, where you may not get them this round. You may not even get them to second or third round, but you may get them the fourth time they’re looking. And then they’re an engineering manager and they need 10 people. Right. And so that’s that’s where you have to start really kind of thinking like, hey, listen, as a recruiter. We can be individuals to advocate for their entire career from here on out, because let’s face it right, let’s say Ned, you and I work together, I place you, or you found a job on your own, but you’re still open to part time work.

[00:48:18.780] I get part time work. I can send you part time work. Right. And so that’s where that candidate. I tweeted this the other day. I said I said, I truly think a recruiter can be a cheat code for your career. A good recruiter can be a cheat code for your career.

[00:48:34.070] – Ned
It’s very different from the way that I typically review, like regard the recruiting community, and it’s because I’ve had so much negative interaction with them throwing jobs at me for that cold fusion thing from 20 years ago or whatever it is.

[00:48:50.910] But it does it changes the mindset a little bit. If you do find that person who’s going to be not a recruiter and maybe that’s the problem. What they really need to be is a career advocate.

[00:49:01.740] – Taylor
That’s why I changed my title. Yeah, recruiter advocate, right, I mean, I think I think we need to be your advocate, I think recruiters need to do better. I think we need to be people’s advocate now and in the future.

[00:49:13.890] And the great quote of Gary Vaynerchuk, right? “Doing the right thing is always the right thing.” And I think for me, I think as a recruiter, I think treating people with respect, I think treating people with the way they want to be treated is is the only way to do it.

[00:49:33.410] – Ned
That’s a great note to ride out on, so if people want to get in touch with you, I know you’ve dropped a few things here and there. Let’s let’s summarize at the end. Where should they go out and find you Taylor?

[00:49:43.040] – Taylor
The easiest way. And then and then you can find all the other resources the easiest way. Follow me on Twitter. That’s where I play the most of my day on at tdesseyn. And then also connect with me on LinkedIn. First name, last name. And there’s, I have a bunch of other resources, but those are the two main places.

[00:50:02.960] – Ned
Fantastic. Taylor, thank you so much for being a guest today on Day Two Cloud.

[00:50:06.830] – Taylor
Absolutely. Thanks, guys. Appreciate it.

[00:50:09.000] – Ned
All right, we want to thank Taylor for being a guest, and we also want to thank you people out there on the Internet, virtual high fives to you for tuning in. You know, if you have suggestions for future shows, we’d really love to hear them. Your voice matters. So hit either of us up on Twitter at Day Two Cloud show. Or you can fill out the form on my fancy website, Ned in the cloud dot com.

[00:50:30.060] Hey, hey. Vendors out there, if you’ve got a way cool cloud product you want to share with our audience of IT professionals, why not become a Day Two Cloud sponsor? You’ll reach several thousand listeners, all of whom have problems to solve. Maybe, just maybe, your product fixes their problem. But we’ll never know unless you tell them about your amazing solution. You can find out more at packet pusher’s dot net sponsorship. Until next time. Just remember, cloud is what happens while IT is making other plans.

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