This is the time to be unpredictable and human

Christian Heilmann
5 min readMar 28, 2023
A scene from Star Trek’s original series where the crew acts as random as possible to confuse a bunch of Androids who abducted them and held them as prisoners.

I was just about to write a blog post on my current experiences in trying to find a new job. I wanted to write about the frustrations and how it feels ridiculous that developers and recruiters aren’t best friends. And then I remembered that Microsoft Edge now comes with a HUGE Bing icon that promised ChatGPT functionality right in the browser.

So I pressed the b, went to the “Compose” tab, entered “Developers and Recruiters should be friends”, selected “professional”, “blog post” and “medium length” and this is what came out of it:

Developers and Recruiters should be friends

If you are a developer, you might have a love-hate relationship with recruiters. On one hand, they can help you find your dream job and negotiate a good salary. On the other hand, they can spam you with irrelevant offers and pressure you to accept a position that is not a good fit for you.

But what if I told you that developers and recruiters can actually be friends? That they can work together to achieve their mutual goals and benefit from each other’s expertise and network? That they can respect each other’s time and preferences and communicate effectively?

In this blog post, I will share some tips on how developers and recruiters can build a friendly and productive relationship that will help both parties succeed in their careers.

Tip #1: Be honest and transparent

One of the most important aspects of any relationship is honesty and transparency. Developers and recruiters should be honest and transparent about their expectations, skills, availability, interests, and feedback. This will help avoid misunderstandings, frustration, and wasted time.

For example, if you are a developer, you should be honest and transparent about:

Your current employment status and notice period

Your salary expectations and benefits requirements

Your preferred location, work environment, and company culture

Your technical skills, experience level, and portfolio

Your career goals and learning objectives

Your feedback on the job opportunities and interviews

Similarly, if you are a recruiter, you should be honest and transparent about:

The details of the job opportunity and the hiring process

The salary range and benefits package

The company’s mission, vision, values, and culture

The expectations and responsibilities of the role

The feedback from the hiring manager and the next steps

Tip #2: Be respectful and professional

Another key aspect of any relationship is respect and professionalism. Developers and recruiters should treat each other with respect and professionalism at all times. This means being courteous, polite, responsive, punctual, and constructive.

For example, if you are a developer, you should:

Respond to the recruiter’s messages in a timely manner

Inform the recruiter if you are no longer interested in the job opportunity or if you have accepted another offer

Show up for the interviews on time and prepared

Thank the recruiter for their time and effort

Provide constructive feedback on the job opportunity and the hiring process

Similarly, if you are a recruiter, you should:

Respect the developer’s time and availability

Tailor your messages to the developer’s profile and preferences

Provide clear and accurate information on the job opportunity and the hiring process

Follow up with the developer after each interview stage

Provide constructive feedback on the developer’s performance and potential

Tip #3: Be helpful and supportive

The final aspect of any relationship is helpfulness and supportiveness. Developers and recruiters should help and support each other in achieving their goals. This means sharing useful resources, advice, tips, referrals, recommendations, and encouragement.

For example, if you are a developer, you can:

Ask the recruiter for tips on how to prepare for the interviews

Share your portfolio or GitHub profile with the recruiter

Refer other developers who might be interested in the job opportunity

Recommend the recruiter to your network or leave a positive review on their profile

Congratulate the recruiter if you get hired or wish them good luck if you don’t

Similarly, if you are a recruiter, you can:

Provide the developer with relevant information on the company and the role

Share your insights on the market trends and salary expectations

Introduce the developer to other hiring managers or recruiters who might have suitable opportunities

Recommend the developer to your network or leave a positive review on their profile

Congratulate the developer if they get hired or wish them good luck if they don’t

Conclusion

Developers and recruiters should be friends. They should be honest and transparent, respectful and professional, helpful and supportive. By following these tips, developers and recruiters can build a friendly and productive relationship that will benefit both parties in their careers.

Isn’t this bonkers? It is well written, it gives really good advice, it even feels like it is written by someone with lots of experience and empathy for both sides of the argument. And it is well structured in headings and lists to be accessible (albeit probably not here as I put a blockquote around it) and SEO optimised. Sure, there is some repetition that betrays its origin, but with a bit of editing, you could have an article that looks good, feels great and is generic enough not to annoy anyone.

And that is the issue, isn’t it? When I started blogging in 2005, my blog was a scratchpad. I learned something, and I wanted to write it down so that I don’t forget it. It was messy, it was at times plain wrong (but at the time OK) and I didn’t give a damn about its SEO. I always made sure I do the most I can to be accessible, but all my Google juice came by accident and word of mouth.

What does that mean for people who want to start writing and having their place on the web now? Personally, I think if you try to optimise for search engines or social share-ability you’re in for a lot of frustration. Or you can do what I did and let the machine do the work. Black hat SEO (and those with a dirty grey hat) have been content farming for years and generating nonsense articles full of links and keywords. Some of that was automated, but now the floodgates are open and anyone could create a clever sounding blog or even online magazine with a few clicks.

Instead, I think this is a great time to be, well, human. To write what you want to. To admit to your errors. To show what excites you and why and not write a “7 ways to use XYZ to boost your ABC”. I’ve been around this for a long time, and the people I do remember, still follow and keep telling others about are those who allow themselves to be a person, and not a “content creator”.

Shine on, you fabulous whateverthehellyouare !

--

--