How to become a technical recruiter

How to Become a Technical Recruiter: Insight from a Meta Recruiter

How do you become a technical recruiter? And how do you be a good technical recruiter? For many, breaking into the world of big tech is a lifelong dream. We recently spoke to Martin Ngo, who spent over five years as a senior technical recruiter for Meta, who offered insights into how to become a technical recruiter.

Martin also appeared at our Virtual Summit with Brett Terpstra of Oracle, Laura McClellan of The Productive Woman podcast, and Ty Schalamon of SketchUp to share how he used TextExpander to maximize his productivity at Meta.

How to become a recruiter with no experience

After earning a BS in business management from San Jose University, a BA in political science from California State University – East Bay, and a MA in American Government and Politics and Comparative Politics from San Francisco State University in 2013—Martin spent four years at Starbucks as a store manager.

“I enjoyed the operations of things and the fast-paced environment,” Martin says. “But the heart of it, I enjoyed listening to the customers’ journeys and stories every time they would enter the doors,” he adds.

But Martin was looking for a new challenge and learned about Meta’s Sourcer Development Program, which is a 12-month bootcamp that teaches you how to become a technical recruiter. Meta offers a range of career pathway programs for people from all walks of life

“So I just applied, interviewed, and I was surprisingly glad that I got welcomed into that program,” Martin says.

“I found some great leaders, some great folks who helped me understand the wheelhouse of recruiting, and I was able to pick up on the opportunities. I think that’s where my experience from Starbucks came in. I was looking for opportunity gaps and how to close those gaps,” Martin says.

Outside of finding a similar program, what is Martin’s advice on how to become a recruiter?

“The first step before they even apply to a recruiting role is to speak to recruiters,” Martin says.

Martin has spoken to many who want to pivot into recruiting only to find that he’s the first recruiter they’ve spoken with.

He also recommends the Wonsulting YouTube channel for job seekers. “They’re essentially career consultants for people who want to break into tech or pivot their career,” Martin says.

Read more of Martin’s tips on how to get hired, including how to choose the right keywords for your LinkedIn profile, why a personal blog is important for job seekers, and why resumes are still important to recruiters.

How to be a good technical recruiter

What are the skills and attributes that make for a good technical recruiter? Martin lists the following skills that transferred from Starbucks:

  • The ability to handle and manage ambiguity
  • Collaboration
  • High emotional intelligence (EQ)
  • Being able to give and receive feedback

Martin also says it’s important to be a self-driven person who is actively seeking opportunities for growth. Those apply to any type of recruiting. As for how to become a technical recruiter, you need also to have an aptitude for technology, both to understand the requirements of the hiring manager and to properly gauge potential candidates.

Strong negotiation skills are also important for hashing out salary and compensation packages for candidates. While these are largely set by the company, there are details you may have to work out with the candidate, especially for candidates in high demand.

As for the day-to-day job—while many say that recruiting is repetitive, Martin doesn’t necessarily agree.

“Every recruiter is different, every relationship with hiring managers, recruiting partners, and candidates is also nuanced and different as well,” Martin says.

Most of Martin’s recruiting was outbound, so he would spend much of his day contacting potential candidates, and gaining an understanding of their history and experience. Martin would then collaborate with hiring managers, presenting them with a slate of candidates to find out if they were the right fit for Meta.

Martin also performed pre-screening calls with candidates to gain an understanding of their experience, motivations, and how well they align to the role.

“I think the biggest piece was formulating those relationships and building this trust with these candidates,” Martin says.

One tool that Martin found invaluable at Meta was TextExpander.

“When your goal is to reach out to 50 to 70 people per week, manually typing that is just going to take a lot of work, labor, and time. And I would use TextExpander to draft these general templates and then just spend a minimum amount of time tweaking those minor things to make it more tailored,” Martin says.

Read more on recruiting tools used by Amazon and Meta, including TextExpander. Try it yourself with a 30-day free trial and discover what TextExpander can do to make recruiting easier. Individual plans start at just $3.33 per month, and team-based pricing starts as low as $8.33 per user per month.

How much do technical recruiters make?

How much you can make as a technical recruiter depends on your location and experience. According to Glassdoor, here are the averages in the United States for technical recruiter roles:

  • Technical Recruiter: $85,602
  • Technical Recruiter II: $107,718
  • Senior Technical Recruiter: $132,345

Again, your compensation will vary depending on your location and these are just national averages.

How to become a certified recruiter

One way you can boost your chances of breaking into technical recruiting is by earning a certification that proves to employers that you know the process and are willing to put in the work to learn it.

There are several organizations that offer certification programs, including:

More on how to become a technical recruiter

Check out these articles for more tips on becoming a technical recruiter: