The Surprising Habits of a Highly Effective Recruiter

Careers Team

Steve Rose was our first tech recruiter nearly four years ago. He has since transitioned from hiring for all engineering roles to focusing solely on data positions. The senior technical recruiter tells us what makes a great candidate experience and shares his highly effective habits for attracting and signing top talent.


As a senior technical recruiter, how has your job changed since shifting to hiring only for data positions?

A strong data scientist, engineer, or analyst will likely be fiercely fought over by multiple companies, adding to the difficulty of making quick hires. Each role comes with its own set of hiring challenges, and data is no different. In terms of sheer numbers, the market for data hires is relatively small, with a limited pool of world-class candidates to choose from.

With data roles, success with external agencies is limited, and we can’t rely solely on referrals. This places an emphasis on our sourcing plan and sourcing our own candidates. Compared to when I was only hiring engineers, I now spend more time with candidates than I used to. In such a tight market, small percentages can make all the difference.

When hiring for data roles, I ask myself, how can our company stand out from the competition? The candidates and I discuss at great length what’s important to them and whether or not we’re meeting these concerns or any other unanswered questions.

My secret to closing notoriously tough data roles is by offering an incredible candidate experience end-to-end.

Then, I make sure the hiring team is fully briefed on all the information I gather from the candidate. I also give candidates the chance to shadow a senior member of the team during their onsite interview day. The candidate feedback I’ve received on this experience is excellent.

You might also be interested in the article: Prepping for a data scientist interview? Ask yourself these questions to stand out

What’s your secret to filling challenging data roles?

Despite the pressure, I’ve received feedback from our candidate surveys that I’ve provided one of the best recruiting experiences of the candidate’s careers. My secret to closing notoriously tough data roles is by offering an incredible candidate experience end-to-end.

To do this, I maintain close communication with candidates and try to make their experience as personal as possible. Touchpoints include regular detailed feedback calls, in-depth pre and post onsite interview calls, and so on. I make myself available as often as possible and move the process along as quickly as I can.

As a whole, the interview feedback we provide is thorough. It’s very detailed and also contains a critique, even if a candidate performs brilliantly. Candidates appreciate this transparency and that it arrives promptly, typically 24-72 hours following an interview.

The key, though, is to find out from the very beginning what the most important things are for a candidate and then to honestly judge if we can cater to those needs.

I spend the majority of my time with candidates covering these topics. As they progress through the different stages, it is essential to consistently ask whether or not they feel their most important needs are being met, and if not, address why.

I will also leave all onsite interviewers briefing notes just before the onsite day so that they are all fully aware of what’s essential to the candidate. The ultimate aim is for a candidate to arrive at the end of our process crystal clear on absolutely everything and excited to accept an offer.  

Can you give us five habits or tips of a highly effective technical recruiter?

  1. Be resilient. Our bar is very high, which can make it challenging to hire at times.
  2. Leverage data. Our product is data-driven and talent acquisition is no different.
  3. Be proactive. Don’t wait to be told to start. If you have a particular interest in something or identified a project you want to start, go for it. You own your personal development and growth.
  4. See the business as a whole. Develop effective stakeholder management. As mentioned earlier, we are equal partners with the company, meaning you will be strategizing, a lot.
  5. Get your bearings in the office. I mean that physically. Our Berlin office space is a maze. You may get lost while showing around a candidate.

What are the challenges and opportunities in technical recruitment?

Recruiters joining GetYourGuide must quickly adapt to our high bar for candidates on both the tech and business side alike. We place as big an emphasis on cultural core values as we do on technical skills.

The upside of this is that a unique working culture has emerged. Here, you will work with some of the very best people and have ample opportunity to own topics that interest you.

Hiring teams within our company understand that having an incredible candidate experience is intrinsic to hiring great people. It’s refreshing that this is natural to everyone.

The downside of having such a high bar for candidates is that it sometimes takes a little more time than usual to find the right candidate. I prefer GetYourGuide’s quality-led approach ⁠— it’s certainly more of a nuanced challenge.

With challenges come rewards, and it’s incredibly rewarding to see the people I’ve helped hire, thrive, and contribute to our success and culture. It’s fantastic to hear them say that joining this team was the right decision.

How do you keep candidate experience front of mind, across the board?

I'm blessed to work with incredibly progressive hiring managers. They truly understand how recruitment works and understand its value — this makes my experience as a recruiter much simpler.

Hiring teams within our company understand that having an incredible candidate experience is intrinsic to hiring great people. It’s refreshing that this is natural to everyone.

Talent acquisition and hiring teams are equal partners. From my experience, hiring managers at GetYourGuide are in the trenches with the recruiters.

What are the secrets to career longevity in this field?

With nearly a decade of tech recruiting behind me, GetYourGuide keeps me interested in the field. I appreciate how the company integrates talent acquisition with the business strategy. The Talent Acquisition team is very much a part of the big picture — a mutual trust exists on both sides.

We treat our candidates as we would our customers. The buy-in for talent acquisition from the business side of hiring is strong, and it needs to be. If we don’t hire the volume according to our hiring plan, we won’t scale as fast as planned.

Putting the time in up front pays dividends later on.

I also thoroughly enjoy speaking with candidates, taking them on a journey from initial application to their first day in the office.

You have made some important hires through working with senior sourcer, Luisa Lo Monaco. What is it about working with an internal sourcer that has been key to these successes?

I have been working closely with Luisa for over a year on data roles. She has added so much value in that time. Firstly, we worked hard to get her knowledge up to speed on all the different data positions we hire for.

A ton of time was initially spent aligning on what makes a good profile, how to pitch a candidate, shadowing calls, meeting the data teams, recommended reading and so on.

Putting the time in up front pays dividends later on. Luisa was up to speed and showing results. As mentioned earlier, for all data roles it seems imperative to source. Having a healthy and consistent flow of candidates at the top of the funnel has been important.

I feel it’s also important for the sourcer to pitch some of their own candidates — I don’t think I would have the time to do them all myself. Again, we made sure we quickly aligned with shadowing and reverse shadowing pitch calls.

We are in constant communication, have weekly or biweekly one on one and Luisa is also involved in any relevant meetings I have with hiring managers, including our weekly syncs. Being very data-driven, she is able to quickly adjust her approach on a week to week basis and her help has been valuable.{{Divider}}

What are some things that are often overlooked in technical recruitment?

We have really strong recruiters here, but one thing everyone can always work on is knowing more about their candidates. I try to be sympathetic to the bigger picture, especially when recruiting globally: Are they relocating with their family? Do they own or rent? What is the real estate market like? If they quit their rental early, would they be charged a penalty?

This level of detail should apply to all areas when dealing with a candidate. With this information in mind, by the time I’ve completed the interview rounds, I can usually predict the chances of them accepting an offer.

Looking to the future

As we now embark on a massive growth push, I’m looking forward to continuing to scale by hiring world-class data talent.

Other articles from this series
No items found.

Featured roles

Marketing Executive
Full-time / Permanent
Marketing Executive
Full-time / Permanent
Marketing Executive
Full-time / Permanent

Join the journey.

Our 800+ strong team is changing the way millions experience the world, and you can help.

Keep up to date with the latest news

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.