The problem with most recruiting is it is reactionary. Now is not a good time to be reactionary. Now is a good time to be human and start relationships with tech people as a recruiter...
It’s difficult to build real relationships with people when the priority is reacting to a client’s needs (rather than the candidates needs).
You can however react to business needs from clients by directing them to people you have a relationship with and that those particular needs would be of interest to.
Right now, for tech specifically, it's a “buyers market” -- the candidates have more options than ever before and they're hyper aware of this fact. It’s too difficult now to approach and engage tech people based on your “clients opportunities”. They generally just don’t care. They have too many opportunities at their disposal.
Tech people do however understand the value of a professional recruiter with real relationships. Someone who spends their time really getting to know people - their interests, goals, and needs. Developers understand the value of that person’s network to them.
When I was starting out in tech recruiting I used to tell developers I wanted to meet with “I assure you I wont pitch you any job, I just want to start a relationship and learn about what future jobs might be interesting to you. I want to learn what your dream job is and take the job order from you. I’ll only call you back if I earn it by finding what you explicitly told me you’d be interested in.”
When you’re reacting to the needs of clients rather than talent, tech people can smell it a mile away. And they want nothing to do with it.
Real relationships - a real network of people unique to the person who built it - that is something techies are significantly more open to being part of.
Now is a wonderful time to change your ways and start prioritizing the needs of the talent, the buyers.
Now is a wonderful time to be human and start building real relationships with the tech industry instead of brainlessly cranking out spam.
As a recruiter, most of your conversations with candidates take place when that candidate is not at work. Nobody in tech is currently at work. Tech folks are all at home right now.
I would imagine a lot of people might be more grateful than normal to be receiving interest from recruiters wanting to get to know them. Everyone likes a backup plan amongst so much economic uncertainty.
Be human. Check in on people. See how you can help them. Put whatever you’re selling aside and put being a good human as your first priority. Think about how you can add value right now without expecting anything in return. It’s one thing currently in our control.