This applies to Geoscientists in general, but my recruiting focus is on the petroleum side of things, so I will speak about my experiences there.
I recently had a conversation with a candidate for an area in which I don't usually recruit but I was trying to help a colleague out, so I gave it a go. It was actually a vertical in which I used to recruit but stopped.
After talking to this guy I realized why I had stopped recruiting in that vertical. Candidates there are often (not always) highly suspicious, unhelpful ,and have a "what's in it for me" attitude. Also, I can't really say I am fascinated by what they do. It can be interesting but most often it is not...to me, anyway. I finally got sick of it and went "all in" with the Petroleum Geosciences and the Technology folks who support the Applications/Systems they use. Part of this has to do with my degree in science. I enjoy the subject.
So, here it goes...
1. What they do is genuinely interesting.
How cool is it that they can target hydrocarbons often tens of thousands of feet below the surface of the earth....and actually find them!? One 35+ year Geologist described what he does as "skill mixed with a little bit of pixy dust". I love it.
2. They are down to earth. (Ha! pun intended)
Just like the 35+ year Geologist I referenced above. He is highly skilled. Highly successful. He could take all of the credit himself, but I love the humility of inserting "pixy dust" into the equation. You will find some arrogant ones, for sure, but most have a good sense of humor.
3. They are fellow beer lovers.
I have heard some great stories about field trips into the canyons and how creative some students could be in keeping their beer cool. Apparently, the professors can out-drink most students and still be the first up at 5:00 am to get everybody ready for the hike.
4. Fun loving.
They (it seems in all Geoscience disciplines) love to have fun and are adventurous. Hiking, kayaking, rock climbing...you name it, they are up for it. They also have the latest gadgets...GPS, the latest watch, the latest drone, 4-wheelers, hot rods, helicopters, planes, etc...
5. Yes is "Yes". No is "No".
When they tell you that they will, or will not do something, they are good for their word. Do you ever have a recruiter who calls you but won't tell you who the client is? Maddening. Recruiters in most industries don't share client information because the area in which they recruit has a preponderance of candidates who will absolutely try to circumvent them. Recruiters simply don't trust you not to go around them and apply for the role directly. In general, Geologists don't care to play games, and if you politely ask them not to apply directly, they won't if they say they won't. You can count on it. Or, they will flat out tell you that they have already applied...or know the VP very well to whom they had already planned to hand their resume to directly. This avoids a lot of pain and confusion.
6. Passionate about their work.
I have met few Petroleum Geoscientists who just "punch the clock" ...work 8-5 then leave. If you are not genuinely interested in what these folks know, then don't ask or you will be on the phone another 30 minutes (or more). They think what they do is super cool, and love to talk about it.
Whether or not they know you, if it is simple enough and they can, they will help you.
8. Cons of Recruiting Petroleum Geoscientists
Ok, so there is one "con" to recruiting Petroleum Geoscientists. They are generally satisfied with their roles so getting them to move is quite difficult...and more of a timing issue than anything else. Something has to change pretty dramatically to get them to move...children, commutes, new Management, impending lay-offs, significantly better compensation, etc...
By nature, Geologists are risk takers, but they are calculated risk takers. If you hope to get them to move, you had better be able to compare and contrast what they have to the new opportunity. They love a new challenge. What they are going to has to be significantly better, or more challenging, than where they are or they won't move.
You had better know what you are talking about, because if you don't, they will figure it out quickly and they will quickly become disengaged from the conversation.
Well, that's about it. If anyone has anything to add, I would love to hear it.