June 21, 2018

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What are the best methods for recruiting software engineers today?

Probably the most important thing you can do is to have an awesome product to work on and an awesome environment to work in. If you don't have that and are looking for the best people, your recruiting efforts are going to be dead in the water. That said, here are a few specific things you can do/avoid doing.

Do not spam people, and go beyond playing buzzword bingo. If the information is available, take the time to figure out what they're working on. If you are unable to do so because of lack of technical background, get someone who has the background to help you. Once you have an idea of what kinds of projects someone finds interesting or what their goals are, ask yourself if your offering is in line with these projects and goals. If it is, contact them and explain why they might be interested in working for you. If not, then move on.

Do not go after pedigree alone. Value initiative/auto-didactic pursuits. Some of the best engineers I've interviewed and/or hired didn't have CS degrees and picked up stuff on their own or through resources like Udacity and Coursera.

Use job boards wisely. Sure, job boards aren't necessarily the best way to find talent, but some boards are better than others (Hacker News' monthly "whoishiring" post is particularly great). To make the most of them, make sure that your job ads are written by people who are 1) excited about what they do at your company and 2) have a good understanding of what the actual job entails. In general, when people are looking for work, they're looking for some combination of these 3 factors (in no particular order):

-Will I be proud to have worked at this company?

-Will I be working on interesting and fulfilling stuff? (Fulfillment can take the shape of product ownership, quantifiable sense of impact, etc.)

- Will I be working with the best and smartest people?

You should make sure that any job ad copy you post speaks to all 3 of these things in some way. The same goes for any of your sourcing efforts.

Author: David H

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