5 Tips for Hiring Developers Faster
What are some of the best approaches large and small tech companies alike can have to gain a recruiting advantage.
Founder and CTO
Hopefully, so far we’ve given a decent overview of how technology can and does power talent acquisition in the tech industry. Given the sheer number of open positions that need to be filled by a comparatively small crop of candidates, things like RMA represent some of the best opportunities large and small tech companies alike have for gaining a recruiting advantage. Of course, the trouble always seems to come when it’s time to put theory into practice. Sure, you need to define a strong EVP and use social channels to promote it—but how, exactly, do you turn that directly into high-quality hires? For instance, we saw above with UiPath the importance of landing pages designed for conversions.
Here are a few more general tips for turning hiring better developers, faster:
1. HIRE DEVELOPERS SLOWER
Okay, we know that this is absolutely not what anyone was hoping to
see at the top of this list. But it’s important to emphasize right off the
bat that just because something will increase hiring velocity doesn’t
mean that it will be good for your business in the long run. Even with
a robust recruitment marketing strategy, many companies find that
some of their best hires still come in the form of employee referrals. In
this way, hiring talented programmers often leads to more talented
programmers joining your company while hiring B- or C-level talent
just to fill seats leads to more B- and C-level talent coming aboard until your company is mostly low-quality hires—an outcome that is
obviously anathema to growth and success as a business.
Paradoxically, taking a slow, deliberate approach to your first few
hires can help to pave the way for much faster higher later on. How?
By helping your business to build a strong foundation not just for
sourcing candidates via employee referrals, but for projecting a
robust employer brand centered around a strong culture of learning
and success. Obviously, framed this way, this advice is particularly
pertinent to growing tech companies, but larger industry players still
face the same balancing act.
2. UTILIZE NICHE PLATFORMS
What’s the best way to get an employer brand out there so that it
reaches the right people and entices them to apply? Go where your
candidates are. For many industries and many individual positions, we
recommend using sites like Facebook because of their sheer volume
of users. But when it comes to hiring skilled workers in comparatively
niche fields, you often have to get a little more creative.
For developers in particular, you might try posting job ads and
disseminating your employer brand on platforms like Reddit and
Stack Overflow. By going where your ideal candidates already
spend their time, you'll increase the likelihood that they will encounter
your brand, self-identify as a potential culture fit, and enter your
application stream. If you roll out strong employer branding efforts
across other channels (like social media) that are frequented by active
and passive job seekers alike, you can reach individuals who already
have jobs, but who may be willing to switch if they were presented
with the right offer. By increasing the reach of your messaging in this
way, you can source more candidates more quickly than you could
with traditional recruitment marketing channels.
3. BUILD A STRONG TALENT PIPELINE
You can think of this one as something of a corollary to the tip above,
but a constant stream of messaging targeted at your key recruitment
demographics through non-traditional channels should, in addition
to creating better employer brand recognition, help you to build a
deeper talent pipeline.
As the reach of your employer brand increases, the number of candidates who are waiting for the right moment to apply will increase as well, meaning that for each new position that opens up at your company there will be an immediate influx of quality applicants. In this way, you can greatly reduce the amount of time you spend sourcing, and thus improve your hiring velocity.
For this tactic to be effective, however, you need to have all of the
necessary elements of a strong pipeline in place. This means that
prospective candidates who have an interest in your company but
aren’t ready to apply need a way to stay in touch, whether that’s
through a newsletter signup or a dedicated careers social media
page. Once these people express an interest, nurture them with
employer branded content as if they were marketing leads.
4. BE HONEST
This last suggestion may not seem like a “tip” per se, but when companies are competing with the Googles and Microsofts of the world for top engineering talent, their recruiters can often feel considerable pressure to offer a similar employee value proposition (EVP) to the ones offered by the tech behemoths of the world: swanky office spaces, free lunches, high salaries, etc. Here’s the thing: if you’re a smaller company, that’s actually a selling point for plenty of candidates. Sure, your business might not be able to offer all of the cushy perks that Google can, but if you’re honest about what you are offering, you’ll be more successful at attracting the sorts of people who look for the more nimble, dynamic, and rewarding work environments that only smaller businesses can provide.
And this swings both ways. Often, established tech giants try to market themselves as scrappy startups in order to attract younger talent, even though they really can’t provide the same things that 6 person company run out of a Palo Alto garage can.
In either case, being clear and forthright will help the right candidates make their way to you faster. As a result, you’ll spend less time sifting through unsuitable applications and interviewing potential hires who will ultimately accept an offer somewhere else. In recruiting, as in life, honesty is usually the best policy. Combined with a strong recruitment funnel grounded in a robust employer brand, it can make your recruitment more efficient at every touchpoint.