How to Hire Great Developers

April 6th, 2011
[ Geek ]

Please stop asking me to find developers for you. Yes it takes work. No it isn’t easy. Yes it can be done. No it isn’t accomplished with expensive recruiters, job boards and reading mountains of resumes (or at least I can’t personally afford the cash and time those paths require).

Ben always talks about how recruiting is now about building a magnet. You need to draw people in. Love that! I’d add another simple one, you have to get out of your office!! No one cares about your company and your product so while I love the ‘build a magnet’ model, it’s rarely done well. A simpler approach is to just get out of your office and start interacting with the existing community. If you aren’t the person to do it then hire someone or encourage a developer you currently work with.

A few real examples?

I can guarantee you Leila and Corey are hiring some of the best developers we have in Canada. How? They not only get out of their office, they get out and create real things like HackDays for developers.

No, they didn’t create HackDays with the sole intent of building a hiring pipeline but that’s besides the point. They are creating meaningful ways to contribute to developers. They’re not just participating, they’re creating. Start by giving before you worry about taking. You’re owed nothing simply because you can pay someone a salary. Give, help create and support our talent and always work on giving, and creating, more talent than you take. Obviously we can’t all create something like HackDays but you can sponsor an event or ask a local organizer what you can do to help them with their event.

Another example of late? I’m amazed that we didn’t have a lineup of local employers loitering around ThreeFortyNine coworking while The Guelph Seven were here. Here you have seven local students skipping school and organizing themselves to build seven applications in seven days. The same employers who aren’t showing up to mingle with these guys are busy paying to post jobs to job boards so they can read fictional resumes. I could care less if any of the Guelph Seven ever write a decent resume, I’d jump at a chance to hire any of them.

Things have changed folks. Stop reading resumes. Start getting involved, give more than you take. As Howard Lindzon says foreplay, foreplay, foreplay!