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Current Blog Post                                                                                                         January 2013

by Brian Samson

Recruiting is a Marketing Problem


We all know how hard it is to find top engineering talent in the Bay Area these days. Large companies to early-staged startups have tackled this problem with enthusiasm by hiring armies of internal headhunters, researchers, and sourcers.

The goal of recruiting talent is to identify and engage superstar engineers and convince them through a full-court press to join your organization. This entails a vast amount of effort. One of the primary tools used is Linkedin, which serves a great purpose but has limitations:

  • A recruiter needs to send out a ton of Inmails just to get a few responses. Inmails are expensive. Recruiters only get a 10-20% response rate.
  • Most engineers avoid Linkedin like the plague. For them, it just doesn’t provide much value and certainly fills up their inboxes fast with recruiting emails.

So if you’re a savvy recruiter and you want to attract top engineering talent, what do you do?

The answer is to focus on employment branding and marketing as much as you do on sourcing.
Building a great brand by using resources such as video job descriptions, hosting meetups at your office, getting your engineering leaders known in the community, incorporating an aggressive referral policy, and having an amazing candidate experience.

The candidate experience provides the perfect blend of a challenging interview process and treating candidates like gold... whether they receive the offer or not. Word gets out fast if you want a positive reputation in the marketplace. Most startups don’t have a reputation. Most big companies have reputations, whether they are positive or negative. The key is to build a great employment brand and reputation amongst the Bay Area engineering community.

By building an outstanding brand, great candidates know where to go when they’re ready for a change, leaving you with a pipeline of active and interested candidates. This combined with sourcing passive candidates will keep your hiring managers busy and most importantly, happy!

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