Over the years I’ve developed my own approach of Developer Marketing – this article will give you some insights on how to increase your likelihood to find relevant talents to power the growth of your company.
As a Tech Evangelist, I’m in touch with a lot of companies and there’s one single question I get all the time: Where do I find tech talents?
I generally ask them, what are the current strategy they use. Most of the time the answer is the same: We are posting our job ads on multiple job boards, on our website or we approach developers directly or through a recruiter. We get some applications, but the quality of applicants is generally quite low.
Every year StackOverflow run the Developer Survey Insights, asking developers a variety of questions, from their technology stack to their current employment. Last year this survey was answered by 64000 developers all around the world, and the answers are staggering:
- Among professional developers, only 1.3% are not employed and looking for work.
- Only 13,1% are actively looking for a job.
- The most common way developers found their most recent job was thanks to a friend, family member or former colleague. StackOverflow to conclude: Networking matters.
Needless to say, the times where you’d post your job on Monster.com and get quality applicants are over.
You need to rethink how to approach developers in a novel way. Pretty much as you’d do if you’d launch a product. Over the last few years, I’ve invested a lot of energy in defining what a good Developer Marketing approach could be.
One would be totally delusional to think that you can sell a product through banner ads or cold calling these days. Instead, you need to create a story which resonates with people. You need to indirectly appeal to their needs. Nike is not selling shoes. They’re selling the story of pushing your own limits and to become a better version of yourself. “Just Do It”.
Developers have a unique position in today’s market. They are sought-after and have a lot of options when it comes to seeking their next professional challenge. They are increasingly becoming immune to traditional recruiting approaches. Most of the time the will ignore recruiters emails or LinkedIn invites, and avoid the usual recruiting booth at conferences.
It’s time to rethink your approach and to care about what they care about. Community, intellectual challenge, curiosity and thirst to share and acquire new knowledge.
Now back to our original question: How can you use Meetup.com to close in on tech talents?
Developers always exhibited a high sense of community around the topics they care about. From contributing to forums to asking and answering questions on StackOverflow, to… in-person meetups.
Meetups are community gathering meant for people to exchange knowledge, and also meet interesting like-minded fellows. Meetups are the perfect way to build a community around your company and get people interested in what you do, and to start building your own “tech brand”.
As a tech evangelist, I’ve organized and hosted more than 200 tech events, so here is my cheat sheet to attract talents at your meetups.
What you SHOULD do at a Meetup:
- Share your knowledge and learn from others.
- Offer a safe space where people can interact and learn from each others.
- Involve the community. It’s not about you, but about them.
- Be authentic and humble.
What you SHOULD NOT do at a Meetup:
- Company presentations – it’s boring to everyone. That’s the first thing I killed when I arrived at Stylight.
- We are hiring! Yes, everyone is hiring engineers these days.
- Be direct or pushy: Don’t approach people with hiring in mind – ask how you can help them. Ask people to come and talk to you if they have questions or need insights on the company.
Furthermore, keep in mind the following:
- There’s no silver bullet. It takes dedication and time to build a presence in the community.
- Pay it forward – the more you’re willing to give and contribute to the community, the more you’ll get back in return.
- Don’t be greedy. If someone does not fit your current open positions, offer to introduce an introduction to someone you know who could be interested in their profile.
My final words: every company who’s serious about hiring talents should have a meetup group, and starts building its own community.Curious about how to get started? Check out these other articles: