Have you ever gotten so many resumes for a job listing that you could only give each one a 6-second glance before deciding whether to dismiss it or not?
That’s about the same attention span engineers have for your company, as well as your job description today, simply because they get hit up with so many different opportunities.
Last week, I discussed why engineers no longer work for a paycheck.
It takes more than just a traditional job posting to convince one of these precious resources to leave their current job and join your team.
That means you better give them a darn good reason to keep reading. From the very beginning you need to hook them in to keep them interested.
So what is required?
A great story. A strong mission. A why.
Luckily, I’m here to help you showcase just that to potential hires.
Below are the five things I believe you must do well to attract a talented engineer in today’s job market. And yes, they are also crucial to landing any top hire.
Oh, yeah - and none of them require you to call a recruiter.
1) Have A Well-Defined Mission Statement
How are you changing the world? How are you solving a difficult problem?
As humans, we’re programmed to want to be part of something bigger than ourselves. We want to be part of an incredible team working towards a mission we believe in.
Long gone are the mission statements of the past, which were long jargon-filled paragraphs, drawn up only as a procedural necessity and then stuffed into a file cabinet.
I challenge you to make sure you have what I call a “dust-free mission statement.”
This mission statement is one sentence - two at the most. It outlines why you’re doing what you’re doing and it’s what convinces others to come work with you.
Dwolla’s mission is to allow anyone (or anything) connected to the internet to move money quickly, safely and at the lowest possible cost.
Red Frog Events is on a mission to create more fun in the world.
Facebook is determined to make the world a more open, connected place.
Dust-free mission statements give teams something to rally around - and give potential hires something to get excited about.
2) Craft A Vision-Lead Job Description
Think salary alone is going to sway a potential hire to join your team?
Think a dev really cares what you need until they buy into your vision?
STOP leading with the salary and qualifications when posting a job.
That’s like sitting down at a first date and leading with your relationship requirements and the ideal day you’d like to get married. You just don’t do it.
Instead, lead with what makes you great as a company. And no, I don’t mean your after-work happy hour and ping pong table.
I mean lead with your vision.
What amazing things have you accomplished in the last three months? What’s on the road map for the next year? How is building out this incredible product going to change the world? Make someone happier? Solve a problem?
And no, you don’t have to be Charity:Water to have an incredible vision.
Look at Square. They started with the simple idea: that everyone should be able to accept credit cards. We’re talking about e-commerce. Not so sexy, right?
Wrong. Square is passionate about the accessibility of payment because they believe in helping small businesses all over the world thrive. The work they do helps people make a livelihood. Pretty cool - yeah?
Why are you doing what you do? That is what you need to lead with.
3) Describe Your Work Environment
Humans are creatures of habit. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve talked to job seekers who haven’t changed jobs because they’re not sure what a new work environment will be like.
What hours do employees work? How many people are on the team? What management style is pervasive? Can I work from home? Can I bring my dog in with me?
Trust me, I can go on for days.
Your potential employees want the answers to these questions.
Sure, you may think these things can be saved for the interview rounds. However, when you’re competing for top talent, they may often dismiss you before even making it that far.
Being transparent about your work environment (in as much detail as possible) is one great way to keep top prospects interested in learning more.
4) Get Visual
Any great story paints a picture. Or, as any child could attest, comes complete with something to help you visualize what you’re being told.
The same is true when telling your company story. It’s one thing to explain your work environment to people - and yet another thing to show them.
Not sure what to share? Pictures of your space, team, events and awards can all help paint a picture about what’s important to you and your team.
Want to go one step further? Make a video. It’s one great way to tell your company story in an engaging compact way. Just make sure to keep it shorter than 3-minutes.
Here is a great example from Square (an exception since it is longer than 3-minutes):
Work at Square: Engineering from Square on Vimeo.
5) Cater to Your Audience
The best way to connect with any audience is to speak their language.
Are you trying to make your first technical hire? Make sure to ask an engineer to read your post before sending it out. He or she may have some great advice on how to better tailor it to the engineering community.
Adding to your dev team? Ask your CTO to draft the post. Or sit down with her and ask what drew her to the company and what she loves most about working with your team.
Nothing makes an offer more enticing than hearing from someone else on the team who you can tell truly loves their job.
Hopefully these tips will help you think more about your employment brand and how the development community will dissect your job listings.
Take the time to tell your company story well and I promise you will find candidates who not only have the right skills, but are a culture fit as well.
Ready to find a great developer for your team? We’re here to help.
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