Where to find good hires??

by occamsrazory. Posted on Sep 09, 2020    2    11

We are a small tech business in nyc that has operated successfully for years with an amazing team of incredibly skilled lead developers and computer scientists. Since covid we have lost several of these employees due to personal reasons. We are in a desperate need to hire replacements (and more) and are encountering a hiring landscape like any other. Not only can we not seem to find enough skilled individuals we are inundated with applicants that have little to know related skills. We have ads posted at all the normal job sites for a company in our industry for these vacancies and have reached out to contacts for references to anyone that is qualified that might be interested (with or without an current job). We have hired a “tech” recruiter that (despite the ridiculous fee should we hire) clearly does not understand the attributes and skills we need and only sends us applicants based on key words it seems. We know that this is a difficult time but are having a hard time understanding how little the applicant pool is. Does anyone have any out of the box recommendations of where we can tap into or connect with a broader network of skilled workers? Typically we need a lot of experience post graduate work so for these roles advertising with the relevant universities really will likely yield little results. Short of just cold-call poaching has any other companies out there in the computing industry had luck with a specific recruiting method recently? Any ideas appreciated - thanks :)


nimble_fox 1

Consider outsourcing to a recruiting company! It's worked great for me in the past... you'll end up paying more though.

dealbuddy 1

Where are you posting

  occamsrazory 1

GitHub, Stack overflow, Angels list, hacker noon Dice, indeed, LinkedIn, ziprecruiter, ladders, crunch base and some other smaller feeder ones. Hired a recruiting firm (no success) any ideas on others?

semitic-simian 1

Oh one other thing. If you need someone with a lot of experience with a particular framework, a lot of times they have job boards or you can reach out to contributors.

dealbuddy 1

I’m looking. Lol.

  occamsrazory 1

Great idea - esp with contributors. As for instance with terraforming there are many contributors we haven’t directly reached out to. We can start looking at doing that more targeted skill based approach

JaySayMayday 1

I'm not sure about your budget but most modern business programs use this exact scenario to emphasize the benefits of automated software. Find a solution that has a tailored dashboard wherein all involved parties can track the recruitment process. You can still use the same recruiter to spearhead the process. Here's a list of possible solutions


  occamsrazory 1

Thank you, number 2 on testing was very helpful as we have been self-testing. Automating this step is probably what we need to do but to be honest we haven’t believed those systems to be has great as hyped. That said, with the ability to at least weed out fast it makes it easier so worth trying right now. Otherwise it’s literally a general lack of qualifications and skills we are running into

semitic-simian 1

I've never had to hire people with a particular skillset like you, but I have been on the receiving end of this for a while. There is no silver bullet because it seems like the problem is that you want something very specific, and by definition, there are going to be few people who have all of the skills and traits you're looking for.

> hire replacements (and more)

There's no way anyone you hire is going to have the business-specific knowledge of your existing employees unless you poach them from a competitor. This is going to cost you extra.

Instead I would focus on hiring people with a good grasp on a few of the skills you require and ramping them quickly up to speed with the skills they lack post-hire. This will both reduce cost and give them something interesting to work on when they first join.

  occamsrazory 1

Well yes, the actual pool of candidates in general is very small. The experience and skills needed are hyper-niche and very in demand from larger corporations. We have had success in poaching previously but it isn’t the preferred method because there is always a risk the individual is breaking a non-compete and not disclosing or some future IP issue comes along with them. We usually will offer a more competitive compensation package, but again lends a risk to the individual not being fully honest when ‘jumping ship’. Even still there is a peer mentor 6month training window even for the most experienced (and sadly training them on what they need to know as a baseline would take years). We are hoping other companies of industry have had luck perhaps with an agency or site or method we just aren’t aware of or would have thought of they could maybe recommend here. Maybe there is another subreddit channel (just not familiar) that would be better suited. Appreciative of all insight though.

dmxrob 2

You stated that you have very specific, hyper-niche requirements.

Have you ever considered hiring in less qualified people who want to learn and training them? This used to be common practice in the tech industry up until about the early 2000s.

The fact of the matter is there are very few qualified people out there in tech. There are a lot of people who are "so-so", and many who are great, but need some training in tech XYZ. I'd much rather hire those who need some training than to settle for "so-so".