Guerrilla Tactics for Recruiting Software Engineers

Google acquired Meebo in 2012 for $100M. Elaine Wherry is one of Meebo’s co-founders and back in 2005 she was tasked with hiring a team of javascript engineers. So she got creative – and had some great success. Last year Elaine shared one of her best recruiting stories – the recruiter honeypot – and now she’s sharing the 7 guerrilla tactics that worked for recruiting software engineers:

  1. View Source – Meebo embedded a hidden jobs in the HTML code of their homepage so engineers investigating how their site was put together would see that they were hiring.
  2. Riddle Me This – Meebo posted coding puzzles on their blog and tracked who responded correctly. ;”The blog – it’s an amazing recruiting tool, both for finding talent and developing engineering street cred.” .
  3. Real time chat – Meebo added a chat widget to their jobs page so visitors could immediately interact with the team – often before even sending in a resume.
  4. Adword Hijacking – When engineers searched Google to find answers to specific technical issues they’d see an ad encouraging them to learn about working at Meebo.
  5. Earlybird College Recruiting – Elaine researched and identified students and invited them to meet in advance, before competitors had a chance to meet them at a career fair.
  6. Think Outside the Valley – Local Silicon Valley meetups were overcrowded with companies trying to hire. But Boston and Chicago? Another story. Elaine wooed talent to the “other, sunnier coast”by attending meetups in other cities – particularly in winter.
  7. Open Season – Not every talented engineer has a day job doing what they want. Elaine found talented engineers in unlikely places by monitoring open source contributions.

Click below to watch Elaine’s full talk which includes the boolean search strings she used to identify students, a killer bonus tactic only available in the video and much more:

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Dan Arkind :