One of the more frequent requests I get in office hours at ATDC is entrepreneurs asking how to find technical talent – especially programmers. Many come in hopes that we can make a quick intro to the perfect programmer. Sometimes a specific person comes to mind and I introduce them. But most of the time I share the following tactics:
- Post the opening on ATDCs Jobs Board (http://www.jobs.net/jobs/ATDC/en-us/). Although we just recently launched it – we are working to make this a clearinghouse for opportunities with ATDC companies and steering candidates to this site. The Jobs Board is run by Career Builders so your posting also appears on other jobs boards at no cost. ATDC Companies that participated in the beta reported great results.
- Post your job on the Georgia Tech College of Computing jobs board (http://www.cc.gatech.edu/node/add/job)
- Several times a year ATDC gets a booth at the various career fairs on campus. We collect resumes to provide to ATDC companies and rotate ATDC select companies in the booth throughout the day.
- Attend as many startup and technology industry events as you can and network. Don’t just talk to the CEOs – seek out the CTOs and technical folks. Great people usually know other great people – and likely know them well enough to know who might be interested. Be ready ‘pitch’ your company. Technical folks are in high demand so they can be choosy. Make it clear why what you are doing is exciting. Several ATDC CEOs have attended technology meet-ups (like the Ruby on Rails or Big Data meet-ups) even though they aren’t technical just to meet potential candidates.
- Think long term. If you are an ATDC Select Company contact Joy Hymel about the Georgia Tech co-op and internship program. Being located in Tech Square gives you a big advantage as students like the ability to maintain their campus life during their internship semesters (especially during football season). Hiring interns that you can bring on full time when they finish school is a great way to build a pipeline of talent.
- Several ATDC Select CEOs have reported they run recruiting drip campaigns – keeping in touch with students and experienced talent and keeping them up to date on how the company is doing.
- The most overlooked tactic is participating in hack-a-thons like Startup Weekend. These events are usually 2-3 days where ‘hustlers, hackers, and designers’ come together to come up with ideas for a startup and build a product or launch a startup. It’s like a game of pickup basketball for startup junkies. Yes – I know you already have a startup. But participating in these events you will meet programmers from other startups and established companies that are looking for entrepreneurial opportunities. For this to work, you have to roll up your sleeves and participate. If you just go through the motions you are unlikely to inspire anyone to want to join you. So get some extra sleep ahead of time and give up a weekend to expand your network and build lasting relationships with people who like to build stuff.