How we (are trying to) attract new colleagues.
As a company, we here at Digital Frontiers are trying to attract and engage with new colleagues. So, as part of our 20% time, I sat down with the team recently and looked at how we as a company can position ourselves to be appealing from the outset.
There are 2 types of tasks that would need to be defined; those that belong to the company and those that belong to the individual.
Job Specs — We realised that whilst we have a nice outline on our website, we don’t actually have job specs to send out to people. Some of the things we decided should be on a good job spec:
- Do you tell candidates what problems you are trying to solve, for example “we are trying to improve the efficiency of our system 10x by implements Kubernetes clusters and migrating from our legacy Mesos architecture”. “We have a huge monolith that we need to break down in to microservices to make it more stable”.
- Amount of time they would spend on client projects
- Their career progression
Company PDF — A company PDF with some information about the company can be a really effective tool in engaging passive talent. It is also handy for conferences and meetups when you want to tell people about what you do. Add in the information about the problems you are trying to solve from above too!
Website — Well, we have a company website, of course. But what we were missing was a quick way to tell people that we are hiring rather than them having to negotiate the sitemap. So we added a quick link at the top of the page.
Github — Ok so like a lot of companies we have a Github account, but there isn’t much in it… look! We have promised that we are going to find some interesting projects for us all to work on and commit here so people can see our code and approaches.
Social Media — We’ve started blogging more recently, with (currently) 9 articles online, 4 in the queue and we plan to do more of this. Utilising a tool like Buffer really helps to schedule these posts in advance and make sure that we are showing more about the company. We also looked at our Linkedin & Xing corporate profiles and realised we need to share more here and give a little more information about what’s great about working with us.
Benefits — What makes working with our company so cool? Some of the things we do but don’t always tell people:
- 20% time
- Skill shares
- Conference budgets
- Presentation support for meetups
Company Videos — Ok, so I am pretty heavy on these. We’ve agreed we will try to shoot our own as a short interview type shot on a phone talking about the projects that we are working on.
Salaries — We discussed being transparent with our salary levels across the business in order to be as clear as possible here. I wish we had the volume and budget of this amazing example by Gitlab, maybe in the next few years we will!
Github — If we receive an application from a candidate with a Github link on their profile we will ensure that we head to their repo’s, fork some content have a poke around and make some suggestions. We figure that a person will be far more likely to engage with us if we have something common to talk about; they might like (or dislike!) our ideas enough to engage in conversation before (or during) the interview process.
Social Media — Having a “brand” for individual employees is important. We found that EVERY person who works here has literally just their name and company name(s) on Linkedin. We are going to make sure that everyone updates it with additional information about the projects they are working on in order to let future colleagues know more before they even speak.
Events & Conferences — We do quite a bit already with our colleagues presenting in meetups and conferences, but we are always keen to get along to more. We mapped out a few events that we are interested in and plan on growing this list a lot and kitting ourselves out in our Digital Frontiers swag that we also all agreed upon on the day that we should be wearing when out and about at events as walking adverts for the company!
To conclude; you need to be thinking about how you appear to someone outside of your company who has never heard of you. If they can’t get a feel for the company then the likelihood is that they won’t apply.
Thanks to Joachim, Rainer, Frank, Nik & Florian for your invaluable input on the day, and if you’re reading this and thinking you’d like to work with us why don’t you drop me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org.