Techniques for Sourcing and Attracting Great Candidates
Director of Platform Networking at Netflix
"I have hired a lot of people in my management career. Multiple times I have started with small teams and grown them in much larger teams, all at different companies. Before starting the hiring process, though, I first take the time to answer some basic questions. For example, what kind of team do I want to build? How large do I anticipate growing the team? What is the goal of expanding the team? Then, once you have these questions resolved, I use the following techniques to source great candidates for the position."
Write it down
"I find the best way to attract someone to my organization and make them interested in the companies that I work for is for me to write down our mission statement, outline why it is personally important to me, and to specify the kind of team I'm looking to build. Translating these ideas into words is very useful for me as a hiring manager and for my potential candidates. For example, when I was being considered for a role in a company, the manager sent me a personalized note expressing his interest in hiring me. He defined the above points including where he saw how I fit into the growth of the company. Usually when I receive recruiting emails or messages I don't pay any attention, but because this person had taken the time to write down his thoughts it showed me that he was serious and keenly interested in me. It opened itself up to a conversation with someone who I would have not normally considered. I have since taken this strategy of writing it down as mine own and it has helped me find some great candidates."
Announcements using professional and social media accounts
"I use my professional and social media accounts to advertise what roles I am looking to hire for. Whenever I have a new position open I will put a tagline in my profile saying that we are hiring. Then, in a post I will put the title of the role, the company's mission statement, and some of the qualifications I am interested in. On the flip side, once I have hired somebody into that role I will send out an announcement on Linkedin or social media welcoming that person to the team, giving a little bit of information about them, what kind of knowledge they bring with them, and why I am excited to have them join us. These posted highlights not only showcase the new hire but also the kind of culture and team that we are building at the company. This serves as a way to connect with potential candidates in the future."
"As a leader of the company I think it is a very powerful tool to share my experiences and processes with others. I have written articles for Forbes, Linkedin, and other publications. I also have a personal engineering blog that I use to document and build upon over a period of time. I write about technical aspects of the mission, hiring, my management philosophy, the company's culture, and much more. These publications reach a vast audience and are a superb means of attracting people to your company, much more so than general recruitments."
"This is an alternative method that I have just recently tried. HackerX is an invite only networking and recruiting event similar to that of a job fair. Basically there is a large candidate pool but also a large employer pool. I found that most of the people were young in their careers but that there was a lot of potential. Even so, it's another way to meet a lot of people- in a short amount of time- talk to them face-to-face, and convince them to apply or come and work for you. Of course, there are similar events like this one out there, you just have to look for them in your specific area."
- Go to lots of events and get your company's name and mission out there. For example, I go to a lot of hiring and diversity events. I support STEM and women in tech. I have found some really great women and senior-level contributors who have attended those events.
- Use your network as a leveraging for hiring. I have hired a lot of people simply through reference. I have also spent time cycling through my Linkedin network to find people who I am connected to or who are one or two layers outside that circle.
- Approach hiring with the mindset that you want to build a relationship with someone. It could be that someone isn't available to join your company now but if you form a connection and bridge a relationship then they are more likely to reach out to you when they are looking for a job. The tech industry is a small world, so don't think exclusively of filling the role that is currently open. If you like somebody, then stay connected and keep them in the loop.
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Director of Platform Networking at Netflix
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