With the continued growth of the tech industry, computer wizards, tech specialists and developers are in demand. So much so that to really nail down the talent you need for your business to excel, you may have to put in a bit of extra legwork. It’s unlikely that a tech guru is going to do the chasing, as they’ll know that their skills and expertise are hot property right now. But, there are ways to attract passive tech candidates.
One of the biggest ways to improve your recruiting approach is to understand the industry you want to obtain recruits from. Traditionally, the tech community is passionate about its industry. You’ll find them debating the latest ideas in industry forums, collaborating with like-minded people across the world on their own personal projects and even pulling themselves away from their screen to venture out to alluring industry events.
To help you to find the right people for your roles it pays to go out and actually meet the people you’re hoping to recruit. Here are five reasons why meetups can help your recruitment efforts…
Tip 1: Care about the community
The first thing you should remember is that meetups, no matter what the industry, are not career fairs. You can’t go around poaching candidates off the cuff and without planning. You need to show you care about the industry. This is about getting your name out there, showing your face in front of the right people and breaking the ice. You’re laying the groundwork and playing the long game here to save yourself time and effort down the line. Not only this, you can better gauge a person’s personality and work ethic from a conversation in a relaxed setting, than one in a pressured environment.
Tip 2: Share your knowledge
One of the best ways to recruit tech using meetups is to simply host or sponsor your own event. Invite everyone to these events to come and network, but keep it tech-focused. This shows you care about the community and you’re willing to host a space where knowledge can be freely shared among peers in the industry. With willing tech participants getting tickets for the event, you’ll be able to establish a database of contacts.
Remember, though, it’s not all about you. Book some interesting keynote speakers in order to attract the crowd you’re after.
Tip 3: Get yourself noticed and do your research
Make sure you play an active role in any meetups you attend. Engage with speakers, ask questions, talk to others – be an active presence not a passive one.
When you’re doing your research before the event, make sure you find the social handle and Twitter hashtags to the relevant event. With this, you’ll be able to introduce yourself to the community and spark up a conversation before the event has even started. This will not only show that you’re excited about the meetup, but you’ll be able to arrange to get the first introductions out the way quickly upon arrival. By looking at social media you will also be able to identify the key players and follow them.
Tip 4: Keep up appearances after the event
You’ve broken the ice at the tech meetup, now’s time to put in the hard work. Make it a priority to exchange business cards with relevant people during the meeting – or whatever digital equivalent you prefer – and make sure you follow up with an email to make contact. It may be a good idea to note down any relevant talking points soon after your meetup so that you have a clear record of what you’ve learned, who you’ve met and who you need to contact. Sign up for newsletters and mailing lists too – any way in which you can insert yourself into the conversation.
Why not write and post a blog on some of the interesting things you learned at the meetup? This could be your thoughts on what the guest speakers said or how you hope to use your findings. It doesn’t have to be complicated, something as fun as what we followed up from the HR Techworld conference can get a great response. It’s important to be positive and supportive – and take time to comment on and share material produced by others.
In time, your job news might well be shared and promoted in the same community.
Tip 5: Be kind, authentic and not greedy
Recruitment may feel like a competition, and at times, it should be. But when you’re recruiting at meetups you can enter the lion’s den in a more creative, approachable and authentic way. It will take time to build up a distinctive presence within the tech community but, if you’re willing to contribute, you’re likely to get noticed and more back in return. While showcasing the best version of you and your company to tech communities, be a good team player in your own right. Recommend people to other companies if they’re not the right fit for you as you might benefit from someone returning the favour.
Apply these practical tips to each meetup and you’ll be well on your way to recruiting the best tech talent.
- Stay approachable and network with everyone, not just the key players. You never know where a recruit may come from.
- Remember meetups are not about you, they’re about building and sharing knowledge within a community, but, you’ll be able to open a dialogue about recruiting after the event.
- Bring and exchange business cards to build up a bank of contacts.
- Use social media before and after the meetup to get yourself noticed and spark initial conversations.