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6 ways to attract developers to your startup

As a startup, you don’t have a brand to boast about, but we know that the work is extremely challenging and innovative (else why would you start one? ). If that’s the case, why aren’t startups able to attract developers even after offering a competitive salary and stock options ?
The geek needs to feel proud that he is working for your company and excited about the people whom he is going to interact with. If you really claim to be one of those hot tech startups, why don’t you show off a little?

    • Tech Meets / Developer camps:> Organize bi-weekly tech meets (unconferences ?) at your workplace inviting hackers / programmers in your city to discuss on technologies they are working on.
      > Invite distinguished software architects / popular tech bloggers to give a talk once in a month.
      > Offer to sponsor barcamps, devcamps, hackathons, etc.
    • Google Billboard strategyI am sure you are aware of Google’s Billboard strategy of hiring geeks. While a startup can’t afford to put up a billboard, you could do the same / similar things with t-shirts, caps and other goodies you normally distribute – during campus recruitment (or) when sponsoring an event, etc.
      Take a look at Bandcamp’s cool jobs page
    • Programming contests
      Directi conducts programming contests through it’s platform – codechef, Google organizes codejam, etc. These activities build an aura around the company on how much they love programming / programmers / geeks!
      Well, it’s not necessary that you need to setup a programming contest right away, this is just an example – the point is build an aura.
    • Tech blog
      You claim to be working on cutting-edge technologies, why don’t you tell people about it? Start a tech blog, discuss stuff, talk about scaling issues you have solved, etc.
      A good example would be facebook’s blog posts on the awesome engineering problems they solve. Let’s be honest – a good percentage of developers are interested about working at FogCreek because of Joel Spolsky’s insightful blog posts. Start a good tech blog.
    • Workplace

The startup should have a good mix of intense tech discussions and light moments. A lot of companies claim to have a cool culture, it’s not enough if you just write – Put up pics of your workplace, let them know how it would be to work at your place, share videos and let developers know about your cool culture.

  • Founders talk
    Nothing can beat a founder himself talking personally to a candidate about the work, the people and the environment. It’s hard for the founder to spend a 1-1 session, record a talk and post it in your careers page / blog / e-mail signature. Let developers hear it from the horse’s mouth on what the company is all about and the type of work.

To do all the above is going to take some time, but the results are lifelong unlike the current method where we try push the developer to join! Happy Hiring!
And yes, if you are interested in using a tool to screen programmers, you can checkout interviewstreet

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