Expansion-stage software companies can’t rely on inbound recruiting methods alone if they want to hire top performers.
It’s important to engage in a proactive recruiting strategy to specifically target potential candidates, and to incorporate participation in local and industry events into your recruiting repertoire.
Recruiting at events is a great way to meet with potential candidates who may not be actively looking, or who are not on traditional online networking channels, such as LinkedIn. This is particularly true for software engineers, who may avoid these networks completely because they are hounded by recruiters.
4 Types of Recruiting Events to Consider
- Open Houses: Host a small networking event in your office (or right nearby, if space is an issue) so potential candidates can get to know your company and your employees better, and learn about what positions you are looking to add to your team.
- University Career Fairs: Attend local university career fairs to source recent hires and interns, which will be an important part of your long term recruiting strategy.
- Industry Conferences: Conferences are a great way for your employees to meet their peers in the industry who share similar experience, and therefore may be great employees for your company, as well. If you’re at an industry conference out of town, consider hosting or sponsoring happy hour at a local bar or restaurant, or a speaker who can host a discussion on a topic that is closely tied to your company.
- Meetup Groups: There are Meetups all over the country geared to specific industries and roles, and if there is not one in your area for a particular group, make one! Attend these Meetups, and encourage your team to attend them, as well. Consider sponsoring meetings occasionally by purchasing pizza and refreshments.
Regularly attending and hosting events geared toward networking is important to build your company’s brand long term. Everyone you meet will not be qualified for a position you have open now, but they may know someone who is, or perhaps they will be a great candidate for another position in the future.
As you attend events, remember that you are evangelizing your company for the future, and look at events as a way to build buzz about your company, and allow other people to get to know your team. Share your excitement for your company’s mission, and for the specific projects you are working on with your team. Enthusiasm and passion are infectious, and sharing yours with others will attract candidates who can get behind the same mission.
How many events does your company attend each quarter for the purpose of networking and recruiting? If you haven’t created a strategy around it, now is the time to start!