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Why Knowing Your Coworkers Is a Powerful Recruitment Tool

[fa icon="calendar"] Aug 1, 2013 10:17:00 AM / by Bethany Marzewski

Imagine the typical candidate experience at your company. It probably involves an interview, some sort of skills test, a period for them to ask questions, and then, if they’re lucky, a tour of your office. But something is missing from this classic sequence. Do candidates have an opportunity to interact or get to know their prospective team?

Before we extend an offer to a candidate at Stack Overflow, we invite them to eat lunch with some members of the team they would join. We do this for two reasons:

  1. We get to see if they will play nice with us.
  2. They get to see if we’re a good fit for them.

We all know someone who makes a lot of money, has a gorgeous home, has many opportunities to travel, but still isn’t happy because he doesn’t feel connected to anyone at work. Recruiting works the same way. At the end of the day, despite our perks, our products, and our shiny new offices, we know we won’t stand a chance at snagging that candidate if they don’t like our most important asset: our people.




Put yourself in the candidate hot seat and imagine the thoughts going through their head during a typical interview: “Is this person smart?” “Will I be able to work well within the team?” “Will they help me grow and challenge myself in my career?”

When developers evaluate a job opportunity, the second most important thing that they look for is the chance to work with smart coworkers. But candidates can’t answer these questions when they feel like they are under the microscope in a stringent interview setting. These are things that they need to observe first-hand in order to draw their own, honest conclusions about whether or not they can see themselves fitting in within the department.

Bottom line: Don’t hide your team from candidates. Give them opportunities to meet their future colleagues in any form that you can. If your developers spend their free time working on incredible side projects, blogging on the industry, or repping up on Stack Overflow, email out the links. Show off the strengths and personalities of your company openly during the entire candidate process—it’s recruitment gold.

We’re trying to make this process even easier for employers who use Stack Overflow Careers to hire developers by letting you link your company page to the developers who work on your team. Regardless of what form of recruitment advertising works best for you, make sure you build some elements of transparency into the candidate experience. It’s the easiest and most efficient way to attract the type of candidates you’re looking to hire and the most powerful recruitment tool that you’re probably not already using.

Topics: Developer Hiring, Recruiting Tips

Bethany Marzewski

Written by Bethany Marzewski

Bethany Marzewski works on the marketing team for Stack Overflow Careers. In this role, she helps educate companies globally about how to share their hiring story with developers by offering tips on technical recruitment practices and ways to attract top talent.

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