Attracting the Best Software Engineers

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Finding great talent can be a long, difficult process. Finding a great software engineer can be even harder. The demand for talented engineers is stronger than ever, and most have their pick of jobs. So, how do you recruit your own superstar? We’ve put together 5 tips to help you find the right talent. We should also note that many of these tips could be applied to almost any recruitment strategy, no matter what your field.

1. Focus on inbound marketing

This first tip is huge. It also happens to be one that can be applied to many different fields. So, what is inbound marketing and how can it be applied to the search for software engineers? According to Intercom, “Inbound marketing focuses on building relationships with future candidates. It works by investing time in content, talks, and projects your future candidates will find appealing.”

Inbound marketing is about creating a brand that makes great talent come to you. Think about companies like Google, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and GitHub. Most engineers would kill to land a job at any of these places. This phenomenon didn’t just happen. Those companies worked hard to create the impression that they are amazing places to work. So, you need to figure out how to brand your company in a way that makes the superstars think they NEED to work for you.

Inbound marketing tips:

  • Become a resource – Invest time every week answering questions online. Go to sites where “your people” are likely to be, like StackOverflow, Quora, and GrowthHackers. Get involved in the conversation. Be helpful and present so that people learn who you are and, by association, your company.
  • Get creative with your website – One fabulous tip is to hide things on your website that only a software engineer will understand or be able to figure out. Intercom suggests things like using hidden messages, creative 404 pages, hiding a message in a logo, or creating a secret page on the website.
  • Speak at conferences or industry meetings – Search for events where you are likely to find great talent or create an event yourself. Find industry conferences and submit proposal as a speaker. You can also host online webinars, which anyone can attend no matter where they live.
  • Blogging – You can start a blog for your company or arrange to do guest blogs on sites that are popular in your field. This is a great way to tap into a larger audience.
  • Set up a challenge – Software engineers love to solve problems. So, create a public challenge that will inspire your ideal talent to play the game.

2. Determine the kind of talent you need

If you don’t know what you’re looking for, how will you ever find it? There are all kinds of software engineers and they have different skills. You must define the challenges your new recruit will face. Will they be dealing with data, development, front-end creation, or distributed systems? How much experience is required?

3. Explain what makes your product the best

You have to differentiate yourself from other companies and products. Make the work seem exciting (at least to a computer geek). According to, “Learn to tell the story of your engineering team using stories of your specific engineering challenges. Engineers are attracted to challenges…the bigger, the better.”

You must come up with a story that explains why a specific engineering role is compelling and what technical challenges a candidate may encounter. It doesn’t have to be long. In fact, it shouldn’t be longer than a couple of minutes. Think of it as an “elevator pitch.” If you only had access to your potential recruit for the length of time it takes to ride the elevator down to the lobby, what would you say?

4. Have your current engineers be the storytellers

They say you should write what you know. Well, who knows the stories of software engineers better than the ones who live it every day? They can talk in the same language as the talent you want to attract and they know the work inside and out. The stories should include the challenges faced in a certain project and the tools that were used to solve them. Have them tell their stories online and in person.

5. Be everywhere online

If you tell a story, but no one hears it…did it ever happen? After you attend or arrange a meetup or speak at a conference, upload a video of the talk on YouTube. Then post it to all your social channels. As says, “Find every possible distribution channel where you can tell your story to reach a broader audience of engineers in order to get the word out that you’re solving compelling challenges and the tools you’re using to do it.”

Following these tip will not only help you recruit top software engineers, but have them flocking to you. If you need help with recruiting, whether you’re looking for software engineers or someone in any other field, Mankuta | Gallagher can be that partner. Contact us today so we can help.