5 Steps to Build a Great Drupal Team: Step 4: Posting Jobs
After you’ve worked hard on defining your requirements and writing your job description, the next thing you want to do is get that posted in as many places as possible where it can be seen by your job seeker. In this series, we're outlining a 5-step strategy for building a great Drupal team. In this step, we’ll focus on getting your job posting seen.
- Step 1: Understand typical teams, roles and job titles
- Step 2: Define your requirements
- Step 3: Widen your net with your job description
- Step 4: Where and how to post jobs
- Step 5: Evaluating applicants
Listing your job in the community
You might already be thinking of the obvious places to post your job, on job search networks, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, and so forth. However, the Drupal community provides some opportunities as well. There is a great guide on Drupal.org on about where you can advertise your jobs.
The first place to start is by posting your jobs to Drupal’s community website job listing, Groups.Drupal.org/jobs In order for your job to appear on the official job listing, it must be posted within a group. It’s likely you have a local or regional group available (search here), though you can add your job to the "Jobs group" if you can't find any relevant group.
Some regional groups also provide a listing, such as the Jobs available in the UK group. Other groups invite individuals and companies to list their availability for work such as in the Ireland group, Ireland Drupal Developers available for hire.
But be careful. Don’t post jobs to Groups that don’t want job listings! Often working groups don’t like job postings, whereas regional ones will invite job postings. Be a good community member and follow the guidelines listed in each group.
Popular Drupal community websites, podcasts and services also offer "Place your job ad here" options. For example, the popular newsletter "The Weekly Drop" has a circulation of over 3,300 subscribers. You can get a placement there for only $40 USD. Check out the archive of this useful newsletter, and sign up to post your job.
Sponsoring to raise your profile
You can get your company listed on the Marketplace on Drupal.org. There is a set of guidelines to follow, but there is no direct cost associated with this listing. After you get your organization listed on Drupal.org, ensure that your employees link back to your organization in their profiles. The high volume of the listings means your profile might not be discovered. You would need do a bit more to get noticed.
Sponsoring your local and regional DrupalCamps would likely make the biggest impact for hiring. Sponsorship helps people get familiar with your company. Some camps offer sponsors speaking spots; other camps offer job fairs where those hiring, and those seeking work can get connected. You can find a list of events for the year at Drupical.
If you haven’t already, join the Drupal Association as an organizational member! That costs $200 (€160). This gets your company listed in the member directory.
Earning Trust in the community
Michael Brown is responsible for all US, APAC and EMEA technical recruiting here at Acquia. In addition to reviewing all candidates, he also directly sources candidates. He does extensive online review of someone before he contacts them, so it's clear that robust online profiles will make a significant impact. "My goal is to get to know them before we talk with them."
At any point, he's dealing with about 30 technical job openings. He says he's been working in digital for several years, but finds Drupal quite different. "We work hard to build trust within the tight-knit Drupal community...Trust is a big factor in recruiting."
Acquia grew fast and we learned the hard way about establishing and maintaining trust with candidates. We had a very small HR team with no specialization in recruitment. CVs would come in, and get funneled right to the hiring managers on extremely busy teams. Candidates were understandably upset when they didn't hear back from us.
Now things are different. Michael keeps in direct contact with candidates throughout the process, "I like to keep the connection alive." Acquia has an internal SLA in place to respond in 72 hours, "We then encourage the referrer to keep in touch with the candidate," Michael says. Recently, he was able to place a candidate in a professional services role in about eight days, but sometimes the process takes longer, even up to six months.
That kind of attention to detail isn't always possible, so an alternative is to use a recruitment agency. The quality of the agency lies directly in the recruiter and their contacts. Good recruiters keep those relationships after they have placed someone in a position. If that person becomes a hiring manager themselves, they will turn to the recruiter. When you're considering a recruiter, consider these two things:
- How open is that person with me?
- How much do I think they know my world?
Where are the job seekers?
The community does keep a list of people who are “Available for hire”. But considering the demand is high for people in the web development field, people might get placed before they even embark on a traditional job search. Offering a job seeker’s perspective, Karen Leech pointed out she gets really good response from using Twitter and her own networks. This make referral much easier, after 28 retweets of a recent post, she had several suitable opportunities referred to her.
Stack Overflow's Careers 2.0 hiring site is a good example of a place to post where job seekers are. Stack Overflow is part of StackExchange a network of open Q&A websites where the signal to noise ratio is improved through a series of tools. Good questions can be modified; good answers get "voted up" to the top; and individuals get ratings and badges based on their contributions. Stack Overflow focuses entirely on programming. There is also a site for Drupal.
The CEO and Founder of Stackoverflow, Joel Spolsky had job listings on his own blog even before Stack Overflow existed. He saw a need for a "niche" job board, which wasn't trying to be a one-size-fits-all behemoth job listing site. Joel was happy to bring "a dozen or so companies that are great places to work together with a dozen or so great programmers." (from Joel's blog) Will Cole, Product Manager at Careers 2.0 explained that they're not trying to get a massive scale, instead, they focus on quality, "We want a receptive audience of programmers who want to talk to good companies."
While posting jobs or making profiles is free for participants, profiles on Careers 2.0 are by invitation only. Will explained the simple mechanics based on trust: "You can pre-qualify by having a certain score on Stack Overflow, meet certain metrics on Github, or be invited by someone at Stack Exchange, or another programmer already in the Careers database. This is to ensure everyone is a programmer, and companies don't have to weed through irrelevant profiles."
Their premium Candidate Search service allows companies to look through candidate profiles, and get in touch with potential employees directly. At this point, a personal touch works best. Will said, "A message that points out previous projects, answers on Stack Overflow, or comments on a previous position the candidate held, has a much higher chance of being responded to than a generic template." For companies, Will recommends that recruiters focus on information that will attract high-quality candidates to apply.
- What is the company culture?
- Will I be working with smart people?
- Are you building something interesting?
Again, this goes back to aspects of writing your job description and job listing which we discussed in Step 3. Of course this is useful advice no matter what recruitment tool you're using.
So make sure you’re posting your jobs within your own networks, and invite your employees to help recruit. One way to motivate people to help offer referrals for you is to offer a bonus if someone gets hired.
Referral bonus incentives
About 40% of those hired at Acquia come through referral. We have both an internal and external referral bonus. This can mean anyone can refer a potential candidate to Acquia, and if they're hired, they will receive $2500 USD. This can greatly expand your own network. "I'm always so excited to send these people their checks," Michael said. Michael explained that some companies use a tiered approach, offering levels of compensation which reflect how hard it is to fill a position. HubSpot recently offered $30k for a referral to fill a position, and it worked. Obviously that is beyond the budget of most companies, but you might find there are ways to invest in recruitment and shorten the time it takes to hire someone.
OnSavvy.com - connecting to freelancers
Many companies opt to use freelancers where they can’t find a full time employee to fit their needs. Nicole Mauloni (designer + developer) and Farez Rahman (developer) are freelancers themselves building OnSavvy.com part time. This new service aims to help companies communicate their culture and opportunities to potential employees and contractors. The current live site has proven a valuable prototype, and they are starting to see trends and patterns.
I asked Nicole why so many people are choosing to stay freelance? And what should companies do to attract them into full time employment? Nicole said that people move out of full time paid employment when they "end up in a position of maintenance." She said, "As a freelancer, your skills are changing and growing; there's more variety; you have access to more knowledge and opportunity."
Nicole recommends that companies offer creative opportunities for staff such as "research and development days.” A recent client of theirs, "WeMakeWebsites", designates one day a week for staff to build something. Farez said people "want to be challenged, and in an environment where you're learning and growing your career." As I mentioned in the previous step on Job Descriptions, you should seek ways you can transmit your company culture. Nicole and Farez say more companies should develop content-rich careers sections on their site, but few have time to devote to this, and that is precisely what they are going to help them with.
They gave me a sneak preview of a prototype illustrating some of the next stage features that include company profiles that feature rich content, videos and individual profiles that include information from other services such as Github, Disqus, Drupal.org to capture an individual’s activity across their own network. OnSavvy.com is emphasizing connecting freelancers and the companies that work with them. The job seeker's profiles have calendars which show availability for example. This is a Drupal focused service now, but they intend to extend to other technologies to widen the network.
Do you have any tips to share about getting a wider reach with your job postings? Are there any services you'd recommend?
If you’d like to know more and talk with one of our experts here at Acquia, please sign up to our online session with guest speakers, Summer Swigart, Practice Manager and Meagen Williams, Program Manager.
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