Reaching out to engineers as a specific user group has been in practice for sometime now. Traditionally more focussed towards getting them to use a certain toolset, software or maybe a framework – attracting great talent has now taken the front seat. Developer Outreach is now being deliberately practiced by technology companies to attract and retain high quality engineering talent.
The advent of technology conferences, meetups, get togethers has created avenues one can tap into.
So, how do you plan an outreach campaign to attract the right set of engineers to your company. Getting a good ‘Careers’ page up is an essential start, but is usually not enough. Sponsoring a tech conference around your preferred technology is one of the first things that comes to mind. But is that enough? And how do you measure the impact – or if it worked.
Running a Developer Outreach campaign without a proper plan of action and measurable outcome is as good as giving out money with nothing expected in return. You sponsor an event, coerce some engineers to wear the company shirt and go for the event, hoping to get some eyeballs.
We suggest our clients to treat a Developer Outreach program like a well-thought out marketing campaign, having clear and specific outcomes and goals established. Clarity in setting goals is absolutely essential. For clients, this means things like – people dont know about our company – we’d like to establish ourselves as a strong developer friendly company. Or that we have a tonne of dropoffs happening, people apply but drop off during the interview processes. Maybe even retention – retaining good talent is extremely hard!
Notice how these problem statements closely resemble a marketing funnel? User’s don’t know about our product – leads drop off during the onboarding/conversion funnel or that retaining users is extremely hard! Developer outreach programs for hiring is basically marketing your company, it’s product, tech etc. to a specific set of people.
The process to build a successful developer outreach campaign is fundamentally similar to building a long standing, successful marketing machine. You establish the target audience, find the channels where they audience hangs out and deliver the story! Such an approach also makes it easy to measure the effectiveness. A well planned and executed developer outreach campaign can do wonders for your company, and keep attracting great talent, regularly.
We’ll talk more about the key components of developer outreach strategy and how to approach this in upcoming blogs. Stay tuned.
Edit: We recently participated (sponsored) a conference on behalf of a client as a part of their developer outreach activity. Here’s a short summary of our experience here.