Recruiting is like SEO

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At the highest level, there are three core components of a startup: product development, customer development, and team building. A lot of other founders ask us why we’re able to hire awesome devs in a pretty competitive landscape.

The reason is that we treat recruiting like SEO instead of SEM. 

SEM is all about bidding on keywords that yield high conversion rates. Once you figure out the right words, you just drop quarters in the top and customers come tumbling out the bottom.

But SEO is a slow-cooking stew. You start a blog, you pick your topics, and you start writing valuable articles that other people link to. It might take a year to build up your page rank and start paying dividends, but those dividends pay out for a lot longer, and generally result in higher value traffic. 

Hiring awesome developers is much the same. You can drop serious coin on job boards, or even pay recruiters to find talent for you. But we’ve found that job boards are expensive, and result in a really painful screening process that yields very few good leads. 

Instead, we take the slow road. We host Toronto’s most popular JS meetup, and we attend as many tech events as possible. We work on open-source projects, and we write blog posts about stuff that matters to our community. 

And when it comes time to hire people, we already have a list of people that like and trust us, admire the work we do, and understand exactly why they’d want to work here. It sure beats going through dozens of interviews filled with boring questions with a ton of people we’ve never met before. 

What’s worked for you? 

- @maxcameron