This is the follow up article describing our tribulations trying to find tech workers in small town Beaufort, SC. As I mentioned earlier, we were looking for experienced embedded engineers and a tester, which we were willing to train. How did we go about it?
Company Web Site
I hesitate to put this here, as it should really be the first thing you do when you have a position. Put it on your company web site. It’s easy, it doesn’t cost anything, and unless you’re a large company, it probably won’t produce results. But when the applicant is doing research, an out of date website without job listings does not inspire a whole lot of confidence.
Electronic Job Boards
In theory, electronic job boards are supposed to be a good idea. They give the employer a longer reach, make it easier for people to find you. However, most job boards have devolved in a all but useless shout fest of “here I am, here I am” or “have I got a job for you!”
We stayed away from Monster.com for the simple reason that the noise-to-signal ratio is so poor. If you’re looking for gainful employment, stay away from the 7-headed hydra that is Monster.com. Once your resume is in their clutch, you’ll get endless calls from recruiters interested in getting their commission and not furthering your career. I know, I’ve been there.
We did use Dice.com, which has a slightly higher technical content, but your mileage may vary. The nice thing about Dice.com is that you could actually search their database for resumes that matched your criteria. Of course, you run into the problem that a) lots of those resumes are consultants or b) those resumes are out of date and the person is not looking for a job at the moment. We struck out with Dice.com
We also used Yahoo’s hot jobs, which for us, had better geographical focus. Two events resulted form using HotJobs. We received the worst resume ever. It was so bad that it was funny. Clearly this person did not read the job description, but must have been a serial resume submitter. If you’re going to do that, make sure that you don’t write “Attended Classes Regularly” as your only achievement. We also ended up hiring our first tester form a HotJob submission.
We also posted on the South Carolina employment commission job board, and while we had a few submissions, I don’t think this was the best venue.
But by far, the best experience I have had with an Online job board was Joel Spolsky’s jobs.joelonsoftware.com. I simply admire the man and if I had a brain big enough, the right experience, and lived in NY, I’d love to work with him. Joel’s job board is entirely focused on high tech jobs. You’re not going to get a doofus resume. In fact, if you are in a small town, you might not get a resume at all. But that’s OK because Joel will give you your money back if you don’t get acceptable applicants. No questions asked! Try to get that from Monster…
Yes, it’s old fashion, but the funny thing about Beaufort is that it’s a retirement destination. People here have all sorts of interesting background. Sometimes you come across a surprising candidate. We also have a few larger population centers within a couple of hours drive. We did manage to hire our best field technician via a newspaper ad.
The local college ought to be a source of potential workers. However, for some strange cosmic reason, our local college’s placement office never seems to have time returning our phone calls. Definitely not a success story.
There you have it, my former employer’s three pronged approach to finding tech workers. We got employee via the internet, but 3 via the good old newspaper. There is something to be said for locality.