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Post by Rich Moy on Dec 30, 2015 12:30:00 PM

Although you should understand that the need for developers rarely slows down, it’s easy to get caught off guard by an unexpected wave of openings that all need to be filled as quickly as you can post them. Of course, there are times when unexpected changes to your hiring plan are simply part of the job. However, there are plenty of things you can do to stay prepared for the day a hiring manager suddenly asks you to find a handful of developers to hire. Here are three ways to be more proactive about tech recruiting in the new year and keep your pipeline full.

Strategically Maintain Relationships With Passive Candidates You Meet at Events

Meetups, hackathons, and other tech-specific events are great opportunities to meet passive developer candidates to keep in your pipeline. Nonetheless, your face-to-face introductions do not give you the leeway to send developers as many impersonal emails as your fingers can copy and paste. If anything, the fact that you’ve actually met these developers means your communication with them after an event should be even more personalized.

Based on what you learn about each developer you meet, adjust your recruitment strategies to best suit the relationship. If someone immediately shows an interest in pursuing a career with your company, feel free to jump right back into the topic when you follow up after the event. If you’re unsure about a developer’s job status, don’t ignore that person. Continue to foster the relationship by engaging them in conversations that you think would interest them, even if that means you can’t actively recruit them for a short period of time.

Use Company Initiatives to Forecast Hiring Needs in Advance

Here’s a little secret: those company-wide emails about new business initiatives and changes can often help you project future hiring needs and plan accordingly. If you know your company is launching a brand new product or is expanding in other ways, that’s a good indicator you’ll need to ramp up your tech recruiting strategies sooner than later.

To avoid being caught off guard, take initiative and chat with the appropriate hiring managers once you’re aware of any new company-wide goals. When you do, one of two things will likely happen. Your engineering managers will remember they had been meaning to launch additional searches for developers, or you’ll remind them that they at least need to start thinking about recruitment strategies to add capacity to their teams.

Stay on Top of Current Technology Trends

Projecting your company’s hiring needs based on its current technology stack is a great place to start. The best way to understand what those future contributions might be, not to mention what the ideal candidate(s) might look like on paper, is to learn about the technology trends developers can’t stop talking about.

To get your feet wet, start with technology news sites like TechCrunch and Engadget. The developers you meet on Stack Overflow or any other programming site are often better sources for information. Not only is this a great way to stay up-to-date on the latest programming trends, it’s also a great way to start a conversation with a passive candidate without leading with how many openings you need to fill.

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