Founded in 1877, The Washington Post is one of the most widely-read news outlets in America, serving more than 90 million total digital unique visitors per month across the world, according to comScore. In recent years, the organization has evolved into a technology company as much as it is a media company—and it’s always looking to add talented engineers to support that growth.
Discover how The Washington Post hires the talent it needs with the help of Stack Overflow.
Austin Graff, a Talent Marketing and Brand Specialist at The Post, tells us that the engineering team is one of the fastest growing departments at the company. Even though this would suggest that the company has a large tech recruiting function, Graff tells us that he works exclusively with one tech recruiter to find and hire developers.
“One recruiter hires all of our engineers, so it’s a huge task,” Graff adds. “In addition to our full-time staff, we also employ a lot of contractors.”
Additionally, Graff and his colleagues found that simply getting developers to respond to recruiting emails was a challenge. “Some of the well-known recruiting platforms are great for entry-level, non-tech roles,” Graff says. “But because developers are in such high demand, they’re more likely to ignore most of the messages that they receive.”
"When we tested Stack Overflow Talent for the first time, we were blown away by the number of quality candidates we found." - Austin Graff, Talent Marketing and Brand Specialist at The Washington Post
For most of its developer roles, The Post doesn’t look for a specific set of requirements. According to Graff, the engineering department is language-agnostic. He adds, “We’re looking for more of a mindset and approach to software development. If you don’t already know a programming language, we look for people that we feel can learn it on the job.” With that in mind, how has one recruiter been able to support The Post’s evolution into a technology-first company? For Graff and his colleagues, Stack Overflow quickly became a real solution.
“Our engineers trust the Q&A pages on Stack Overflow more than any other website,” Graff says. “When we tested Stack Overflow Talent for the first time, we were blown away by the number of quality candidates we found compared to any other tech-specific job platform that we were using.”
To find their ideal developers, The Post uses Job Slots and Company Pages Ads on Stack Overflow.
Graff says that both products make it easy to deploy their unique employer branding strategy. “We have a content marketing approach to recruiting, so we design our Job Listings and Company Page with our technology persona in mind,” he adds. “Because the products are easy to use and powerful, we’re able to make small tweaks whenever we want to promote something new that we think will stand out to our target audience.”
Graff tells us that Stack Overflow Talent has increased the number of qualified applicants they’ve received for their developer jobs. From that candidate pool, The Post hired eight developers. He continues, “Even though we’re a large organization, we don’t have quite as many jobs as the tech giants, so we’re thrilled with what we’ve seen on Stack Overflow.”
Because the candidates that they’ve found on Stack Overflow have been so strong, Graff feels confident that the team is set up for success today and well into the future. “We trust the candidates that we find on Stack Overflow,” Graff adds. “We also believe that they’re excited to be a part of the organization and will ultimately be successful in our culture, which is why we’ll continue to lean on Stack Overflow Talent to support our developer hiring efforts."