Good software developers are hard to find. One of the biggest challenges we face today is convincing them to change jobs. This is only possible with an ingenious plan - as the success of trivago proves.
trivago is the world’s most widely used hotel search with more than 80 million users. Travelers visit the website and compare prices from over 700,000 hotels. trivago was founded in 2005 and has become available in more than 50 countries. They’re now seeking around 60 software developers in Germany, mainly in the city of Dusseldorf.
The majority of good software developers are satisfied with their jobs. It takes more than a traditional job listing on a generic job board to convince them to consider a professional change. This has been acknowledged by Patrick Kuster, who is responsible for talent relations in IT at trivago. “Every company wants to have great developers - especially during a time where there is a shortage of skilled professionals in Germany. The challenge is to have really good arguments to convince a satisfied programmer to change jobs.”
Developers are a very specific audience. While it is possible to appeal to employees in other fields with a beautifully designed job ad, it often doesn’t resonate with developers. Instead they want to clearly identify whether the task has a challenge and if they’ll be working with the latest technologies.
“The ability to look outside the box, is extremely important for developers. This is the type of information you want to send to developers in order to be successful in recruiting technical talent.” - Patrick Kuster, Talent Relations in IT at trivago
trivago knows that its employees are the biggest success factor of the company. Therefore, recruiting plays a crucial role in their corporate strategy. Patrick Kuster emphasized: “Tech recruiting is strategically very important for us because the IT team lies at the core of trivago’s operations. That’s why I’m solely focused on acquiring new IT staff and supporting employees and hiring managers. Only very few companies have someone dedicated to this. My tasks also include defining job requirements in great detail with the hiring managers.”
Furthermore trivago strongly relies on multiple sourcing methods. They range from classic job advertising, direct sourcing on social networks, employee referrals, participation in IT, career fairs and hackathons.
trivago doesn’t hesitate to seek professionals internationally. Currently they have employees from about 60 nations working in their Dusseldorf office. The language they use most frequently is English and fluency in German is not a requirement for 98% of the openings. trivago also takes care of all working permits, so new employees can start as quickly and smoothly as possible.
Most importantly, trivago makes sure that they go to the right place in order to grab the attention of developers and interact with them on a daily basis. This is where Stack Overflow comes into play.
Web developers constantly use Stack Overflow as a platform for asking and answering questions around software development. It’s here that trivago has the opportunity to engage with potential candidates, even if they aren’t looking for a job. They do this with interesting, targeted jobs ads. A detailed company page also allows them to showcase their culture and the benefits they offer as an employer.
“Stack Overflow is a platform where technical questions are answered. That is where our target audience is on a daily basis.” - Patrick Kuster
trivago uses Stack Overflow for job postings and Candidate Search. “We’ve had some interesting candidates through direct sourcing. The response rate of candidates is much higher than Xing, LinkedIn or StepStone. On top of that the quality of the applications is better. We have hired 4 developers within six months and are very happy with the excellent customer service at Stack Overflow. It was definitely worth using Stack Overflow for our recruitment process. The 'time-to-hire' of technical experts is only about 90 days.”