Tech & Work

Built to last: Assemble a strong development team with resourceful recruiting

One of the first steps of recruiting is getting the word out. Here's a look at some common options for spreading the news when you have an open position on your development team.


Managers know that building a great group of developers isn't an easy undertaking. And if you're new to this role, you might not even know where to begin construction.

From creating a staff charter to retaining your employees, resource staffing is one of the most important skill sets found in the development manager's repertoire. There are several steps involved in building a successful development staff, and in this article I'll provide tips on the recruiting part of the process.

Recruiting job candidates
After you have written a detailed job description that clearly identifies the duties and skill requirements for a given position, you're ready to start reviewing resumes. But once you know what you're looking for, how do you find viable candidates?

One of the first steps of recruiting is getting the word out. Before you can gather potential employees to evaluate their abilities, you've got to make sure people know the position is available. Here's a look at some common options for spreading the news.

Close to home: Regional advertising
Local job boards

A common method for listing a position opening is to place it on a local bulletin board. State employment offices offer these boards for listing local positions. The listings are available to the general public, but there may be a nominal fee.

Regional newspapers

As a tried-and-true practice for announcing a job opening, a well-written newspaper advertisement is still a solid method of reaching talent in the local market. Keep in mind that the majority of newspapers are limited to a fairly small coverage area, distributing your notice within a small regional audience. But that's not necessarily a drawback, if your goal is to hire locally and you don't have a large budget.

Job fair

One way of sharing the cost of recruiting is to schedule a job fair. There are two general types of job fairs. A single organization may hold an open house where representatives from the company's departments meet with prospective talent.

The other type of fair features several organizations gathered in one location to compete for prospective employees. These fairs are usually centered on a specific profession or industry, such as information technology. Job expositions are typically inexpensive and will usually attract talent only from the local region.

Radio and television

One of the more costly methods of announcing an open position is advertising on the radio or television. This approach usually obtains a wide regional audience, and it's commonly used when other methods have not been successful.

Cross-country: National advertising
National newspapers

With the emergence of several nationally syndicated daily newspapers, the classified ad can now reach a much wider audience.

Trade journals

Placing your position notice in a trade journal will help target the right audience. While this technique can be more costly, it provides more national or international coverage.

The wired way: Online avenues
Your organization's Web site

The popularity of the Internet has given rise to several new techniques for recruiting. One of the most common is the employment or career page on a company's Web site. This page usually contains a list of current opportunities within the organization with detailed contact information. This technique is by far the least expensive, but keep in mind that the prospective employee has to visit the site to find out about the opening.

Internet job boards

Job boards are popping up all over the Internet. The challenge is to find one that your target prospect is likely to visit. Good bets are search sites and dedicated recruiting sites. The majority contains employment listings with detailed job and contact information or links to the associated organization's home page. These listings usually require a nominal fee.

Going pro: Headhunters
While many view headhunters in a less than positive light, professional recruiters can take most of the work out of finding good employees. Many reputable firms today maintain lists of contacts in specific professions, which can boost your list of potential candidates.

Recruiting firms are usually paid a percentage of the base salary for the position an organization seeks, giving it one of the highest costs per position filled. Larger firms often negotiate volume placement deals with one or two recruiting firms to offset cost.

Finding the right team members
Many techniques exist today to find talent to fill the open positions on your team. The development manager, working with the organization's human resource department, should determine the availability of talent in the region and select the appropriate recruiting avenue to locate candidates.

But thanks to rapidly changing staffing requirements, sometimes a full-time employee is not what you need. Lately, many organizations are turning to consultants for specific projects. But that's a topic for another article.

Editor's Picks