The Book of Jade
Let’s take a step back for a moment, back to a pre-Gild world. Remember how we used to work? The cloying template emails, the blind cold calls, and those half-assed script-reading sessions we once referred to as “phone screens?” We were blind to the consequences, no? We lacked a gauge, a filter, even a sense of how we were perceived.
Well, meet Jade. He’ll tell you straight out how engineers feel about us recruiting types.
The Ghost Developer
Jade is a head-down Ruby developer, a strong coder – the sort of talent we chase all day. A few months ago, he was ready to test the market, begin what he expected would be a passive examination of his next best job. Though skeptical of LinkedIn, he created a profile anyway. Well you know what happens next: in no time at all, he’s receiving multiple InMails a day.
“It was all spam,” he said. “Canned message after canned message. Besides, I’d rather get hired by a CTO than an HR firm.”
He grew annoyed, so much so that he closed his account. To make matters more daunting, he was – and still is – on general principle against all social media: no LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. To the recruiting world, he didn’t exist.
Given his lack of public persona, odds are good he wasn’t in any recruiter’s database or applicant tracking system, either.
He was, for all intents and purposes, a ghost.
The Exception to the Rule
Not long ago, Gild was in desperate need of an elite Ruby developer. They searched in all the typical haunts, but to no avail. The need was niche and required just the right developer, someone who’d worked on problems similar to the one Gild was trying to solve.
Traditional recruiting searches turned up nada. Zilch.
But we had one tool that other recruiters didn’t: our own platform, Gild Source.
Our recruiter – using our technology – searched for a top Ruby developer, filtered to the top 10%, and surfaced two candidates, both of whom were at Google. Jade’s name didn’t surface, but his Github account and account name pulled and the coding wasn’t just good. It was exceptional. We never would have found Jade otherwise.
“Gild reached out,” he said. “I could tell it was from a recruiter, but it was clearly catered to me, as if someone had actually taken to the time to look at my work.”
He listened. He interviewed. He accepted the job.
Show Don’t Tell
Jade programmed projects on Github for the sole purpose of finding a job. “It’s better to show than tell,” he said. Brilliant, isn’t it? Through Github, Jade was offering up knowledge we typically wouldn’t have until deep into the interview process: an open look at his coding skills.
“A few companies made me do a coding challenge. Nobody cares about solving a stupid problem like that,” he said. “Open Source empowers programmers to work on something we’re actually passionate about. Determine our talent that way.”
A unique story, sure, as few engineers are as unplugged from social media as Jade. But what if this is a trend? We do know we’ve reached an annoyance threshold; it’s evident in the responses we receive. What if the top engineers follow suit and close their LinkedIn accounts? How will we access them then? They don’t need us the way they did ten, fifteen years ago. If they’re good enough, they can find us.
Unless we change tactics and enter the conversation equipped with more knowledge, more insight into an engineer’s skills prior to the interview rather than in the final stages.
Let’s listen to Jade’s advice. Rather than asking an engineer to rate coding skills, let them show us instead. And we had our own piece of humble pie served up when we couldn’t find Jade through “traditional” recruiting channels… but there he was, unearthed by Gild Source.