If a company can’t use its own product, how good can that product be? Being a small startup in Silicon Valley, we faced some of the same hiring challenges our product, Gild Source, was trying to solve. We had to identify, attract, and recruit talented engineers with specialized skills in a competitive market. At Gild, we were not willing to lower the bar when it came to hiring our core talent and were willing to go the extra mile to hire the best.
Luckily, we could use our own product, Gild Source, to find that core developer talent.
When our recruiter and Chief Product & Technology Officer, Luca Bonmassar, started looking for developers through the traditional channels, it was slim pickings. It was hard to identify the best candidates with the requisite Ruby on Rails experience, and when he did find some interesting profiles, it was no guarantee the candidate would work for an up and coming startup like Gild. Good engineers have a lot of options too and we were looking for that elusive bi-directional match.
It was a turning point in his talent search when Luca and his team finished building Gild Source. Gild Source, Gild’s properietary technology understands and evaluates code contributed to various open source platforms and developer communities. When the search was on for a Rails programmer, the owner of the top score in all of the Los Angeles area was Jade Dominguez. Jade was a frequent contributor on GitHub and his work really impressed Luca and the other developers on the team. Interestingly,
Jade had no apparent higher education or work history, but Gild Source gave him a 97 out of 100 score based on his work on open source repositories.
We decided to approach Jade though he was in southern California and the job opening was in Silicon Valley up north. Since Luca believed strongly in the power of Gild Source technology when it comes to identifying talent, we reached out to Jade with an engaging email tailored to Jade’s personal interests.
Jade was immediately intrigued because Luca’s initial approach was so different from the typical recruiting spam he received.
“The folks at Gild were talking about stuff I had actually done. They had taken the time to look up my work and even framed the conversations around it. I could barely tell the difference between the recruiter and the technical manager because they all sounded so well-informed about my work.”
Though Jade was never aggressively looking for a job and was not even part of LinkedIn and other social networks, he liked the opportunity at Gild and decided to pursue it.
“I have never been to college and don’t fit the typical profile for a programmer. I got obsessed with programming about 6 years ago. I started it as a hobby and I contribute a lot to open source because that’s how I learned programming.”
We felt like we were getting a known commodity in Jade because of all the work he had done in the open source platforms and other channels that Gild Source uncovered. Given his unique profile and background, Gild and Jade could not have found each other without Gild Source.
“We look at a variety of sources to score the developers. For example, we encourage our recruiters to look at a candidate’s blog. Blogs typically carry more depth than resumes and people tend to be more truthful in their blogs than their resumes,” says Luca.
Gild Source helped zero in on that special Ruby on Rails talent that the normal channels were simply incapable of reaching. Jade is a great example of a developer that most big brands should have been after, but they were not because they didn’t have the right tools to identify and reach him.
There are several other benefits that come with using Gild Source over and above identifying top talent. It also makes interviewing and technical evaluation of the candidate a lot easier, as the tool provides visibility into lot of his or her work. Companies don’t have to implicitly trust a candidate’s resume and hope it reflects a developer’s skills.
“Jade is very passionate about what he does and that’s something I look for in a candidate. We are very happy with his performance,” says Luca. He is very satisfied with what his product did for him in identifying that passionate Rails developer from among a crowd.
“I have a lot of technical and design freedom in my work and am not just a code monkey here at Gild,” says Jade. He is excited to have found a perfect home for his considerable skill set.
The Take Away
Hiring is hard and hiring software developers is even harder. Gild Source’s ability to uncover proven talent is a true asset to any technical recruiter. It surfaces the kind of talent other tools can’t unearth. It tracks down the candidate’s work first instead of depending exclusively on an awkward interview process. This approach takes the ideal of meritocracy-based hiring and makes it a reality for companies. It also helps put developers in the best jobs that fit their talents and passions. Just ask Gild and Jade. Both sides are happy to have found each other, thanks to Gild Source.