recruiting great engineers in six easy steps

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Recruiting Great Engineers in Six Easy Steps Aleksandr Yampolskiy

Post on 10-Nov-2014




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"Hiring Great Technologists in Six Easy Steps"In this talk, we discuss:- What it takes to hire and retain great engineers in New York area.- Qualities you should look for in a technical co-founder.- Does it make sense to outsource?- As well as other topics raised by the audience.Afterwards, we will continue with networking among the group's members.Please feel free to write your questions ahead of time in the comments section.


  • 1. Recruiting Great Engineers in Six Easy StepsAleksandr Yampolskiy
  • 2. Who Am I? Aleksandr Yampolskiy CTO of Cinchcast, BlogTalkRadio, and Cinch.FM companies that provide solutions to create, share, measure, and monetize audio content. Grew the team from six to 15 in six months Previously global head of security and compliance for Gilt Groupe companies The team served over 1300 people, got recognized in the news media. Various leadership roles in Goldman Sachs, Oracle, Microsoft building scalable, enterprise software for IDM, SSO, Security Ph.D. in Distributed Computing Email: [email protected] Twitter: @ayampolskiy Blog:
  • 3. C o m p a n y O v e r v ie w( w w w . c in c h c a s t . c o m ) Cinchcast provides cloud- Founded in 2006 based software and services ~30 Employees for creating, distributing, 15 of them in Tech measuring and monetizing HQ in New York, NY voice-based content Millions of pageviews a BlogTalkRadio is a day consumer-based media Powering over 1,500 property hours of content creation every day Confidential 2011 Cinchcast - All Rights Reserved
  • 4. BlogTalkRadio : Largest Audio Social Network(for consumers)
  • 5. T h e C in c h c a s t P la t f o r m(f o r e n t e r p r is e s ) Confidential 2011 Cinchcast - All Rights Reserved 5
  • 6. My Recruiting Tail of Woe Or the first snow of the season, winter 2008, NYC
  • 7. RULE #1: Look in the right places Where will you find more engineers? MongoDB conference Alpha Epsilon Phi Sorority Party This meetup
  • 8. Where to look Best engineers arent showcasing their resumes. They attend meetups, build open-source projects on github, advertise on Linkedin, answer questions on stackoverflow. Tip: Sponsor or host dev talks. Or you could just attend them. Tip: Scout Linkedin, github, stackoverflow. Look for technologies you are hiring for but also for knowledge of exotic technologies (OCAML, LISP, etc.) Only passionate engineers know these.
  • 9. Rule #2 : Know what attractsdevelopers (and what doesnt)
  • 10. Typical Office
  • 11. Hint: Its not the money. A players like to work with A players. They want to learn new technologies and get better at them. They like to seat in Aeron chairs, and have fun during lunch break. Developers should be self-empowered to make the right decisions. Some process but not too much.
  • 12. Talk is cheap. 20% equity of $0 is still $0. Tell a personal story. What did you risk by joining this startup? What makes you competent?
  • 13. RULE #3: Slow to hire, fast to fire. When hiring, look for passion! Experimentation with new technologies and a track record of failure. My pitch: learn a lot over a few years while building a multi-hundred-million company, and then go create your own startup. Always meet in person. Have lots of coffees. Use social media to your advantage (tech blog, friends connections, twitter)
  • 14. Slow to hire, fast to fire Get developers to write code during interview. Ask lots of questions You add an index to a database table, how do you implement it? What s a b-tree? Why do we need to use a b-tree? If you have a 100 person company, someone is No. 100 A bad situation will fester. It is your job as CEO to make sure those situations dont happen. " - Kevin Ryan, CEO Gilt Groupe. Right person, right job, right time
  • 15. RULE #4: Recruitment is EveryonesJob Sourcing (referrals are the best source of candidates. Offer a $5K referral) Selling (sell the company to a prospective candidate at every stage) Selecting (hire the best - if in doubt, then its a no.)
  • 16. How to Succeed Developers should be self-empowered to makethe right decisions. Some process but not toomuch.Start using the website (aka eating your owndog food)Refer your friends to Engineering jobs.Think about how to improve the company even ifits not your direct job responsibility.Know what the business strategy is. Most importantly, have fun!
  • 17. RULE #5: Try something. The price ofinaction is high. Make decisions quickly [to hire or not to hire] General Patton: A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.
  • 18. Try Something Linkedin is an invaluable resource if you reach out to candidates yourself. Look for unusal skills in addition to the ones I need (Lisp,, MIPS assembly, etc.) Mixed luck with Craigslist or Stackoverflow. Hire a part-time recruiter ($20 an hour) vs. 15-20% placement fee.
  • 19. RULE #6: Fail fast forward Failure is very acceptable. When it happens, make sure you identify it quickly, and hopefully its in a forward motion. And then start going again. Hiring great people isnt easy. My response rate is 2-3 out of 20; recruiters report 1 out for 100. I dont delegate hiring; its the most important job a CTO can do. Carol Bartz, former Yahoo CEO
  • 20. Common Mistakes I should use ___ technology in the beginning because its better, more scalable, and will make it easier to hire. It doesnt matter! Premature optimization of the team and infrastructure I MUST have a technical cofounder How about a tech advisor instead + outsourcing? Your worst hires will look great on paper.
  • 21. Outsourcing Can be effective if done properly. Stay tuned.
  • 22. Any Questions?.... Email: [email protected] Twitter: @ayampolskiy