Running a tech company and looking for Ruby developers? Got a “great idea” for a startup, and all you need is a programmer? Congratulations! You’ve just joined the 10,000 other geeks in the same coder-starved boat, especially if you live in a technology hub like Silicon Valley or New York City.
Many founders mistakenly believe money or perks are the answer to hiring programmers. Fortunately for the cash-strapped startup, that’s not the case.
Hunch founder Chris Dixon (one of the investors in my company, Contently) writes that the most important thing about recruiting programmers is understanding what motivates them: interesting challenges, talented coworkers, and working on software that gets used by a lot of people. Money and free Cheetos are great, but they come last.
But even if you can motivate, the fact is, good programmers are in high demand. Competing with the Googles of the world doesn’t make it any easier.
With a fresh $50 million, Foursquare’s 80+ person team just moved to New York’s Soho neighborhood, into an office seven times the size of its old one–and no doubt, they intend to fill it up. There go the rest of the city’s programmers.
But maybe that doesn’t matter.
Despite the developer gold rush in New York, my own, cash-conscious company, Contently, has managed to hire the tech talent we’ve wanted, when we wanted it. Every time.
Here are the three secrets we hire by:
Target Out-Of-Staters Willing To Relocate
Of Contently’s core team, only one of us actually lived in New York to begin with. One came from Vegas, two from Philadelphia, and we’re continually pulling in developers from Chicago, the Carolinas, and Washington, D.C.
The bottom line is this: Not every talented programmer in the world is from a city with “Silicon” in its nickname. But many of those programmers would love to live in one.