Novel Ways To Recruit More Tech Staff

Novel Ways To Recruit More Tech Staff

Like many growing organisations, Australian developer Bigcommerce finds it challenging to recruit IT pros. Engineering director Soren Harner shared some of its more novel tactics, including leaving puzzles on “garage sale” style posters for potential recruits to solve.

Bigcommerce currently has 20 positions open across its locations. “It’s not just a numbers game; it’s about finding the right people,” Harner said. “It’s a constant problem because we’re constantly recruiting The universities aren’t putting out as many people. Finding women is particularly difficult.”

The garage sale recruitment poster

The posters, pictured above, were placed around Sydney University and included a tear-off tag with phone number that could only be called if potential recruits cracked the code. Harrner said the idea occurred spontaneously to the team while discussing ways to engage with students. “We put some up and then removed them, because we worried about council regulations, but we’re going to put out another round soon.”

Sponsor drinks at community events

It’s a cliche because it’s true: geeks enjoy free beer. Bigcommerce regularly sponsors drinks at developer-centric events such as Ruby on Rails meetups.

Make your referral cards memorable

Handing out cards to potential recruits in those environments is an obvious technique, but you need to make sure those cards aren’t instantly dumped. “We have nice glossy VIP referral cards cards made of plastic, so people tend to hang onto them,” Harner said.

Make sure your work environment is impressive

We’ve shown Bigcommerce’s Sydney office in our featured workspace series, and Harner says it often helps seal the deal. “It’s really important to create the right kind of environment.”


    • What is it for the layman? I don’t know but I think it’s something to do with hex and scientific notation.

    • So does that mean you now have a job there ? Unless I’m wrong I solved it and I’m not that smart :p

      • Its just the number converted to base 36, so I downloaded this app off the play store that allows me to dial numbers in base 36.

        • your not meant to give it away! now dumb people will be calling. sheesh!

          It really wasn’t that hard since they showed you right there what it was. Leaving the 36 off the end would have weeded out a few although was only going to take a short amount of time before the solution got posted somewhere like here.

          I think it was more about them getting exposure via media for the geeky ad rather than looking for software engineers.

          • dunno

            the base factor was the second point required to work the calculation…..

            im still claiming first at 12.12 pm today!!

          • I applied for a contract job advertised like this once. It was some sort of complex maths equation, which I’m not very good with. But like the ad above, they had the company name on the sheet so I just looked up their reception number and asked to speak with the person in charge of hiring for the software developer role. When I got put through, he asked how long it took me to solve the equation, and I told him it took me about 15 seconds to find the company number in the phone book and call through.

            I got the contract. Turns out the moral of the story is that sometimes the best way to solve a complex problem is to avoid it altogether.

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