Why an Engineering Employer Brand is Crucial to Recruiting Tech Talent

June 16, 2015 at 1:00 PM by Kathleen de Lara


Recruiting technical candidates is its own beast. Engaging them takes a tailored approached, and with more thoughtless recruiters dulling the impact of their outreach with mass messages cut from the same cloth, you’re likely better off not emailing candidates unless you’re some sort of of engineer at the company.

A good employer brand has frequently been linked to better engagement, happiness, and retention. Portraying the team as true-to-life as possible attracts the types of people you want and likewise they want to work for you.

The engineer angle is one aspect of the employer brand most recruiters forget to focus on, and with tech talent in high demand, companies should be investing time in standing out from others. Here’s why.

Building a marketing machine with engineers.

Depending on the industry you’re in, the employer brand is typically representative of the company’s identity as a whole – sales, marketing, customer success, and engineering teams, for example. In addition to leveraging the company’s careers page and online presence, another way to bolster your employer brand is with the help of your engineering team.

An engineering blog is a great place to start. Remember hearing a company’s content marketing strategy is essential to building relationships with prospective customers? Same goes for nurturing connections with potential hires. Whether it be to share hacks, recent product launches, or the latest project the team is working on, an engineering blog gives a peek into a day in the life of the team. That’s engaging, builds rapport, and shows people (whether or not they’re potential candidates) you’re up to exciting (and legit) ventures.

Knowing where they’re living.

Part of fostering a engineering employer brand is creating a network of people to read and share your content. As marketers beat the drum for their company, they learn where their target audiences hang out and what types of resources generates the highest engagement. Similarly, getting exposure to your engineering employer brand naturally breeds a marketing-recruiting culture, and the team begins to understand what drives candidates to engage with your company. Tech candidates are becoming more difficult to find. GitHub, Dribbble, and Quora are a few good sites to start with.

Learning how to speak their language.

Keep the momentum going with a tech-centric employer brand and at the least, start getting cozy with the programming language. It’s a good way to get familiar with gauging tech candidates and to understand their work from their perspective, versus wholly relying on reading a job description. You learn to grasp their day-to-day work challenges and what exactly gets them excited about their responsibilities, helping you sell the role and evaluate candidates better.

What tips do you have for companies looking to grow their engineering employer brand? We wanna hear from ya – share your thoughts in the comments.

Be sure to check out our Programming 101 for Recruiters webinar featuring Greenhouse VP of Engineering Mike Boufford! You can watch it here.

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