Recruiters: How to Market to Tech Candidates

I recently saw a posting for Machine Learning and AI jobs using the image above (minus the no circle). The image above reeks of corporate HR. I am sorry but corporate HR is not the coolest thing to a developer.

Do you think any ML/AI candidate is going to see this image and say wow I need to go work for this company right away?

Do something bold. Do something original. Do something that tech people will like, not generic stock photos that will please no one, except for stock photo companies.

Stop thinking like a recruiter and start thinking like a developer.

My background is in tech marketing. My audiences were technical people: everyone from the CTO down to the person using the product. I had fun doing it and heck, even the members of a large tech community gave me the “artist award” for inspiring ads! Built a min tech community of over 10,000 members.

Before you try to market to or target developers, you need to understand them first.

When I first started in tech marketing, i would shadow the developers in our office and peppered them with questions. I would seek their opinions on ads and other marketing collateral (it helps to have the budget to buy them beer and pizza!).

Pizza and beer also works wonder with tech workers who are not working in your company. We also had several external events with non employee tech workers. Besides the obvious beer/pizza motivation, these people actually want to help us since the better we get, the less annoying we were to them. The same could be said about recruiter.

When I was marketing to IT workers, some of the most successful swags were capes (as in super heroes) with our logo on it, beacon scented air freshener, and other things that you, the recruiters may not appreciate.

Do something edgy or if you are uncomfortable with that, something humorous. Anything geeky. But definitely memorable.

Don’t waste your money sending out those LinkedIn InMails that will not work. Personal emails works alot better. But if you want to have a little fun and you know where they work, send them a little something. While it may cost more than an InMail, your response rate will be 10X if not higher and more cost effective.

Even if you don’t have the budget to send a package or something, a handwritten wedding invitation type letter is very effective. Guaranteed to be opened. You just need to have something witty to say inside.

So be creative and have some fun. Developers will respond to that. Ok to get less hate mail, I’ll play nice. Maybe the image above is not useless. Maybe it can be used for R4R ads.

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