Take your recruitment strategy to the next level with community engagement

05/07/2017   Industry insights   Recruitment advice   LinuxRecruit community  

The Open Source world has a pretty amazing community. In London alone there are thousands of meetups on everything from Django to DevOps, and from Software to Scala

There are also larger conferences, summits, exhibitions and even seaside gatherings like Agile on the Beach springing up to cover pretty much every area of technology you can think of. 

There’s something powerful about being in the same place as like-minded people and being able to forge connections and share ideas. And that place doesn’t need to be in the same room. The wonders of technology mean that you can Slack, Skype, Hangout - or even attend a DevOps Conference from anywhere in the world. 

That's awesome, but what does this have to do with recruitment? Well, engaging with the community should be an important part of your strategy. Community engagement is an important tool for finding new people and retaining the people you have. However, many organisations don’t take full advantage of the opportunities that the Open Source community offers. In a crowded and competitive talent market, this means they are missing out on a powerful channel.

So, how to get started? Show up. This might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t. Of course, not everyone has the personal circumstance to spend their evenings at meetups, but even aiming for one a month could be really rewarding. You’ll get to hear talks from people who are doing awesome things, and solving challenges that your business is facing too, and get to chat to a room full of passionate technologists who give up their free time to learn. 

Attending events is also a powerful tool to engage your team. Actively encourage them to attend meetups if they want to, and set aside the budget to secure tickets to relevant events like AWS re:Invent. Not only is it a great way to show that you are investing in your team, it’s a chance to see the latest tech in action, and see how problems are being solved by other organisations.

The next step is contributing. One way of doing this is giving a talk at a meetup or conference. For employers, talks are a great way to build a brand and tell their story. For this reason, it’s also a powerful recruitment tool, selling what it’s like to work at your organisation far better than any job description.

Contributing to the community is also a powerful way of engaging and upskilling your existing team, and we'd always advise supporting anyone on your team that wants to give presentations or workshops. 

The community culture is also something you can develop within your office. For example, Aviture has been running 'Internal Lightning Talks', with the aim of sharing knowledge, and enabling new connections and conversations - and giving their engineers a chance to practice public speaking in a safe space.

The Trainline have taken this further and organised an Engineering Summit, bringing together their engineering team to share experiences and learn from each other, which is a great way to foster community within your organisation and empower your teams to take to the stage and present. 

Of course, not everyone wants to be a public speaker (though we’d definitely recommend trying it at least once!). But there are lots of other ways to tell your story and inspire your team. Start a company tech blog. Be more active on Twitter - Football Radar is one organisation who has a great approach to showing the world what their Devs are up to. Actively engage with the world of Open Source within your team, whether that be open sourcing something you're working on, or helping your team contribute by setting aside some time each week for personal projects.

As well as supporting organisations across Europe on their talent strategy, we run a number of meetups and are always happy to advise you on using community engagement to attract, retain, and upskill your teams. Just send us an email or give us a call on 020 379 52610 and we'll be happy to help.