There are nearly ten times as many job openings for technology departments as there are new grads to fill them. As a result, modern companies must actively compete to win over the best candidates and stay relevant in an increasingly tech-driven world.

Today you’ll learn five industry-leading techniques for engaging with top up-and-coming technology leaders based on our expertise from thousands of hours working alongside these bright young minds at Major League Hacking.

 

1.  Let Candidates Talk to Fellow Techies

Techies like to talk shop. One of the best recruiting techniques you can employ is to bring engineers or designers from your organization to on-campus events with you. They’ll be able to talk to students about what they’re working on, offer them technical mentorship and advice, and dig deep into their skills in an organic way. Giving students the opportunity to build rapport with the people they’ll work alongside can make the difference between working at your company and applying to a tech giant.

 

2.  Go Where The Students Are

Top tech students go to hackathons, not career fairs. They are motivated by their love of building new technology, far beyond their school assignments. Hackathons, weekend-long invention competitions, give them the opportunity to collaborate with their peers, learn from experts at potential employers, and showcase their skills in an inspiring environment. For you, there is no better opportunity to build a connection with a talented student than to support a project they are working on in real time and show, rather than tell, them why it would be a valuable and fulfilling experience to work with you and your team.

 

“Our partnership with Major League Hacking over the past two years has had an enormous impact on how up-and-coming technical talent perceives Bloomberg as an employer. Technical hiring is extremely competitive right now, and working with MLH gave us a unique and targeted way to reach some of the smartest students out there in an authentic way that actually resonated with them. The MLH hacker community is an amazing competitive advantage for any organization savvy enough to work with them.” – Robert Faldo, Bloomberg LP

 

3.  Revamp Your Promotional Giveaways

Investing in high quality promo items can give you thousands of impressions long after an event is over. Spend a few extra dollars for the softer t-shirt, ask your designers to create a custom mockup that appeals to techies or is specific to the event you are at, or even make a limited-edition item that people can compete to win. For example, you can see a sticker design below that MLH created for Deloitte when they attended a hackathons with us – it was gone in seconds and we still see it plastered on students’ laptops years later:

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4.  Modernize Your Application Process

CVs aren’t going away anytime soon, but asking for profiles from GitHub (a source code collaboration and sharing site) or Dribbble (a design sharing and feedback site) as part of your application process can be extremely valuable, along with a run-down of what hackathons they go to and what side projects they’ve worked on. It shows candidates that you are savvy with current trends and also gives you an additional way to evaluate a candidate’s technical skills.

 

5.  Engage Their Skills

Developers and designers love to experiment. Create a technical game or puzzle to build stronger connections with new candidates by showing them that your team has interesting problems to work on, enjoys experimentation, and potentially even has bleeding edge technology that they can try. This could take the form of a fun technical game like the Capture the Flag security game we built with Ubisoft or you could simply bring cool new technology like a Drone or Oculus Rift VR Headset to an event with you as a hook to engage potential candidates.

 

What now? 

Implementing these five tips will give your team a leg up on other technical recruiters. Major League Hacking partners with student groups to run over 20 hackathons in the UK each year. In addition, they have sponsorship opportunities that cover our entire EU season (40+ events, 7,000 student developers). They are also running an EU Regional event called MLH Prime in London in April. If you want to learn more about how Major League Hacking connects companies with the top up-and-coming technologists in the world through innovative and authentic events and strategies, contact Alex Timbas at sponsor@mlh.io today!

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