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A lot of the comments here are from the employee "I hate being bothered by recruiters" side, which I totally get. But as a (newly promoted) Director of Engineering in SF I'm struggling to make any headway building my team without using contingency recruiters. I'm new to being on the hiring side and my manager is frustrated that my only resource for candidates is to use recruiters (primarily because of the cost). What other things can / should I be doing?

Here are some things I've considered:

- Meetups: Hosting usually gives you a quick pitch to the audience, but there is a real time investment to make a successful meetup that leaves a good impression. I could attend other meetups and try to recruit but I don't want to be "that guy" when everyone else is there to learn

- Craigslist, StackOverflow, LinkedIn, etc... These are all things our recruiters should be covering, but I thought I might get some traction as an engineer trying to hire people. Not much luck so far

- Hiring remotely. This is a little scary but I think that there's a big talent pool outside of the Bay Area that we're not seeing because they don't want to live here. I've read a lot about how to create successful remote teams but I'm wary of building a team that's 95% in-office with one guy in Alabama who's out of the loop.

I'd really love your thoughts or advice on this.

EDIT: Formatting

You need to start considering your company's reputation as an employer of technologists. If there is no reputation, you need to start building it. Perhaps sponsoring a meetup for a few hundred dollars is a good investment, as it shows your company supports the community. Perhaps one of your engineers could speak at a meetup, to show off some of your talent or give a sniff of your interesting products and projects.

Once you've built a bit of a hiring brand, you'll start to see incoming traffic coming in organically instead of having to go and do outreach all the time.

I've not been to tons of meetups, but. Ime, half-way through there's five or so minutes for a few people to pitch their company. They keep it short, and stick around after to talk to anyone who is actually interested. To me, it feels more like supporting programmers rather than hunting them. I may be naive ;). But especially for me as a relatively new programmer, without a huge professional network, I appreciate it.

The number one source of candidates should be your own social network, and the number two source is the social network of other engineers at your company. Having an employee referral program is nice, but nothing beats just asking your best engineers directly who they've worked with that you should be working together on recruiting.

One of my problems there is that we have a large number of foreign people (myself included) who've only been in the city for a few years. For a number of them this is their first job. Accordingly, the social networks are small. I'll try to work on that, though.

Thanks for your feedback

I've built iOS and android dev teams at way below market costs by doing one thing. Going to meetups and community events, showing intense passion for building great products and being a strong pitchman for working on my team.

Most people want to work on exciting projects with energetic and curious people. It's infectious.

I can't imagine anyone not liking your short pitch at a relevant meetup. The ability to chat with you afterwards, on a level playing field is a huge boon to making a good connection. It does take time though.

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