Recruiting 101: How to Win a Really Nice Wenger Backpack (stuffed with goodies)

From: Randall "texrat" A.
Sent on: Wednesday, January 2, 2013 11:04 AM

Greetings again gang,

In my previous message I mentioned the backpack being offered for bringing in new members.  I had lowered the requirement from ten to five new members in recognition of the fact that this can be difficult, and also because I've been hard at work bringing people in myself.  ;)

I realize many of you may not have the experience I have and that gives me an unfair advantage.  So I'd like to level the playing field and share some techniques.  ;)

  • LinkedIn.  I've brought in a few new people simply by searching LinkedIn for local people with relevant skills and/or interests.  They don't even have to be current WP developers-- .NET folks, UX/UI designers, or even developers involved in competing ecosystems... all and more are possible candidates!  So get creative!
  • Twitter.  One tactic I use is to go through the following and/or follower list of local WP developers and/or business owners and see who in their list is local.  Then I ping them about WP interest.  Searching twitter can help, too, but the search tool is very primitive and requires a LOT of manual effort.  Paying attention to who is called out in my stream helps, too.
  • Facebook.  I haven't yet used Facebook to find candidates, but it should be another useful source.
  • Internet.  Of course the Internet at large is ripe for WP enthusiast harvesting.  It helps to use advanced search techniques to filter out noise, so make sure to click past the default Bing or Google home screen to access the deeper features.  You definitely need to focus on local residents, again looking for skills and interests that lend themselves to WP development in any aspect.
  • Companies.  Feel free to contact local businesses!  I've recruited several new members that way, and more will be coming.
  • Students.  I've had a REALLY hard time pulling in students.  Schools seem to be the toughest nut to crack, especially colleges.  I don't know why.  BUT: we need more young people! Some of our most active members are under 25, and these folks are the future!  So by all means let's make this a priority!
  • Networking.  Of course there's a good chance you already know good candidates.  Make sure people understand that development is more than coding-- we need UX/UI experts, musicians, designers, testers, advocates, you name it!  We could easily triple the group size by broadening our current skill base.

Note that I've brought in about 50 to 60 people to the group since joining, but I've approached hundreds.  So don't get too discouraged by null results-- I typically see 1 out of 8 approached people accept and join.

I've also set membership to "approval required" to ensure that we are focusing on truly interested people, so keep that in mind as well.

So what are you waiting for?  The bar's been lowered, the time extended, and the tools provided.  Bring 'em in and win!



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