Challenge for $ 500. How startup programmers searched

Published on September 11, 2013

Challenge for $ 500. How startup programmers searched

    Many companies do not at all strive to improve or change anything in their attitude to hiring employees: the principle of a good admin “works - do not touch” is triggered, laziness, confidence in the grandfathering methods of personnel work (emphasize necessary).

    In general, the search for developers is a rather complicated topic, partly due to the abundance of conflicting information. Only on Habré in the HR hub, an interested reader will find a ton of things about everything in the world.

    In this post I will not make any heartbreaking conclusions, I just want to increase the level of entropy to talk about how small, but very multinational startups find good developers, what comes out of it and what doesn't work out.

    Creative search

    So, the company is growing, the amount of work doubles every Monday, developers are required, possibly the most wonderful and excellent. This is a real problem: it’s easy to find a junior or middle coder, but with smart developers on the market is a (conditional) trouble.

    Proven large employers are in a winning position: many talented programmers want to get a job at Microsoft, for example. It's not even about salary, which in a startup can easily turn out to be at the same level or higher - just a lot of people know different (including good) things about MS, and nobody knows anything about Elusive Joe Ltd. .


    Faced with this situation, one of my acquaintances, the director of a small (about 10 personnel) company, decided to make the search for good programmers a separate mini-project:

    1. everyone was offered a simple task in C ;
    2. a programmer who sends a good solution receives $ 500, just like that;
    3. the most delicious thing is the referral system: send the task to a talented developer and earn $ 500 with it (this thing is distributed, the manager sent it to me);
    4. and only after that, if the programmer and the company feel mutual sympathy, negotiations on employment begin.

    It turned out to be a completely viable system: a carrot in the form of five hundred dollars in 20 minutes of work - this is slightly more than I usually get in 20 minutes of work (it’s bad to be me); The “viral” distribution system also appears to work.


    What is the bottom line: there is no need to read the resume; the load on the personnel department is reduced, as conversation about work begins with those guys who have the necessary skills. We write down the prize pool in cons (in this case, about $ 25K).

    Subjectively, I like it a lot more than the “cold” LinkedIn mailing lists. Maybe I just love solving problems.

    Discussion and links

    If you are interested in some things, ask in the comments, I will try to find out. The administration of the company does not speak Russian, therefore, it will not work to invite to the discussion; I promise to broadcast the information verbatim.

    You can earn knowledge of C in beer on the competition page (the referral system works only through mail, this is not a ref. Link).

    Most importantly: do you think this methodology for finding employees has a future?