Finding Your People

Finding Your People

I often help my clients figure out who to hire, when to make that hire, and how to hire. If you're not ready to hire right now or think you won't ever need to, start finding your people now. Building your network and building those relationships is a crucial first step.

Here are six approaches I share with clients.

Adopt Give Before You Get

Adopt the Give Before You Get approach. Add value to the people and the community you connect with and they will be more likely to help you. Without this approach, the relationships you build will be transactional. 

Examples of “give": 

When the “get” finally comes around, it will be worth so much more to you. 

Use Your Network

Referrals from someone you trust are reliable. Ask for an introduction to a specific person rather than asking for a list of people in order to make it easier on the person doing the referring.

If you’re not sure who you’re looking for or you’re simply looking to expand your network, consider sharing a job post, a short paragraph of what you’re looking for, or providing an already prepared email that can be forwarded. This will make it easy for people to share it with their network.

Look Outside Your Network

Maybe you’re feeling like you can’t find who you’re looking for within your own network. Our own networks tend to be very homogenous, filled with people just like us. We share the same experiences, backgrounds, age, race, religion, and gender with many in our own networks. This causes us to end up with teams that are very homogenous and we build products for a very homogenous audience. Consider Snapchat’s face filters that are either blatantly racist or reinforce whiteness. Products like these are created by teams lacking diversity.

We’re much more likely to rely on that referral from someone we already trust because it’s easy. Instead of going down the easy route, look outside your network. Not only will you expand your own network, but you will build more diverse, successful, happy, and profitable teams and successful products that can be used by many.

Get Social

People are there to learn and to connect with others who share that same passion. Even if those you meet at these places can’t help now or aren’t interested in working at your company now, that’s ok. They may be interested in helping in the future. Ask if you can reach out to them again in six months. Ask if they know of anyone who might be interested.

Some events will ask attendees who’s hiring and who’s looking for work. That’s an excellent opportunity to speak up. Just know that you’ll want to stick around for the entire event to chat with people after.

If you have a specific tech stack in mind, there will be monthly meetups for each and every one. If you're looking to diversify your workforce, consider sponsoring a meetup or conference that supports marginalized groups. These meetups need money to fuel their community. Depending on the event, you can expect $200-500 for an evening meetup. Conference sponsorships start around the $1000 mark. Either way, you’ll get your time in the spotlight to market your open position, your company, or the tech you want more developers to use. More importantly, you’ll get an opportunity to meet other people who are passionate about the tech you use or build.

Talk Yourself Up

Well, talk up your product, startup, project, idea, company, open position, or team. Socialize it on social media, within your networks, at events, and within the tech community. Ask your employees to do the same. If you have something good, they probably already do this.

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