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Best Job Boards for Recruiting Startup Engineers

One of our portfolio companies asked me this week, “Do you all have a list of job boards your portfolio companies have had great success with in recruiting high quality engineers?”

The unemployment rate for quality computer scientists/engineers in the major cities right now is zero; everyone who’s not pursuing his/her own startup can easily get a good job.  Therefore, the best candidates are rarely perusing job boards.  Part of the genius and success of LinkedIn is it’s by far the best tool for soliciting passive jobseekers, i.e., those who are currently employed.

I’m a firm believer that the best way to recruit great talent is to make yourself a magnet for people to come to you, instead of the other way around.  In a Dreamit talk I gave on recruiting star engineers, embedded below, I discuss a host of ways to do this.  In a HBS Angels panel I spoke at last week, Chris Fralic of First Round Capital quoted Chad Dickerson of Etsy on this topic. Speaking at a First Round-organized event, Chad said Etsy requires 100% of their engineers to be active in the technical community: give talks, blog, etc.  As a result, they’ve had no problem attracting great talent to Brooklyn.

That said, while largely cumbersome and cluttered with spam, job boards still accounted for nearly 25% of hiring in 2010.  Nathan Hurst made a useful comparison of tech job boards based on cost/post, headhunter/confidential posts, company size, and word frequency.  Accolo uses its database of thousands of placements to identify the most effective job boards for its clients (Disclosure: I’m an Advisor). Social Recruiting Report ranks the top tech job boards by Google Page Rank.  Smashing magazine and Sociable Blog have lists of IT/Tech job boards, but don’t do a detailed comparison .    Engineering Recruiting promises to put you in touch with the appropriate engineer recruiter, but I’m a bit skeptical of how effective or worthwhile a service like that is, given the conflicts of interest.

What do you find are the most effective recruiting job boards?

Thanks to Joan Xie for research help.

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