How I Hired a Dev Using Cold Emails – A Story of One Software House

Kamil Dubel in

Blog/How I Hired a Dev Using Cold Emails – A Story of One Software House

Recruiting employees is always a difficult process, especially in the IT industry. There’s a shortage of highly skilled developers and on top of that, they’re in high demand. Even professional headhunters make it clear that acquiring programming specialists is their biggest challenge. In my company, cold emails came to the rescue and here’s what I’ve learned during the process.

When I decided to expand our team of programmers, I knew it was going to be a tough nut to crack. A significant effort needs to be put into acquiring quality employees, but it’s well worth it.

Looking for new team members among referral networks, on LinkedIn, or GitHub is still an effective way to reach out to potential candidates, the one condition being that you’re doing it the right way.

Top devs get plenty of offers via these channels, so I knew I had to approach the task in a totally different, unique fashion.

Email blunders made by recruiters

It wasn’t so long ago that I was getting tens of job offers myself. My inbox was showing messages from recruiters and HR specialists, but they were all the same. I asked a bunch of programmers about their experience with the emails they were getting from recruiters.

As it appeared, the list of mistakes was lengthy. The job offers are usually poorly written, and at times contain major mistakes.

– The worst kind of job offers are the ones that are obviously a mass-sent template. Getting someone’s name wrong isn’t that frequent but still happens. Poor research, showing complete lack of knowledge about me, is another mistake, manifesting itself in the wrong choice of technologies which do not overlap with my set of skills. The most frequent blunder is mistaking Java with JavaScript. How often am I being spammed like this? A dozen or so times a month – says Michał Kosyk, developer at TheMasters.io.

– I once got a message starting with: ‘Hello Ryszard’. I didn’t even want to read the rest of it – recalls Wojciech Ryrych, developer at TheMasters.io.

– It often happens that people sending the message aren’t familiar with relevant technologies and say something like: Are you good with Rails and AngularJS? That’s great, come work for us using Django and React. There’s too much beating around the bush too and in order to elicit some basic information, you have to start an unnecessary, spam-filled dialogue – adds Michał Kajder, developer at TheMasters.io.

How to write an effective cold email to a developer?

The short talk with our developers convinced me that the best way to get in touch with potential employees includes thoroughly written cold emails – personalized, to-the-point messages that make their recipients feel appreciated. Upon reading the email, they’ll understand I took my time with it. Time to seek out information and look up their skills. I devoted myself to that research and drafting the emails.

What should a developer recruiting email template consist of?

  1. Cut to the chase
    • From the very beginning let the reader know why you are contacting him.
  2. Introduce yourself
    • Are you a hired recruitment agency or somebody from the company?
  3. Justify your choice
    • Which of his skills made you reach out? By doing so, you will show he’s more than just a name on your mailing list and that you have thoroughly researched him before.
  4. Write a few words about your company and the job opening briefly:
    • Focusing on profits in your description is crucial – what’s the growth potential on this position?
    • What can he get out of working for you?
    • Why is your company a good environment for him?
  5. Call to action
    • Ask if the candidate would like to talk to you and get to know the details of your offer. Don’t push too hard for an instant decision though.

This is how we hired a new developer

A few months ago we sent a cold mailing campaign to several tens of developers who specialize in our technologies – Ruby On Rails and AngularJS. Significant majority of them replied. As a result next month Mariusz is joining our team.

As it stems from our experience, well-written recruiting cold emails bring results, and the effort you put in is worth it. Even if most of the recipients won’t decide to work with you, they’ll remember you. Maybe they’ll get back to you in several weeks or months?

Quality recruiting cold emails are the ones that leave great impression and stand out among others. I assure you that individual approach to developers will result in them respecting you – your messages won’t add to the stack of worthless spam in their inboxes.

To wrap things up, make sure to avoid these five basic mistakes:

  1. Double-check that you’re reaching out to the right person.
  2. Don’t send non-personalized, copy-pasted templates to each and every candidate.
  3. Don’t push for an answer. Switching jobs is a big step.
  4. Never ever get the name of the person you’re contacting wrong.
  5. And for God’s sake, don’t mix up programming technologies!

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Kamil Dubel

Founder and CEO of TheMasters.io. Passionate about technology. He firmly believes that the best way to achieve great results is hard work. And craft beer.