Where to hire engineers in London?

Lots of people approach me about finding “technical co-founders” “a few great engineers” for their companies. It’s not easy to hire at the moment, much less so in London where the banks and successful Seedcamp startups eat away all the talent (or so).

Where to advertise for and find engineers?

I usually say “good luck” with regards to the cofounder.

When hiring a team (at market range salaries, with a great package, of course), I can recommend a couple of ressources (skewed towards London):

    1. workinstartups.com is ran by Diana, and a great ressource to advertise your (mostly UK-based) jobs.
    2. Silicon Milkroundabout not only has a great name, it is also a series of excellent recruiting events for tech startups. The nice folks at Songkick put it up, and the next one is coming in May. Be there.
    3. Stackoverflow has an excellent careers page. It is probably the most relevant ressource for developers. Profiles are not cheap, but according to founder friends, highly valuable.
    4. Forrst looks cute, is ran by Kyle (a great guy I only know through email), and a great place to find designers.
    5. Dribble is another great place to find designers – browse around to see what’s going on, quite the time waster if you like good design.

If you are looking for hardcore developers, try scouring github (or let your engineers do it) for folks that work on cool, relevant stuff, and are based around you. They might be interested or able to recommend someone from their circles.

In general, you need to be extremely resourceful when looking for talent, finding your ways to folks that work on the relevant platforms and technologies. Hiring is hard.

If you have suggestions for more places to look – leave them in the comments, both for London and other places. If you share your own hiring hacks, you get extra Karma points.

Oh, and if you are looking for a job in a startup – let me know. I might be able to help out.

ADDITION

Florian added a great comment that everyone should read, especially regarding investor /employee communication:

I have been involved in hiring engineers for the last 2-3 years. The following builds on this experience.
Okay, hiring hack share alert: I see numerous startups advertising engineering positions who pitch their company to engineers in the same way as they would to investors or founder peers.
This leads to the following: Strong focus on the company’s market position, growth perspective etc etc. Strong emphasis on the current technology stack as a required skill set. Hype lingo (“stealth ninja CTO magician needed”).

Far more interesting for high calibre engineers is the following: Describe your company starting with its engineering challenges. Focus on high level challenges that allow developers to think.
Try and understand what specific skills your hire needs and where an agnostic developer with a broad range of experience will be able to onboard himself quickly (eg you probably don’t need a coffeescript expert, as someone with considerable javascript experience will be able to work productively with coffeescript in a matter of days).

Describe your development process. If you don’t have one, get one installed. There are exceptional engineers who cowboy code. As long as you never plan to grow a team larger than that one engineer: No problem. Oh, you do? Get a process. Describe it.

Cut the lingo. All the engineers I know hate it. If you want to stand out, use terms that engineers use to describe themselves. “Maker” is an example. “IT whizz” is not.

Oh, and we’re hiring: http://mindmatters.co.uk

  • http://twitter.com/ldn_tech_exec London Tech Exec

    Careers 2.0 looks like a good one, seeing as you can directly target people active in the right communities. Call up sales for Stack Exchange and they’ll help you out…hint hint.

  • http://nachdienstschluss.tumblr.com Siepert77

    I have been involved in hiring engineers for the last 2-3 years. The following builds on this experience.
    Okay, hiring hack share alert: I see numerous startups advertising engineering positions who pitch their company to engineers in the same way as they would to investors or founder peers. 
    This leads to the following: Strong focus on the company’s market position, growth perspective etc etc. Strong emphasis on the current technology stack as a required skill set. Hype lingo (“stealth ninja CTO magician needed”).

    Far more interesting for high calibre engineers is the following: Describe your company starting with its engineering challenges. Focus on high level challenges that allow developers to think. 
    Try and understand what specific skills your hire needs and where an agnostic developer with a broad range of experience will be able to onboard himself quickly (eg you probably don’t need a coffeescript expert, as someone with considerable javascript experience will be able to work productively with coffeescript in a matter of days).

    Describe your development process. If you don’t have one, get one installed. There are exceptional engineers who cowboy code. As long as you never plan to grow a team larger than that one engineer: No problem. Oh, you do? Get a process. Describe it.

    Cut the lingo. All the engineers I know hate it. If you want to stand out, use terms that engineers use to describe themselves. “Maker” is an example. “IT whizz” is not.

    Oh, and we’re hiring: http://mindmatters.co.uk