Use Technical Meetups to help recruitment

"Meetups" are events organized on the platform of Meetup. They can have any format and content, but we are focusing on Technical events and we answer the question how could be used to help the recruitment process?

The main use is to spread the name of your company among the potential employees:

  • To make them aware of your company and the open or potential job positions.
  • To show that you invest in the education of your employees.

What happens in these "Meetups"?

Usually they have about 30 minutes time allocated for gathering people. Then there are a number of presentations with short QA sessions at the end. They have a break that allows for more mingling. In many cases the host or a sponsor provides some food and drinks.

There are also "workshop-style" events where people get tasks and they work on their computers to accomplish those tasks learning some technique or technology on the way. (I personally organize such workshops in the Code Mavens Meetup group.)

What options do you have to help recruitment?

You can attend an event, you can sponsor an event, you can host an event, or you can even run a whole Meetup group.

Each event is organized within a Meetup group. Each group can have a few hundred up to a few thousand members. Each event is attended by a few tens, up to a hundred or so people.

Talk at an event

Encourage your employees to offer presentations at Technical Meetups and ask them to mention the name of the company and that you are hiring.

This can have a big impact on relatively few people. Those who actually attended the meeting.

Pro:

  • This is free for you.
  • The people who attend the event can talk to your employee. This personal contact can have a much bigger impact than seeing the name of your company in writing.

Cons:

  • Preparing a presentation is a lot of work. Giving a presentation can be intimidating. So it might be hard to find enough people among your employees who are willing to do this.
  • The name of your company will probably not appear in the announcements, so only the people who attend the event will hear about it.

Sponsor an event

Find a group on Meetup that is relevant to your topic and has regular meetings.

The event organizers will usually want to provide food and drinks. They might also want to record the presentations and upload them you some video-sharing service. Talk to the organizers to find out what do they need and what do they offer in exchange.

Pros:

  • You don't need to convince anyone in the company to prepare and give presentations.
  • It's only money. You don't have a lot of additional administrative tasks with it.
  • Your company name and that the fact that you are hiring might included in all the announcements. Potentially reaching thousands of people.
  • Your company name and logo might be included on the page of the event.
  • You might be able to include a short presentation that is only about your company.

Cons:

  • It is a lot less personal than the other options.
  • Your sponsorship is less visible than that of the hosting organization.

Host an event

Invite a Meetup group to have one of their meetings at your office. For this you need to have a big enough space to let the people in. Either it needs to be somehow outside the workspaces or you will have to make sure you don't have a problem people walking around your office. (Make sure no sensitive information is displayed on white-boards, screens etc. Make sure computer screens are locked. You don't want someone to use this opportunity to get secrets of your company.)

You will probably want to offer refreshment (pizza, sandwiches, drinks, etc.)

Pros:

  • You don't need to worry about the content.
  • You might reach thousands of different people every event as your name is posted in the group.
  • You can show off your office to the people who arrive to the meeting.
  • Usually you can have a short presentation introducing your company to the participants.
  • Your own employees can also greatly benefit from the events.
  • You send the message that you provide these learning opportunities to your employees.

Cons:

  • You need to have a big enough place in your office.
  • You have to make sure no sensitive information is accessible by the visitors.

Have your own Meetup group

Set up your own Meetup group and organize Meetups either in your office or in all kinds of other places as well. In this case you need to worry about the content. If you organize it in your office, you'll have the same issues as you have in 3). If you organize in other places (e.g. bars, rented locations) that's probably more expensive, and you can't brag with your office.

This is usually a good option for companies that are major tech-providers where people would like to learn more about your technology as well.

Conclusion

You have several options. You can use one or more of them to see which fits you better and which might have a bigger impact.

Just make sure you don't expect an immediate return on your investment. You can get lucky, but usually it takes many events to start to see an impact.