As a recruiter, there is often the expectation that we spend our time posting adverts to attract Django developers to apply to our client's roles. We do utilise this but rarely find the best people through this channel.
Finding great Django Developers takes a lot of hard work, consistency, effort and a little bit of imagination. Understandably a lot of companies will want to try and hire Django Developers directly before working with an agency.
I thought I would share some of the things we do to make sure we are meeting Django Developers all the time so that when our clients need to hire someone, we know who will be the best fit straight away.
These top tips should help you to hire directly too...
Try to attend and sponsor Django Conferences, which
a) helps support the Django community
b) raises your profile with the people you want to work with
c) puts you in a room with anywhere 300+ Django Developers for several days at a time.
Most conferences allow you to put a "we're hiring" badge/button on the event site which can be linked to your careers page to help you justify some ROI pre/post conference too. Here's the DjangoCon US sponsors page for last year's event.
Depending on the sponsorship level, you could be given tickets and a booth at the conference where you'll be able to meet developers in person and discuss both your product and what it's like working for your company. If you have the inclination you may also benefit from giving a talk at the conference to raise both yours and the company profile a little higher.
The sponsorship isn't cheap but you could split the spend between your marketing and recruitment budgets... If you like this idea keep an eye on the DjangoCon US 2024 page where you'll see the sponsorship options.
This year it's being held in Durham, NC again from 22-27th September.
Django Con Europe is happening before then, in June and for the first time held in Spain. The North Western City of VIGO is this year’s host. Again, this is a brilliant opportunity to get yourselves in front of hundreds of Django Developers over the course of the conference.
Some people will also use conferences as an excuse/opportunity to bring their remote teams together for the week. What a great perk to offer your next Django developer!! (you may also be able to leverage another business unit’s budget for this too)
In between the conferences you should look into the local meetups in your region. We run and host a regular Django.Social event in London where we get to meet new people each time as well as regulars. There’s no agenda for recruiting here, just a great chance to get to know people, talk django and socialise.
On top of this, we are very lucky in London to have a regular Django Meetup too, they have tech talks most months of the year so we also make sure we attend those regularly. You could be out at meetups most nights if you are in a big city.
The first port of call would be the Python Software Foundation Job Board. This is actually on the Python.org website and is followed by Python Developers all over the world. I've heard good things about the responses to adverts you get there if you are happy to wade through the large volume of ineligible/irrelevant responses too.
You could look at DjangoJobs.net, although I have heard mixed reviews about results from posting adverts there. Mostly about the cost vs results. It's been around a while and is probably the most commonly used Django focussed job board. There is also djangogigs.com too but this is an old site, I'm not sure how many people still post on it or look there for jobs.
I have actually registered the django.careers domain and am working with volunteers to create a free-to-use job board with the option of promoting your advert if you either already sponsor the Django Software Foundation or make a donation per advert. If you want to post on there please let me know.
If you post on any of these sites, it's likely that your advert will be pulled across onto the jobs page by Django News - You could also sponsor an advert on the actual weekly newsletter (sent every Friday to over 3000+ Django people worldwide)
There is also the option to post an advert on LinkedIn but again you won’t get a very good response of quality Django Developers without sponsoring or paying for promotion. This does link back to your own network and how many followers you or your company have.
On LinkedIn we run two job seeker groups for Python/Django Developers globally: Django Job Seekers Community / Python Job Seekers Community There's over 30k members in these combined and we can promote your advert there. Let me know if you join and want your advert pushed out to the members.
The Django Discord has a #we-are-hiring channel, this is a great option to re-share your original post and worth doing as a follow up to any of the above.
The last tip is to utilise your LinkedIn profile and existing network. This one takes a bit of time initially and discipline to keep up with but probably gets the best ROI (on your time) for when you do end up hiring in the future. This is not a quick fix, but is the groundwork to help you hire directly in 6 or 12 months time.
In your bio and profile section, write about what you enjoy most in your role, what it's like working in your team, your track record of helping people in their careers and give an idea about you as a person too.
Once your profile is updated, write a post re-introducing yourself to your network, some will be current/former colleagues or classmates but who knows who or where you've accumulated all the others from over the years.
Try to post every week (more regularly if you can) about a variety of things. Personal posts get the most engagement but can be the hardest to write. Mix this up with some posts that will give value to other people - maybe sharing how you solved a specific problem at work or share a new open source tool you've been using. Something that will make people in your network notice your knowledge. Adding credibility to your profile and getting more eyes on you as a leader of people.
Once you get into the habit of posting regularly you’ll find yourself having conversations or reading articles and immediately thinking “this would be a great thing to post about”.
By doing this consistently, you will have more people engaging with you and they are more likely to share (or apply) when you post about hiring again. They may even recommend someone to apply to you.
To grow your network, try to find and add 10-20 people every day (LinkedIn allows 100 invites per week) if you can. Look for Python/Django developers who work in your company, who work in your old company, who work for the old company your colleagues worked at. If you attend meetups, add the other attendees, same with conferences from your other socials.
This isn't just specific to LinkedIn, if you really want to make an impact and grow your network, don't neglect your Twitter/X Profile, get yourself over to Mastodon too. Both are places that Django Developers can be found online, grow your networks and share your posts on these sites too.
The bigger your network gets the more responses you'll get on your posts giving you a better chance to make a great hire next time you are looking for people…
That might all sound like a lot of work, but it does work. Doing just one of those things will help, doing all three will help you a lot more. If you have a busy work schedule it may mean dedicating some additional time in the evenings/mornings or over lunch.
Remember though this is just to get applicants to speak to, you'll still need to do the actual recruiting, reading through hundreds of Resumes, holding phone screenings, rounds of interviewing, setting and marking technical tests, giving feedback (and rejections), making offers, negotiating benefits, onboarding and everything else.
There’s no hiding from it, hiring yourself takes time. All of the tips given are to help your future self and create that talent pipeline you've always wanted.
Don’t worry though, the team at Foxley Talent do all of this already, all day, every day! Meaning that we are the go-to recruiters in the Django community. People have gotten to know us over the years, have met us in person, trust us, want to work with us and importantly, want to take jobs with our clients.
Talent on Demand - a retained search where we run a bespoke project for you to identify the best developer(s) for your business.
Talent Search - when you are looking to hire we can let you know who is active in the "market" at that time.
Contract Support - finding short/medium/long term support for your team if you win a big project or have a fast approaching deadline.
We would love to help you with your hiring, as you can see - we really know what we are doing and could save you hours/days/weeks on your next hiring project. Please get in touch if you want to see how working with us can transform your hiring plans for this year.