How to Recruit Tech Talent When You’re Not a Tech Company - SolarCity

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Slides from Glassdoor breakfast seminar in Palo Alto on 22nd May 2014. "How to Recruit Tech Talent When You’re Not a Tech Company" by Kia Walker, Senior Director of Talent Acquisition, SolarCity

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  • Sr. Director of Talent Acquisition (our HR Team is now called “People Empowerment”)
    15 years of recruiting and staffing leadership experience in the retail, tech, and now clean energy sectors
    MBA from Duke – recovered Sales/Marketing type
    Weekend warrior / cyclist
  • By the Numbers
    Founded in 2007
    Went public in 2013 (SCTY)
    5,700 employees
    100,000 buildings
    #1 Residential solar company in the US
    Install a new system every 3 minutes
    1 in 4 PV systems installed by SolarCity
    $3 billion structured financing
    The nation’s #1 solar provider
    An Elon Musk company (sister company is Tesla)

  • By the Numbers
    Founded in 2007
    Went public in 2013 (SCTY)
    5,700 employees
    100,000 buildings
    #1 Residential solar company in the US
    Install a new system every 3 minutes
    1 in 4 PV systems installed by SolarCity
    $3 billion structured financing
    The nation’s #1 solar provider
    An Elon Musk company (sister company is Tesla)

  • Double the size of SolarCity’s software engineering team
    Recruit in a highly competitive environment
    Make 30 hires (12 different job profiles) in under 4 months… from a complete stand still
    Only A+ players
    Showcase our story, build buzz, visibility and interest (notes - we don’t pay top dollar and are not known externally as a Tech company)
  • According to an online Glassdoor survey, that surveyed 1400 software engineers, the most common sources software engineers learn about job opportunities include the following.
    Knowing information like this, we worked to beef up 4 key sourcing solutions.
  • Hiring - Filled tech positions and positions across multiple channels within the company
    Influence - 3rd party validation is crucial to recruiting strategy
    Branding – Raised number of user generated content and increase site traffic by over 300%

    Helped Job Seekers to:
    Determine whether SolarCity was a cultural fit
    Search for SolarCity jobs across any device
    Prepare for interviews at SolarCity
    Make informed decisions when sending their resume
  • According to the previously mentioned survey – software engineers value reviews. In fact 76% of those surveyed mentioned they trust their friends most when making job decisions thus leading us to our next strategy of driving employee referrals.
  • According to the previously mentioned survey – software engineers value reviews. In fact 76% of those surveyed mentioned they trust their friends most when making job decisions thus leading us to our next strategy of driving employee referrals.
  • Another key stat from the previously mentioned Glassdoor survey reveals Social recruiting meetups and blog posts top the charts in terms of recruiting software engineers which lead to our next strategy.

    65% Say social media outreach from other engineers at the hiring company is an effective way to learn about new job opportunities
    41% Say they appreciate meet ups at the company hiring where they have a chance to connect with other engineers
  •  
    COLLEGE
     
    The events team added 4 College recruiting events in a one weeks’ time. 
    The events were all held in the month of April at the following schools for Computer Science: Duke, Cal Poly SLO, Stanford, San Diego State University.
    We received a total of 202 resumes. 
  • In addition we held a Software Engineering MeetUp at Rouge Brewery in San Francisco.
    To draw candidates:
    Our internal sourcing team sent out over 1000 targeted inmail invites.
    The college team created invitations on both the MeetUp site and EventBrite.
    We shared a promotional flyer for internal engineers to bring friends. (w/referral bonus)
    We had over 150 RSVP reply they would be there
    It rained and only 40 showed up.  Of the 40, 11 candidates moved forward to interviews.
  • How to Recruit Tech Talent When You’re Not a Tech Company - SolarCity

    1. How to Recruit Tech Talent When You’re Not a Tech Company Kia Walker Senior Director of Talent Acquisition SolarCity klwalker@solarcity.com
    2. About Me
    3. About SolarCity • Founded in 2007 - Went public in 2013 (SCTY) • 5,700 employees • $3 billion structured financing • #1 Residential solar company in the US • 100,000 buildings – Install a new system every 3 minutes – 1 in 4 PV systems installed by SolarCity
    4. Employee Growth 0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000 8000 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 YOY Headcount Growth
    5. Challenges • Double the size of SolarCity’s software engineering team • Recruit in a highly competitive environment – 30 high-caliber hires in under 4 months • Showcase our story, build buzz, visibility and interest
    6. Most Common Sources Software Engineers Learn About Job Opportunities…
    7. Sourcing Solutions 1. Improve branding 2. Source the best 3. Drive employee referrals 4. Hold recruiting events
    8. 1. Improve Branding • New Careers site: www.solarcity.com/careers • Software Engineering microsite: www.solarcity.com/careers/sof tware-engineering • Glassdoor profile
    9. Our Glassdoor Profile
    10. Glassdoor Results
    11. 2. Source the Best • Reach out to tech companies within a 20-mile radius of San Mateo and San Francisco • Engineering team participates in EcoHackathon
    12. Software Engineers Value Reviews of software engineers read online reviews about a company before accepting a job offer
    13. When software engineers are making job decisions they trust these sources for more information:
    14. 3. Drive Employee Referrals • Increased the referral fee to $2,500 • Company email and posters • Pizza lunch – name gen
    15. Most Effective Recruitment Tactics Say social media outreach from other engineers at the hiring company is an effective way to learn about new job opportunities Say they appreciate meet ups at the company hiring where they have a chance to connect with other engineers What Engineers are saying…
    16. 4. Recruiting Events – College Engineering • 4 college recruiting events in 1 week • Targeted schools that focus on Computer Science: ₋ Duke ₋ Cal Poly SLO ₋ Stanford ₋ San Diego State University • We received a total of 202 resumes
    17. 4. Recruiting Events - Mixers • SF Mixers “Bring a friend, learn about the cool stuff we are doing from our Founder/CTO, drink craft beer” – 2 hires from 1st mixer • Software Engineering meet up at Rogue Brewery: – Sourcing Team sent targeted invites – College team created invitation on the Meet up site and EventBrite
    18. Results After 6 Weeks • Hired an internal Recruiter and Sourcer • Implemented an online coding assessment (Hacker Street) •15 offers accepted – 3 offers pending •15 More Hires by August 15th

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