Gone are the days of free soda, snacks, and meals! It’s not that engineers have suddenly become more demanding. In fact many still don’t know their own value, especially femgineers…
Joining a startup as an engineer used to primarily be about believing in the startup’s vision, team dynamics, technology stack, equity, salary, and role along with employee number. These are still important factors, but the dynamics of decision making have dramatically deepened due to the increasing number of startups that are competing for a stagnant number of engineers.
It’s become harder to recruit engineers, because engineers have many startups to choose from, and especially within the same category: gaming, marketplaces, payments, SMBs, fin tech, etc. As a result, recruiting top talent has caused companies to become more creative when showcasing themselves.
One company that recently caught my attention is Medium, originally named Obvious Corp. Medium was founded by Twitter and Blogger co-founder Ev Williams. Medium is focused on being a platform where people can share ideas and stories about their lives, creative pursuits, and careers. It aims to be more collaborative than Ev’s previous product Blogger. Still in beta, the company is putting a lot of effort into hiring top talent.
I was introduced to Medium by its CTO Don Neufeld. Don and I met at a previous Femgineer Forum I was hosting at CoverHound. He candidly shared his approach to hiring top talent, team building, and some of the challenges he had faced when trying to attract technical women.
After meeting Don, I dug in to learn more about Medium, because as a blogger I’m generally curious about what platforms are out there. What I discovered that was even more appealing than the product, was how the company had built a culture where employees naturally wanted to share their experiences on motherhood and being recruited (as a candidate who needed a visa).
You may think that employees who work there will only want to say good things, but then there are those who are around for a just bit, and feel strongly enough that they want to share their experience.
Medium also understands that recruiting and retaining talent is about the long term. This summer Don has a group of incoming interns, and wants them to have the best experience possible. Part of that experience is having me come and host a Femgineer Forum at Medium to discuss a rather sensitive topic: Overcoming Insecurities to Innovate.
While Medium is a young startup, its led by notable veterans, who have learned that the secret sauce to building a tech company is hiring the best talent. There’s no secret formula to attracting top talent, startups have to become better at showcasing themselves, and creating alignment with a young company’s goals. What’s working for Medium happens to be an extension of it’s company’s core experience, storytelling.