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The 5 Most Creative Developer Job Ads

Software development is an increasingly growing field, earning it the Number 7 spot on U.S. News & World Report’s ranking of the best jobs of 2013. The Bureau of Labor Statistic projects a 27.6 percent employment growth for software developers from 2010 to 2020, during which 143,800 software developer jobs will need to be filled.

Top businesses are creative in finding, enticing, and hiring the best developers. In this age of cost and time efficiency, lengthy job postings are not enough. That’s why smart companies have found new and unique ways to call upon job seekers with the right qualities. Here are the 5 most creative developer job posts:

5. McKinsey & Company, a top management consultancy firm, sought out information technology graduates by campaigning on college campuses. They hung posters with a tearable phone number written in the form of a formula. Following this campaign, there was an increase in qualitatively better applicants. This saved McKinsey & Company a lot of time and graduates had minimal frustration of rejection.

4. Electronic Arts (EA) in Canada, the gaming development company, wanted to hire programmers. To do so, they projected an advertisement in ASCII code onto a billboard, which read “Now Hiring” and was strategically placed in front of a competitor’s building. While it caused some controversy in the gaming industry, it was certainly noticed by programmers who were interested, bringing in a rich pool of candidates.

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3. Bing found its own way to target potential applicants for a new developer. It hid a job link to the position in the code of its homepage. The catch? You have to be using Internet Explorer and the debug settings enabled in order to see it. If these criteria are met, IE users would encounter a popup asking if they want to debug the web page. Running the tool prompted a new message to apply for the position, including the link. Bing was able to cut down the number of applicants, making way for an increase in the number of talented, Internet Explorer using candidates.

2. Flickr has been all over the news for its recent website redesign. What isn’t as viral is its “Currently Hiring” announcement and job url link, hidden in the source code on the home page. Some job openings include a software and mobile engineer. While these positions are made available on Flickr’s career page, the hidden job ad streams in the type of developers they seek: Those with the technical curiosity and ambition to take a peek at the source code.

Flickr hidden job ad

1. Google, seeking out the best engineers, had banners consisting of a complicated math problem placed at Harvard Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The same problem was on a billboard in California’s Silicon Valley, with Google’s name nowhere to be found on these ads. The correct answer led to a website that posed a second problem solving question. Upon answering correctly, Google would request a resume. How’s that for screening talent? Answering these problems is no easy feat. Therefore the engineers that made it through were the exact talents Google was looking for.

In a field like software development, competition for the perfect developer is at an all time high. Why would a talented developer choose your company? Your employer brand must stand out where developers are looking. To save time and resources, take a lesson from these companies.  Reach the exact talent you’re looking for by marketing creatively.

SmartRecruiters is the hiring platform with everything you need to source talent, manage candidates and make the right hires.

Laura Hong

Laura Hong is a Media and Public Relations graduate student at the University of the Pacific, and the social media intern at SmartRecruiters.