Follow Through if You're Trying to Seduce a Developer

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I remember a scene from A night at the roxbury where the less-than-slick brothers take some girls back to their room and have a problem closing the deal. One of them keeps saying pickup lines while he has the girl sitting on his bed. She basically says OK - we’re past this. He just can’t seem to close the deal - no matter how much she wants him to.

That reminds me of what happens sometimes when I watch recruiters and other business people when it comes to seducing developers to projects. They pitch a great idea, get a little bit of interest, and … that’s about it. They offer things but never follow through.

I’ve been hearing for the longest time that it’s very hard to recruit for PHP developers in our area. Then I’ve seen offers from recruiters for jobs to those uninterested. But the recruiters never follow through. Let me explain.

Recruiter: emails here’s a great job for you if you’re looking

Developer: No Thanks.

~ crickets ~

Hey - that’s not follow through!

Here’s another example.

Business owner: I’d love to buy you lunch or a drink and just talk - see if you can point me in the right direction

Developer: Cool, let me know.

~ same damn crickets ~

In both scenarios, the first party wants the developer for their team (the business owner is just more sly?? ;)) - But there is no follow through.

However, there is hope!

Recently I’ve been noticing the recruiters follow through a little with a response saying “Thanks” or something similar. That’s making progress. But let me tell you the real truth:

Computer “people” are not the same as you. Every group of people has their own traits, but in the programmer world, these can be at odds with bubbly owners and recruiters (not all of us, mind you!). Now, I don’t want to offend with generalities - this is all my own experience. But, I’ve noticed a higher percentage of nervousness, a greater fear of the unknown, and a high propensity to do anything to avoid situations with failure.

So here’s my advice: Follow Through

Let’s do the scenarios again.

Recruiter: emails here’s a great job for you if you’re looking

Developer: No Thanks.

Recruiter: Alright! Thanks so much for taking the time to get back to me. Really appreciate it. I know not every opportunity is a great fit at this time, but do keep me in mind if you’re looking for any new challenges. I’ve got a few positions that offer unique sets of rewards for the right individual.** BONUS POINTS IF YOU’RE LOCAL: Actually, if you’re a coffee addict like me, could I buy you some coffee at Starbucks next week? I could use some insight from people like you to find out how I might find other qualified candidates._ (People like feeling important - plus you get to know the person, and maybe they really ARE looking.)

The other example.

Business owner: I’d love to buy you lunch or a drink and just talk - see if you can point me in the right direction

Developer: Cool, let me know.

~ My guess to what’s happening in the heads… ~

Business owner: well I’m pretty busy so when the developer has some time, he’ll email me.

Developer: That seems cool. Why isn’t he getting back to me?

But here’s how it should go.

Business owner: Excellent! Next thursday looks pretty open for me. Would you like to go to XXXX restaurant at noon? If there is a better time, let me know!

So, the final thought is this: If you’re trying to seduce someone to a job, follow through. People sometimes need that extra little push.

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