In my last post I talked about how I think it’s important for the Perl.org community to start to figure out ways to better communicate with recruiters. In fact, I would go so far as to say we should start to think of them (as well as many others) as part of our extended community, and not limit our conception of self to just the core group of perl hackers and CPAN authors.
First off, I was really happy to see several others jump into the conversation and start to offer some thoughts. Sawyer spoke about some of the things we might want to do in order to make sure recruiters can find you better (http://blogs.perl.org/users/sawyer_x/2012/07/how-to-reach-recruiters.html). Perhaps that could form the basis for a page on the Perl.org website (“So you want to get a job as a Perl programmer?”). Additionally all the mentioned ideas have the nice side effect of being broadly good press for Perl in general, so that’s a double win.
Chromatic wrote a series of articles broadly under the concept of “Perl Shop Maturity.” The idea here is to list all the types of questions a recruiter might ask in order to understand what kind of Perl shop is hiring. This is to better match the need to the available programmer. Again there is a nice side effect in that it starts to help recruiters understand that there are different types of Perl programmers, and different movements within the community. I long for the day when recruiters are saying less of “Its hard to find Perl programmers” and more of “All the best Modern Perl programmers are not going to be excited about working on your mod_perl1 + Perl 5.8.6 based website.” It might help companies with legacy systems start to think about moving along. It will certainly raise awareness amongst recruiters that there is a strong modern movement. Here’s some great links: (http://www.modernperlbooks.com/mt/2012/07/perl-shop-maturity-checklist-technical-concerns.html), (http://www.modernperlbooks.com/mt/2012/07/perl-shop-maturity-checklist-social-concerns.html), (http://www.modernperlbooks.com/mt/2012/07/perl-shop-maturity-checklist-perl-specific-concerns.html).
Dave Rolsky jumped into the conversation and mentioned that one way a company can attract some of the better Perl talent is to be open to telecommuters. He also offered some advice about how to make telecommuting more effective. This is a good thing for recruiters to know, and to advise companies. However as several commenters pointed out, there can be some limitations and special concerns regarding telecommuting, so this is not something you should view as a cure-all to your Perl programmer recruitment needs. (http://blog.urth.org/2012/07/who-says-hiring-perl-devs-is-hard.html)
Based on all this feedback I think I can see the shape of a recruiter FAQ. I am seeing three sections, the first one based on Chromatic’s thoughts on the types of questions a recruiter should ask the hiring manager, the second one some advice about where to look for Perl programmers and the last section which would some advice about remote workers and how to analyze a Perl resume to figure out how strong a candidate is.
I’m going to share these thoughts with a few recruiters and welcome your feedback as well!