At Duo, we are looking for enthusiastic engineers who are good team players and who will increase our diversity of identity and thought. We can teach people the skills found on technical resumes, but it’s much harder to teach someone to be a good team member who is excited to solve hard problems.
Career Fairs, While Necessary, Don’t Cut It
In order to recruit successfully at universities, we have found that we need to look beyond career fairs.
We need to be in events and spaces with increased time to interact with students, which allows us to have higher quality conversations. We need to be in spaces with talent pools of higher identity and thought diversity, and with fewer competing companies looking to hire the same students. Finally, we want to be in spaces that are human-focused, not GPA-focused.
Go Beyond Career Fairs and Seek Out Your Ideal Candidates
One place we’ve found that fits all of these criteria is the University of Michigan’s Introduction to Computer Science (EECS 183) course. This course is the third largest at the university, and prides itself on being at nearly gender parity, according to William Arthur, EECS 183 Lecturer at the University of Michigan. The course staff has worked hard to attract students from a wide variety of backgrounds and majors.
At the end of every semester, the course holds a final showcase where groups of students present projects they’ve been working on as teammates - everything from full-sized, arduino-powered Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) to AI-powered messaging apps that help users communicate in their non-native language.
Duo has been sponsoring the University of Michigan’s EECS 183 showcase for the last four semesters because it succeeds as a great place to build connections with diverse, passionate engineers.
We are one of a handful of companies sponsoring the showcase in order to drastically increase our face time and have meaningful conversations with students. In these conversations, we talk with students about the work they have accomplished and the ways they’ve worked together as teams. It’s easy to see which people are passionate about their projects and work well together, making them good potential Duo hires. Since we start these conversations in such a diverse venue, we are in a great position to recruit in alignment with our values. We also have a lot of fun because we are as passionate about software engineering as the students!
These kinds of events are well worth our time. At the EECS 183 showcase, we meet with primarily first and second year students. Meeting with these students early on means they’re familiar with our brand and mission long before they attend career fairs. By the time they’re looking for internships or full time positions, they are already excited to work together with us. After each showcase, we’ve started conversations with students and set up opportunities to visit our offices, attend Duo-hosted events, and to start engaging with our internship program.
You Need to Go Where the Talent Is
Go get involved with some of the great organizations across the country like The Society of Women in Engineering (SWE) and the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM). At Duo, we engage with local groups like Girl Develop It, GEECS and Digital Divas. These are all groups where passionate people are putting in overtime to learn about things that interest them. Look for chapters of these organizations near you. Give a talk at their events and become an active sponsor!
You Need to Bring the Talent to Your Office
Duo has been hosting public technical meetups for over 5 years.
We’ve learned that people go to meetups because they’re interested in the culture of technologies; they’re passionate learners; and they’re often working on interesting projects themselves. Moreover, they want to connect with other like-minded people. These are the kinds of people we want to work with.
Successful recruiting is rooted in successful relationships, so go attend, host or sponsor a technical meetup near you.
Our Work Here Isn’t Done
We’re still working toward even better representation of diversity at Duo. We recognize that there is a huge wealth of talent and diversity outside of university recruiting - there are people belonging to the next generation of developers who do not attend universities. If we hope to create a truly inclusive recruitment practice, it’s our responsibility to reach people in all different situations. We're challenged like the rest of the tech community on how to fix inequality in tech teams, but we’re motivated to face this challenge as we hire the next generation of developers.