Facebook, Amazon recruiting programmers based on social “footprint”

So are you checking the 'social footprint' of your candidates? Who has the time? Interesting article that also features an overview of Gild- a service we introduced several weeks back to Recruitingblogs readers. 

Alexis Albaugh, talent acquisition manager at San Francisco-based gaming start-up Rumble Entertainment, struggles to recruit qualified developers.

She’s been using LinkedIn and online searches to identify candidates, but with little luck. Developers are particularly tricky to recruit, she said, because it’s difficult to judge how skilled they really are — work experience, degrees and resume aside — unless you “have a robust technical background yourself,” she said.

Albaugh recently subscribed to GildSource, an online database of developers ranked by coding experience, compiled by San Francisco-based start-up Gild. Gild mines the Internet for individual software developers’ public “footprint” — the impact they have on social programming sites, according to Gild chief executive Sheeroy Desai — and ranks them for job recruiters. So far, the site has indexed more than 3 million developers.

Gild searches sites like GitHub or Stack Overflow — collaborative online programming platforms on which coders can develop and ask or answer questions — and applies a patent-pending algorithm to each developer determining a “Gild Score.” It then links these scores to any publicly searchable social media profiles — LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, for example — so recruiters can contact developers directly with job offers if interested.

The traditional hiring process, in which a company hires a recruiter to sift through hundreds of resumes for a specific job opening, places great emphasis on degrees and work experience, Desai said. But many qualified developers haven’t gone to college or held formal jobs — instead, they’ve built measurable development skills in online communities, he said.

Albaugh has used traditional recruiting agencies at Rumble, but only “opportunistically,” she said, because they often charge a large percentage of the job position’s salary as a base fee for recruiting. In a few cases, agencies may be worth the fee — when filling leadership positions, she explained, agencies are better at identifying strong candidates through networks and social connections.

Though she won’t share how many candidates she’s hired from Gild, she noted that she’s conducted twice as many phone and onsite interviews with developers from Gild than any other online resource, such as LinkedIn.

Albaugh is not alone. Tech giants such as Facebook, Salesforce, RedHat, VMware, Walmart, and Amazon also rely on the service. Gild charges an $8,400 annual subscription fee to large companies for access to its database, called “GildSource,” and recently rolled out a 50 percent discount to start-ups with fewer than 50 employees. Currently more than 40 companies subscribe, 25 percent of which are start-ups.

Developers can’t currently opt-in to GildSource — they can only hope to be ranked based on their public contributions. But they can opt-out by contacting Gild; so far, less than a dozen developers have asked to do so, Desai said. In the future, In the future, Desai hopes to allow developers to upload their own projects and resumes — but for now, the only information presented on their Gild profiles is provided by Gild.

Full article at The Washington Post

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