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How Can Recruiters Grab Engineers' Attention? With More Money (Duh)

Job marketplace Hired recently analyzed 8,000 recruiting messages to see what works and what doesn't when trying to hire engineers.

[Image: Flickr user Tax Credits]

If you can write a lick of code, Silicon Valley is your oyster.

Giving the competitive hiring landscape for engineers, coders get inundated with pitches everyday—pitches that come with lures of six-figure salaries, beer kegs, dogs, and other fun office perks. Believe it or not, it's actually a harder sell that you might think.

How does one tech company with amazing benefits stand out from the next? Job marketplace Hired recently analyzed 8,000 recruiting messages to see what factors grab engineers' attention. No. 1 on the list: dolla dolla bills.

Writing for Hired, Aline Lerner found that if an engineer has a $120,000 preferred salary, an offer that is $10,000 above that leads to a 20% higher chance of him or her—wait for it—even accepting an initial interview request (also referred to as introduction). For comparison, an offer $10,000 below the preferred threshold leads to a 25% lower chance of introduction, according to the report published Tuesday. Engineers know what they're worth, and that is one thing they're not willing to compromise on.

That said, engineers don't often cite money as the primary reason why they reject a job offer. This could be because salary talks might start earlier on in the recruiting process.

Secondary to money is the company itself. Given their wealth of options, engineers also like to know what impact they're making and how interesting the projects they'll be working on are.

Hired found that recruiting emails perform better when they're truly personalized to the engineer, leading to a 73% introduction rate. But emails that are impersonal or only somewhat personal see about a 50% chance of the engineer accepting an interview request. And if personalization is too tall a task, Hired suggests recruiters, founders, and engineers ramp up their enthusiasm when trying to lure in new tech employees. Enthusiasm is one of the main differences between emails written by recruiters and founders, the former of whom typically see a higher introduction rate (53% vs 49%).

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