Well, first of all, I'm in a remarkably similar situation (in Boston, not Seattle, but still). I won't mention my company's name in this context, because that may be seen by some as bordering upon using PM for a job postings board... and I wouldn't want to come accross that way. (However, if there were some easy way for me to translate my PM presence into some bonus to my recruiting pipeline, I would certainly enjoy it).
Anyway, one thing that I would recommend is that you possibly loosen up on the "must know perl" angle. I've found that if someone is the "right kind" of person, then learning perl is not the big issue. The hard part is finding the right people. These are people who are really (and I mean really) smart, involved, passionate, and willing to do more than just program.... people who actually want to understand the problem domain, and not just be told what to do, but carve their own path through the wilderness. Some of the best people on our team did not know perl when they started (of course many of them did, as well).
Another piece of advice is: don't be afraid to utilize recruiters. If you really need to increase your staff, then:
- Getting them, and getting them sooner rather than later, actually has an economic value to you... something worth shelling out actual money for.
- Even worse: hiring the people you need is consuming your time, right now... and your time is the time you need more of! (via the hiring of more people like you). If you could pay cash to get more of your time, you would... because that's exactly why you're trying to hire people.
It's easy to see recruiters as just a pain in the butt. They're salespeople. They have all the typical annoyances of dealing with salespeople. There's the added dimension that they are, in fact, selling people
(which is a little disturbing, if you think about it). What's worse, they sort of don't seem
to be doing much of anything for the money you have to pay them! All they're doing is forwarding you resumes that you could find for yourself off of Monster, right?
The truth is that a good recruiter is actually providing a value-added service to you. Sure, all (well, most) of those resumes are out there for you to find, but by them culling through them and bringing you the ones that you want to see, they're saving you the time of doing that searching... and your time is prescious (see above).
Anyway, good luck! And if you find anyone who's good, but lives in Boston, please let me know! :-D
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