How Aol/Ad.com brought 21 new hires to Baltimore in 2 years - Technical.ly Baltimore

Business

Jul. 7, 2014 8:02 am

How Aol/Ad.com brought 21 new hires to Baltimore in 2 years

How do you get software engineers to move to Baltimore? Aol/Advertising.com's technical recruiter, Paris Pittman, shares her secrets.

AOL/Advertising.com is a staple of the Baltimore tech scene.

(Photo courtesy of Advertising.com)

Full disclosure: Aol/Advertising.com has been a sponsor of Baltimore Innovation Week, which Technical.ly Baltimore organizes.
Much of the attention surrounding tech businesses centers on the startup phase. The entrepreneurial narrative dominates the conversation, and once these young companies grow into stability, we seem to forget them.

But in tech communities around the country, it’s these more established businesses that serve as anchors, generating wealth, hosting events and speaking at them, serving as flagships, hiring and recruiting talent.

Just ask Paris Pittman, the senior technical recruiter for Aol’s Advertising.com division. During the last three years, she’s become a fixture of the Baltimore tech scene — sipping Natty Bohs at meetups and reserving the flexible multi-purpose room at her Baltimore offices on the Under Armour campus.

“Never in a suit,” she says, sporting a subtle nose ring, T-shirt and jeans in a conference room overlooking the Harbor.

In the last two years, since she took more of a leadership role, Pittman has been part of attracting and relocating 21 people to Baltimore — 19 in engineering alone. More than 200 people work for Aol at its Tide Point location, and nearly 150 of them are in technical or near technical roles (such as design). It’s a different feel than the volunteer layoffs from 2009.

Pittman takes issue with the negative connotations surrounding recruiting — largely derived from agencies that parachute in young associates to pester potential hires with spammy emails or out-of-place corporate recruiters who don’t know the subject matter.

Pittman — herself having briefly pursued a technical career — instead sees herself as a community leader, who sees her recruiting for Aol as being on the front lines of growing Baltimore’s class of knowledge workers.

Once she finds or connects with a prospective candidate from outside of Baltimore, Pittman says she almost always sells the job first, before the city.

“For engineers, most of our jobs are attractive once you start describing the data and challenges that they face, plus the environment,” she said. “They are usually working on a brand-new platform from scratch, or rewriting one in a more modern way to address issues. Once the hook is set, then I’ll sell Baltimore.”

Advertisement

Here’s how:

  • Know the person — If a candidate broadcasts a hobby or talent that might have Baltimore ties, Pittman will highlight that.
  • Education support — “We pay for the full ride of [advanced degrees],” said Pittman. “This has attracted people who want to do a master’s or PhD program at Hopkins or College Park.”
  • Neighborhood distinction — Pittman will help talk to likely candidates about the places they might live, making them know Baltimore has vibrant neighborhoods like Federal Hill, Canton, Fells Point and Hampden that come with water taxis and ride-sharing to supplement transit and bicycling.
  • Do you like football? — Great. Aol/Advertising.com has a Ravens skybox.

More generally, Pittman will sell Baltimore as she would any great city: by highlighting its quality-of-life assets, like award-winning restaurants, local beer and celebrated arts and music.

Much of her recruiting comes from across the Northeast corridor, and that’s also a major selling point: Baltimore is is extremely accessible to D.C., Philadelphia and New York.

“We also have offices in those locations and are flexible with work from home,” said Pittman. “A lot of our folks can travel to any of our locations in the U.S. and still work and take a vacation.”

Perhaps one of the biggest selling points, says Pittman, is that established corporate anchors in the tech world can’t be ignored. In the end, many of her recruits want to know that Baltimore has other like-minded technologists like them — and she’ll share articles like this and this and this.

“I talk about the growing tech scene, how we are involved in the community and how we don’t want our engineers cooped up,” she said. “We want them out and about, learning and sharing.”

Jobs Board
Organizations: AOL/Ad.com, Aol
People: Paris Pittman
-30-
LEAVE A COMMENT

Advertisement

10 Baltimore tech jobs to check out before the end of the year

Polaris Alpha grows presence at Aberdeen Proving Ground, looks to hire in Maryland

Power Moves: Cybersecurity hires show Sourcefire’s continuing influence

SPONSORED

Baltimore

How Think|Stack and Year Up are cultivating local tech talent

Owings Mills, Maryland

Mind Over Machines

Consultant (Software Developer)

Apply Now
Baltimore

Protenus

Data Engineer

Apply Now
Baltimore

Protenus

Front-End Developer

Apply Now

Looking for something new? Dive in to these 7 tech job openings

Power Moves: Leadership teams expanding at a pair of Baltimore cyber startups

Arbit raises $825K through equity crowdfunding

SPONSORED

Baltimore

Let these free workshops help your business really take off

8 Market Pl, Suite #402, Baltimore, MD, 21202

PaRaBaL

Development Support Engineer

Apply Now
8 Market Pl, Suite #402, Baltimore, MD, 21204

Parabal Inc.

Enterprise Mobility Engineer

Apply Now
Baltimore/Washington

GiveCentral

Sales Representative

Apply Now

Sign-up for regular updates from Technical.ly

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!