As we all (?) know finding good, senior people is relatively easy but finding good junior ones is not and takes a long time (and money). I see two strategies to tackle this issue:

  1. never stop the recruiting effort even when you don't need new people. If you stop, it then takes too long to restart it and because you usually restart it when you have a need it's kinda too late anyway
  2. have a proper internship programme in place.

While point 1 is, again, relatively easy although time consuming, point 2 takes a bit more effort but I think it's worth it. The problem is: everyone is looking for good interns! In a competitive market I believe that having an Internship Program at the European level (in Sourcesense' case) gives us an edge.

Of course our values, principles, and commitment to OpenSource are great for attracting already experienced people but works somewhat less well with graduates who don't necessarily have an opinion on Open Source or might not be that interested in our unique selling points because they are at the beginning of their career and couldn't know better. At the same time graduates often shoot for the (very) big names so that at least by the end of the internship they will be able to put that name on their CVs.

What can we provide to a prospective intern that others cannot? As I said there are our unique values, principles and our strong commitment to Open Source, the fact that we don't exploit interns by making them billable on customer projects and more. But I still think it's not enough as other companies have that as well (not sure about the not exploiting bit.... :-D).

So here is what we do on top of everything else:

  • an internship with Sourcesense means the interns will have a chance to work in multiple offices across Europe. E.g.: Peter, the first Sourcesense UK intern, started 2 weeks ago and is spending sometime with us in London but will be flying to our Milan office on Tuesday to spend 4 weeks there. This will give him exposure to Sourcesense as a European company rather than just a UK one and will give him the opportunity to build a relationship with colleagues there.
  • an internship with Sourcesense means spending sometime on a customer project/site and sometime working on and contributing to some open source project. As I said we are not going to bill an intern, it wouldn't be fair neither in his regards nor in the customer's. It's a way to expose the intern to a real life situation rather than just keeping him away
  • an internship with Sourcesense means, if there is the opportunity, the intern can then ask to move permanently to another office/country. In my experience there is nothing more invigorating than working and living in a different country.
  • an internship with Sourcesense means we want to hire you rather then just exploit you for a while and then let you go :-)

Are you looking for an internship? Let me know ;-)