Case study: The story of Just Eat

How does one of the fastest growing online food services hire specialist Engineers?

Just Eat are an online food order and delivery service who operate in 17 offices across the globe. Two of these offices are located in Bristol and London where 350 people work on the technology team. The business is growing rapidly and requires a consistent stream of specialist technical talent to build products and drive the company forward. Find out how one of the world’s highest transaction e-commerce platforms uses Stack Overflow Talent to hire Engineers.

The Challenge

Hiring for Senior Roles & Specific Skill-sets

Just Eat were faced with the challenge of building new departments and teams as quickly and efficiently as possible. In the last year, they’ve been growing their permanent technology team and working with a range of dynamic, functional languages. Being a developer at Just Eat is not only about having the right language skills, but the ability to see the “big picture” of the business. Jack Villiers, Talent Acquisition Partner at Just Eat explains the company philosophy. “At Just Eat we’re not only looking for people who are forward thinking, innovative and collaborative. They need to be business and product aware, so they can apply what they’re working on to a business or product problem.”

This philosophy means that there’s always a strong demand for product orientated developers, with specific technology skills. Jack needed to hire a large number of senior technology managers as well as engineers with specific skill sets. This ranged from Product and Data Engineers to those in mobile technology Xamarin, iOS and Android. A hiring solution was needed to help Just Eat deliver a strong pipeline of hard-to-find technical talent.

The Solution

Building a Strong Pipeline of Candidates

Just Eat defined success by the number of high quality, skilled developers they were able to hire. Stack Overflow Talent provided them with the tools needed to help them build a pipeline of candidates. They invested for two years and were provided with a package that offered a full hiring solution. The package enabled them to attract hard-to-find technical talent through job listing advertisements and company page adverts -- these link to company pages, a branding resource created to show developers exactly what they want to see in new job opportunities.

They found that candidates who applied for roles through adverts on Stack Overflow were engaged and bought into their brand. Jack explains the strong impact that showcasing their employer brand had on attracting technical talent. “Stack Overflow has given us a strong pipeline of direct candidates. They enable you to put content on a Company Page, resulting in applicants being more informed, psyched and excited about your brand.” The package included candidate search, a tool that empowered Just Eat to manage their pipeline and proactively message developers.

The hiring solution provided Just Eat with full account management and support. The Customer Success team held trainings to help Jack’s team use the tools, saving time and driving efficiency. “Customer success have come in a few times to ensure we know how to effectively use the tools. This has been incredibly useful to our recruitment efforts, as it’s saved me time and increased our knowledge of the tools we’re using.”

The Results

Hiring Hard-to-find Technical Talent

Just Eat hired 20 engineers in the last 18 months with Stack Overflow, filling roles for both their London and Bristol offices. Jack reported Bristol as being “a difficult place to hire” and was pleased he was able to attract developers in this location. They made new hires every 4-5 weeks dependent upon the role, and Jack reported that their average cost per hire was significantly lower in comparison to recruitment agencies and job boards. Not only did the hiring solution save them money it enabled Jack to recruit for difficult roles. “You hired us some key management roles such as Technology Managers. We were able to hire two really talented Xamarin developers which are one of the hardest skill sets to find for us.”

The majority of applications had strong core skillsets, and 75% of them went on to have a phone screen. After the initial phone screen, approximately two-thirds would go through to the next round of the interview process. Having access to Stack Overflow’s community enabled Just Eat to hire a variety of hard-to-find candidates that they needed to grow their business. Jack tells us how he utilised the solution to source niche technology groups, using the tools to effectively manage his recruitment process.

“Stack Overflow offers an adaptable hiring solution that can add value to companies hiring on a small or large scale. The community has a variety of candidates and the tool has great functionality which allows you to manage your recruitment process effectively.”

What Makes Just Eat a Great Place To Work?

Just Eat offer their developers freedom with technology, allowing for constant experimentation. The velocity and speed in which they build their platforms means that developers get to work on something at the beginning and test it out. It’s a forward thinking culture where the best technologies are considered to build the best quality products. The best value for the end consumer is always considered when building products.

Team members are encouraged to continually broaden their skill sets by attending meetups and conferences. They regularly hold “brown bags” where team members give individual talks about projects they’re working on. The idea here is to share knowledge and help the wider team grow their skills. The environment is open, relaxed, and everyone is encouraged to have their own style of working. Just Eat pride themselves on having a collaborative environment where management facilitates the team. It’s a flat structure where people are encouraged to implement new things, regardless of seniority level. Jack tells us that anyone has the ability to innovate and implement new ideas. “If you’re able to set a hypothesis, and prove the potential to your team, then anyone can implement new ideas and drive the business forward.”

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