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Julia Murashova
Julia Murashova

Posted on • Updated on

Developer Relations for talent attraction: role, goals, KPIs

Companies all over the world start using Developer Relations not only for promoting their software products, but also for talent attraction purposes. You can find detailed review of these two approaches in the article “Evolution of Developer Relations…”. In this text we will focus particularly on business-to-employees side:

  • Why DevRel today is “must have” for talent attraction?
  • DevRel role description in talent attraction
  • What department DevRel belongs to?
  • How to set and measure DevRel goals?

Why Developer Relations are becoming “must have” for talent acquisition?

In the context of talent attraction, DevRel stays close to employer branding and company image as an employer. Usually, these goals were covered by marketing and HR departments, but now Developer Relations take this responsibility as well.

DevRel focuses on establishing relations between a company and IT folks aiming to win best talents on the market by creating interest, loyalty and synergy.

Three factors why talents attraction needs Developer Relations:

  1. Work content becomes one of the most important factors when candidates choose their future employer. Technologies and opportunity to work on something meaningful really matters.
  2. Some companies use aggressive hiring practices which don’t work well with seniors very often. DevRel makes the hiring process more comfortable, engaging and pleasant for both candidate and employer by building trustful communication even before the recruiting process starts.
  3. DevRel is a person who has both technical mind and great soft skills, thus they can establish a great level of cooperation with engineering, HR, marketing and management.

DevRel in Talent attraction - role description

Every company is unique and sets its own list of requirements for a DevRel. However, we can identify some patterns and trends.

DevRel in TA role description template:

Manager (strategic level)


  • create and substantiate Developer Relations strategy and goals
  • lead \ build a developer relations team, that may consist of not only advocates but also copywriter, event manager, social media manager etc.
  • set up appropriate and measurable KPIs
  • cooperate with C-level management, HR and marketing teams to alien strategies and streamline activities


  • high level of project, people and vendor management skills
  • strategic mind
  • analytical skills
  • ability to communicate with company c-level officers

Operational (tactical level)


  • raise awareness among IT community by engaging with local communities and grow community around the company
  • create different materials to demonstrate work content, best practices and tech stack
  • establish knowledge sharing culture inside the company
  • organize collaboration and sponsorships of IT conferences, meetups, hackathons, etc.
  • identify relevant influencers and devising plans on how to effectively engage with them
  • leading blogs at tech media (for ex. medium,, github etc.)
  • establish thought leadership inside the company, prepare speakers and writers, encourage employees to give talks at industry events
  • interaction with open source community


  • community management
  • event management
  • copywriting
  • public speaking skills and ability to coach others in public speaking
  • great communication skills
  • good understanding of IT technologies

Does a DevRel specialist has to have a technical background? Not background, but technical mind is a must. In other words, you can be successful without coding skills, but being a DevRel is impossible without a technical mind and mindset.

What department DevRel (in TA) belongs to

This question doesn’t have one right answer. Often, DevRel team or specialist is placed inside the HR, marketing or even corporate communications department. It looks quite logical due to common talent attraction goals. However, according to my experience, landing a Developer Relations team in engineering, as a separate independent practice helps to achieve better results. In this case, DevRel can simultaneously streamline activities with HR and marketing, reaching good synergy with these teams, and focus on engineering needs at the same time.

How to set and measure Developer Relations goals in talent attraction

In general, DevRel mission is bringing as many people as possible to the communicational orbit of the company, and establishing trustful relations with this audience, cultivating knowledge sharing and synergy.

What can be the goals?

From the mission above, long-term goals can be formulated as the following:

  • building community around a company and reaching high engagement there
  • increasing number of brand ambassadors and advocates among employees and community members
  • raising brand awareness and recognition
  • making input in brand perception as an employer of choice
  • accelerate and exemplify expertise

How to measure relations?

Setting DevRel KPis is one of the most complicated questions for business. It’s hard to convert relations to numbers that can be analyzed. However, we can mix quantitative and qualitative approach:

  1. Marketing metrics for estimation current activities results
  • Reach
  • Engagement
  • Number of conducted activities
  1. Surveys to estimate effects
  • Brand health analysis
  • Customized feedback surveys

Also, long-term DevRel activities effects can be noticed in the recruiting and attrition trend. Moreover, internal feedback surveys can help to measure value that employees see in Developer Relations for themselves as well.

Top comments (4)

izzycious profile image
Ishaq Nasir

This is great, would love if you elaborate more on how you can measure the KPIs in devrel
There seems to be no much say on the measuring part

Great artcile

juliamurashova profile image
Julia Murashova

Thanks for such a good feedback, Ishaq!
Absolutely, kpis and metrics is a big topic that deserves a separate article. Thanks for the idea, I will definitely work on that. 🙂🤍

__042ce9f97 profile image
Марина Кольцова

Great article! Also like for measuring part

kini profile image
Joaquín Engelmo (a.k.a. Kini)

Great article, Julia!

Thanks again for sharing your knowledge! It is a lighthouse for me in my initial months as DevRel for AT in my current company.