3 Unexpected Places to Source Tech Candidates

Attracting the right tech talent is far more than posting an open role and hoping for responses to come flooding in. These days, it pays to get creative when sourcing candidates because not only does demand outweigh supply, but tech workers have become desensitized (or downright aggressive) to cold outreach.
 

Add on the fact that while nearly three-fourths of developers are open to hearing about new opportunities, only 15% are actively looking for a job — and some might even disconnect from professional networking sites altogether in an attempt to avoid spam or copy-paste recruiter emails. Which means? Traditional sourcing methods aren’t always going to get you the candidates you need.
 

On the bright side, tech talent has been known to hang out together to collaborate, share (and show off) their code and hone their skills. And once you know where to look for them, you’ve already overcome a major hurdle in sourcing talent.
 

Post a Job

Meetup

Meetup goes beyond connecting like-minded people online to grow their hobbies and skills—it brings them together in real life. From cooking and fitness to business and tech, there’s something for everyone.
 

Meetup groups are held in cities across the US (and worldwide), which means you’re able to pinpoint tech talent by skill set and location. And while you can attend Meetup events to chat with tech pros in person if you want, it’s easy to find and connect with them online using the insights available, no in-person networking required.
 

Sourcing candidates on Meetup

You can browse Meetup groups and member information freely without an account, but you’ll need to create an account if you plan on messaging members directly from the platform. When you land on the homepage, you’ll see events and groups near you, and a list of categories to search by topic (e.g., learning, tech).
 

meetup
 

Browsing groups related to tech would be a good start to sourcing on Meetup. Once you click on the tech category, you’ll navigate to a page that lets you search for a specific group topic within a certain distance from your target city or zip code. Click into the relevant groups that populate from your search to learn more about the group’s interests, events and members.
 

meetup-search
 

Then start visiting individual member profiles. Members control how much information they disclose, but even if you come across a less-than-complete profile you can still see their location, interests and other Meetup groups they’re members of. They may also link to their social networks.
 

On top of being able to message members directly on the platform and connect on social or professional networking sites, you have the option to post job openings straight into the discussion section of a group’s page.
 

Quora

Chances are you’ve had a question and landed on Quora. Quora is a Q&A site where anyone can ask and answer questions on any topic (with technology being one of its most popular). It gets about 300 million visitors every month and users can upvote and downvote answers.
 

Building credibility on Quora gets you better connected with its users and can also drive traffic to your company’s website when you link out to it in your profile. But Quora has a few ground rules to follow, so make sure you read up on them to avoid Quora moderators hiding your answers or banning your profile. The main thing to remember? Anything you post needs to have real value (spam and self-promotion isn’t tolerated).
 

Sourcing candidates on Quora

Create a free profile to get started. Once you’re in, follow a few relevant topics to your sourcing needs. Good ones to start with include Jobs and Careers in Software Engineering, or something related to tech skills, like JavaScript.
 

quora-javascript
 

Ask and answer questions to engage with users if your plan is to become a thought leader and gain followers. Otherwise, spend some time browsing and reading answers to spot prospective candidates. How do you spot one? Look for strings of thoughtful answers that prove expertise in their field (upvotes and shares help confirm great answers), and how many users follow them.
 

ID’d a prospect? Visit their Quora profile to learn more about them. Message them directly through Quora, or visit their social and professional network platforms (if included) to connect with them there.
 

Slack

Slack keeps people connected at work, but instead of phone calls and email chains, this instant messaging tool makes it possible (and practically effortless) to have real-time conversations. Using Slack, workers across functions and locations can collaborate in set channels or direct messages to share messages and files, even video calls.
 

Sourcing candidates on Slack

While Slack has paid versions, its free plan is generally all you’ll need to source tech talent.
 

Start by searching channels (if it’s public, you can search it) to find relevant groups, or use a tool like Slofile. You can also run a Google search that’ll surface relevant articles. For example, searching for the best Slack channels for developers will pull up articles like this one to get you started.
 

slofile
 

When you find a public channel that aligns with the role you’re sourcing for, watch and read. Learn what the members do and don’t like about a particular technology, and use the insight you gain in future conversations. You can engage with the members on those topics in the group chat or send a direct message to start a private conversation.
 

Related: 7 Slack Communities for Recruiting and Hiring
 

Tap into creative ways to source tech talent

Recruiting and sourcing tech pros comes with its own unique set of challenges, but there’s a lot of opportunity to connect with the right talent using a more modern approach than the traditional job board.
 

And remember, there’s more to sourcing talent than finding them. Your cold message is key in getting candidates interested and engaged, so when you contact them, don’t be generic. Be personal. Mention how you found them and what stood out, and get them excited about what you have to offer.
 

Post a Job

Ready to get started?

Post a Job

*Indeed provides this information as a courtesy to users of this site. Please note that we are not your career or legal advisor, and none of the information provided herein guarantees a job offer.