3 Things To Do On GitHub And StackOverflow to Attract Tech Talent

Last week we wrote about how LinkedIn's decreasing engagement, especially amongst technical talent, is making it increasingly harder to attract these candidates on the platform, and how having a multi-channel, targeted strategy to sourcing and talent attraction is absolutely key.

The fact is, we all know that tech talent is in high demand, and for the most part, those candidates aren't spending their time on active job and networking sites that most recruiters are sourcing talent on, like LinkedIn. Many top talent in tech are seemingly avoiding LinkedIn because they are constantly bombarded with spammy recruiter messages they feel aren’t relevant to them and they certainly are not on job boards even or actively looking. 

That's why focusing your sourcing and talent attraction efforts to places where engineers are already spending their time might be a strategy worth trying. So where are they hanging out?

Places like Github and Stack Overflow are examples of two popular communities among software engineers and developers. Github allows developers to find, use and contribute to open source projects of their interests. Similarly, Stack Overflow is a community where developers can go for help to solve coding problems and ask or answer programming-related questions.

These platforms are effective because they are predicated on business models which actually encourage and facilitate quality, positive interactions between users. Developers get real value out of sites like Github and Stack Overflow, and can get the benefit of networking with other members of the developer community even if they're not actively looking for a new job. On these platforms, users can communicate, learn and collaborate with their peers who share similar skill sets and interests. They can also build and display their work and skills, and network with potential employers if they are looking to learn about opportunities.

3 Things Smart Recruiters Do On GitHub And Stack Overflow

So what can recruiters like you do to find, attract and hire top tech talent on these platforms? Here are 3 tips to help you get started:

1. Contribute To The Community

Encourage your hiring managers, engineers and developers to contribute to open source projects, share their knowledge and expertise, and answer questions posted by community users. Having your employees visible and contributing to the community is the best way to get your company on the radar of engineers working on the same technology and excited by the same problems.

They may not be on these sites looking for a job, but by showing them the cool things your company is working on and the problems you're solving you can attract these highly relevant potential candidates that match the skills you're looking for. 

Work with engineering leadership to develop and incentivize an open source culture on their teams and set policies around sharing with the open source community that empowers engineers to contribute to the larger developer community. Beyond attracting talent, it can actually help your engineers become better engineers.

2. Nurture Potential Leads

What makes sites like Github and Stack Overflow so much more valuable than traditional recruiting tools like LinkedIn is that tech talent is spending more time engaging there. Their user profiles are loaded with rich information about their experience, skills, personal projects, interests and contact info, and even examples of their code, unlike their sparse LinkedIn profiles. The depth and uniqueness of their user information make Github and Stack Overflow an incredibly powerful tool for sourcing and recruiting candidates.

Instead of waiting months and months for candidates to respond to your InMail on LinkedIn (that is, if you’re lucky they opened your message and replied), you can easily find or search for ways to connect with them from their Github or Stack Overflow profiles.

3. Share Your Tech Brand

Why spend hundreds or thousands of dollars marketing your brand and posting your jobs where candidates aren’t even spending their time? Promoting your tech brand on sites like Github or Stack Overflow is much more effective since tech talent visits them every day.

Stack Overflow, for example, reported over 101 million monthly unique visitors in 2015, with over 5 million registered users. And the best thing about it is that it’s all developers!

These sites represent huge opportunities for you, your hiring managers and engineers to tell your company culture and stories to help attract engineering talent. Start blogging and share information about your company, teams and projects that candidates may be interested in learning about.

Get potential candidates excited about the idea of working for you or your company early on. So when the timing is right, you are the first person they call when they are ready to make their next career move.

Do you use LinkedIn, Github or Stack Overflow for recruiting? What is working or not working for you? I’d love to hear about it! And if you have any other tips or tricks, please share them below!

Do you need help with getting your recruiters and sourcers up to speed on the latest sourcing and recruiting tactics? Contact us here and let’s chat about how we can help.

Will Staney

Will is the Founder and Principal Consultant at Proactive Talent Strategies, LLC and the former Head of Global Talent Acquisition at rapidly-growing startups Twilio andGlassdoor. Prior to that he held recruiting leadership roles at enterprise software leaders VMwareSuccessFactors and SAPwhere he lead strategic programs includingemployer brandingsourcing strategy, recruiting operations and systems process design.

During his over 7 years as a recruiting practitioner, after 10 years in sales and marketing, he developed a passion for building what he calls "modern recruiting machines". He would push innovation from the inside, execute on his vision, and once it was realized he would pass the torch on to those he had mentored and move on to his next challenge. He was destined to start a consultancy so he could help as many companies as possible adopt a more proactive recruiting strategy with community in mind.

In his free time, Will enjoys riding his motorcycle, trying out the newest gadgets, and spending time with his two kids, Foster and Felicity.