Where to Find Developers: Best Places to Recruit IT Employees

Put yourself in the position of a highly skilled software engineer. If you received over 80 generic emails in a single day from would-be employers, would you read them all?

Would you read any of them?

Agile, the IT staffing company, conducted an informal study on a candidate’s experience when posting a resume to job boards. This type of overwhelming and impersonal response is common.

It’s also the reason Agile performs a separate annual survey of software engineers. The agency’s research — which includes information from hundreds of job seekers, placed candidates, and contract workers — provides a detailed understanding of the talent market.

The survey helps Agile know:

  • What developers want in their career.
  • Which software and tools to use.
  • Where to find developers online and offline.

Justin Ellis, recruiting manager for Agile, shares some of the strategies that have come out of this survey and the company’s experience. As your business seeks new ways to identify and engage talent, consider using these approaches or working with our IT recruiting firm.

LinkedIn Recruiter

A list of where to find developers has to include LinkedIn Recruiter. The platform gives insights into over 700 million professionals, provides advanced search filters, and recommends matches to criteria, even when people aren’t searching for a job.

However, there are a few drawbacks:

  • LinkedIn Recruiter isn’t cheap. Pricing for a single-seat license could run as high as $9,500 a year.
  • Over 1.5 million people use the tool to find and engage talent. This demonstrates its popularity, but it also shows how much competition there is from other recruiters.
  • Using LinkedIn alone isn’t likely to attract the talent you want. In the current market, there are just too many opportunities for developers. (See our recent article, “Why Good Employees Leave.”)

Ellis says, “Everyone who’s serious about hiring for their company is using LinkedIn Recruiter, but having access isn’t enough. You have to be able to target the right people with the right messaging.”

He adds that software engineers who put their private information on LinkedIn, such as their phone number, typically get spammed with offers.

“It’s our job to stand out so that high-quality professionals seriously consider the opportunity.”

Targeted Job Boards

Thinking about where to find developers? Companies and staffing agencies commonly use job boards to post positions and collect resumes.

Not every website offers the same value, however. Ellis says it’s important to identify the job board that aligns with an employer’s needs.

“For example, you typically see software engineers looking at Dice. A site like Career Builder can be hit or miss for software engineers but useful for support and help desk positions.”

Other websites allow you to share job postings but are less suitable for finding candidate resumes.

“Agile’s annual survey allows us to identify job boards that are growing in popularity,” Ellis states. “It lets us know if we’re overlooking or overusing a source so we can pivot to the best options quickly.”

Referrals by Current Candidates

Let’s say your company is in the final stages of hiring a developer. This is an excellent time to ask that candidate about other people you should recruit.

This type of arrangement is great because it connects you to prospective hires through a solid referral. Also, it gives your new developer a chance to work with someone they already know and like.

Businesses can use the same technique with current employees and with their broader network. It can be more effective than trying to recruit and vet candidates without a preexisting relationship.

“As a specialized staffing agency,” Ellis says, “Agile has connections to thousands of IT professionals nationwide. We incentivize referrals from current candidates as well as people we’ve already helped get hired.”

Developer Communities Online

Software engineers might respond to a great-fit opportunity, but they don’t want to be hounded by recruiters who don’t know their interests, capabilities, experience, or geographic requirements.

To avoid inbox inundation, many developers don’t use career websites or job boards. So, where to find developers when they aren’t actively searching?

“The tech professionals you hire should already be interested in growing their skills and demonstrating their expertise,” says Ellis. “There are a variety of online communities where they can do this, and recruiters can use these sites to connect with them.”

Some examples include:

  • Personal websites where developers showcase their work.
  • Code-sharing sites that allow commenting and revisions.
  • Online groups that promote professional development.

This approach only works if your technology recruiters understand the job opportunity and the technology very well. Spamming a JavaScript developer with a position working in Java — a completely different language — isn’t a path to success.

“Good recruiters look at what prospective candidates have done in these communities,” Ellis states. “When they reach out, they show their understanding of what the developer does and position the opportunity as a natural fit. That’s how you recruit someone who isn’t in the market for a new job.”

Professional Development Events

Both virtual and in-person events can help your company reach candidates. The opportunities range in audience size, from local industry groups to large conferences.

Employers can:

  • Attend or host a booth at a technology event.
  • Sponsor webinars held by IT associations.
  • Put on social or professional development get-togethers for local talent.

“Our agency is a co-organizer of the JavaScript Alpharetta Meetup Group,” says Ellis. “Planning events and offering space lets us connect with developers. It also keeps our recruiters up-to-date on technical skills, helping us target the right people for open positions.”

A Strategic Approach as you Recruit IT Candidates

No single resource is likely to provide your company with all of the candidates it needs. Professionals in varying roles, levels of seniority, and skill areas will respond to the websites, tools, and tactics we’ve covered.

A good first step is planning out the talent that your business requires now and what it may require in the future. Revisit this plan frequently, adjusting it based on employee performance and changes to project scope. This will lead you to the best resources for recruiting.

Along with your internal plan and staffing efforts, consider working with a technology recruiting firm like Agile. A dedicated provider will ensure that your company has the team you need when you need it.

Talk with Agile about where to find and recruit IT developers for your business. Contact our IT staffing agency.

IT Hiring