While skilled programmers enter the talent pool daily, high demand makes finding them and securing them for your team a challenge. When your company is on the hunt for programmers, it’s important to employ multiple strategies to locate the industry’s best talent and get them in the door before other companies snap them up.
To help you quickly and reliably locate the best-qualified and highest-performing individuals within the field, 11 members of Forbes Technology Council offer insight into some of the best resources available.
1. Employee Referrals
Without a doubt, employee referrals are the best source for finding candidates. While the right skills and experience are of course important in hiring, the right culture fit is equally important. Team members know the culture and have a sense of who will thrive and who won’t. When employees refer someone, there’s a great chance they will be a good fit in terms of talent and culture. – Joelle Brock, Leading EDJE
2. Your Own Networks
The best success I have had is to tap into my own network as well as those of the best engineers in the company—since they know their work the best, they will be able to recommend engineers from their own network who are often good matches. We have also used LinkedIn as well as Indeed in certain cases and have had decent success. – Brian Sathianathan, Iterate.ai
3. Technology Events
We attend events with like-minded people, such as AWS Lofts, with which we are an advanced technology partner, and Re:Invent, Re:Inforce and Black Hat conferences, where we host a sponsored booth. Also, LinkedIn is actually a great place to visit to find programmers. – Archie Agarwal, ThreatModeler Software, Inc.
4. Training Organizations
Always start by utilizing your professional network. A LinkedIn post overviewing who you’re looking for and asking for connections or recommendations can do a lot more than you’d think! Beyond that, see what local training organizations there are, such as coding boot camps. The graduates of these programs are often very job-ready and hungry to work. – Richard Wang, Coding Dojo
5. Local Tech Community
The best programmers can have their pick of which employer they want to work for. They want to know they will work on interesting tech and have trusted managers and company values that resonate with them. My go-to source is to get my team out into the local tech community to build relationships. When the time comes to hire, we already know who to target. – Kathy Keating, Apostrophe, Inc.
6. Inbound Applications
One of the most neglected sources of great candidates is inbound applications. Most companies ignore this source because there is too much noise and they can’t make sense of it. However, when you cast a wide net and build a solid talent brand, applicants can be a great source of candidates if you know how to measure talent at the very top of the funnel to identify those diamonds in the rough. – Tigran Sloyan, CodeSignal
7. Great Former Employees
The reasons great people leave aren’t always permanent. Changes in leadership, organization structure or even pay scales can mean that they’ll be willing to come back, especially if it’s been more than a year or two. You can’t wait on them to reach out, as they might think it looks desperate. Keep in touch with the great ones anyway—you never know how it might pay off. It’s all about relationships. – Luke Wallace, Bottle Rocket
8. Universities And Academic Institutions
When looking to hire the best tech talent, it might indeed be tempting to post on job boards and work with headhunters. This approach works best for poaching senior programmers. But we’ve had great success in recruiting the best software developers and data scientists at universities by giving tech talks, organizing hackathons and sponsoring awards for coding challenges. – Apurva “Apu” Kumar, LOTaDATA
9. Availability Campaigns
Out of sight means out of mind. What has worked best for us is doing availability campaigns to source better candidates. This creates an image in the candidate’s mind: “This company is in continuous touch with me and when the time comes for my next role, I will reach out to them.” Branding your company is key to attracting better resources. Often, people only reach out when there is a need. – Bhavna Juneja, Infinity, a Stamford Technology Company
10. Job Boards
As a remote company, we use the online job board We Work Remotely to find the best programmers from all over the globe. It has over 2.5 million monthly visitors and is used by companies like Google, Amazon, Basecamp and more. – Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster
11. Dedicated Websites
There are multiple websites—Vettery, rolebot, Hired, etc.—that provide pre-vetted candidates for your technology stack. Sites like Stack Overflow and HackerRank also provide a good way to gauge candidates’ knowledge of your technology stack. Often, it comes down to finding a few good candidates from the pool and then making them go through your own coding exercise to find the perfect tech fit. – Amit Ojha, Green Wave Ingredients .
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