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Post by Rich Moy on Nov 17, 2015, 12:30:00 PM

Tech recruiters, especially those who are newer to the field, often get a lot of advice about their sourcing strategies. They read tips on how to find great developers online, and also have heard about how important it is to keep communication with them as personal as possible. For a recruiter who’s trying to build up their pipeline quickly and personalize every email they send, doing both of these things well can seem overwhelming. However, here are a few tips to help you find developers online more quickly without sacrificing the high-touch communication you know developers respond to.

Make Sure You Understand the Role Before You Do Any Sourcing

This might sound obvious, but one of the biggest lessons I learned when I was a recruiter was how important it is to understand the roles you’re looking to fill. Earlier in my career, I spent countless hours researching how the qualifications on a job description would manifest themselves in an actual candidate, only to find that I still wasn’t on the same page as the hiring manager. This cost me a lot of valuable time, and ultimately forced me to rush through emails I would have preferred to personalize a bit more.

While you might be tasked with reloading your pipeline with great candidates, that doesn’t mean you need to toil away endlessly at your keyword searches. Make it a priority to schedule kickoff meetings with hiring managers before you begin any sourcing campaign. Not only will this help guide your search efforts, it will also reduce the number of times the hiring manager will have to clarify his or her expectations. To jumpstart these kickoff meetings, here are a few talking points that will help you and your hiring managers define your sourcing strategies:

  1. Which programming languages in this job description are must-haves? Which ones are only bonuses?
  2. These are the platforms I’m currently searching on. Am I missing any other forums where this type of developer spends his or her time?
  3. Here are some resumes I sourced prior to this meeting. What do you like/dislike about them?

These meetings might be uncomfortable at first, but ultimately, you’ll spend less time reviewing candidates who aren’t a fit for your roles and be able to focus more of your time crafting personal emails to the developers you are interested in speaking with further.

Rethink The Way You Approach “Talent Segmentation”

The main idea around talent segmentation is that recruiters should differentiate their sourcing strategies based on distinct candidate profiles. Because a senior-level developer might not be interested in the same things as someone more junior, recruiting teams often adjust their overall hiring strategies to cater to as many of these unique segments as they can identify. Although this is a good start, often times the problem with this approach is that recruiters still rely on email templates for developer outreach, with the only difference being that perhaps they’ve written a couple additional templates to cater to each of their segments.

Hiring managers will always want to see more candidates, which can lead even the best tech recruiters to simply send out as many canned emails to developers as possible without even considering talent segmentation. Rather than thinking about your talent segments strictly in terms of junior versus senior, consider where developers are spending their free time online, and how they’re spending that time. While you should still spend time customizing every email you send to a developer, ask yourself the following questions about candidates and use the answers as a guide to help you craft meaningful messages to developers quickly.

  1. Is this person answering a lot of questions on forums? Developers are usually eager to share what they know, so when you notice a candidate is particularly helpful on tech forums, make sure you’re engaging them in conversations about the technologies they’re talking about most.
  2. Is this person asking for feedback on side projects? Candidates who fall into this category make what they’re interested in fairly obvious for recruiters. If they’re asking for feedback on something they’re building, make sure you’re engaging these developers about their side projects early and often in your outreach.

Hiring developers is a tough job, but knowing how they spend their time online can speed up your process for sending them personalized recruitment emails. As you start to ask yourself these questions about their interactions on tech forums, you’ll quickly get into the habit of identifying talking points that will truly set you apart from the pack.

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