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If you contact a developer through LinkedIn, will they even open your message? If you send them a Facebook message, will they reply with excitement? Chances are probably not. 

Our Developer Hiring Landscape Survey provided us with insights into how developers prefer to be contacted by recruiters and hiring managers. Respondents rated each place as a “great” way to be contacted, something they “tolerate”, a place they “hate”, or gave us a response of “I don’t have an account”.

Here's a look at where to find developers (and how to contact them!)

how to contact developersEmail

According to the results of our survey, email is the top preferred means of communication for developers. 65% of developers said that email is a “great” way to be contacted by recruiters regarding a new job opportunity. To have the best success with your tech recruiting emails, it’s important to personalize them. This includes a strong subject line, being completely transparent about the company you’re recruiting for, and mentioning a side project of the candidate’s to show you did your research.

Stack Overflow

44% of developers said that receiving a message on Stack Overflow was a great way to hear about a new job. With our Candidate Search, recruiters and hiring managers can search from more than 184,000 developer profiles from around the world who are members of Stack Overflow’s talent community. Instead of scouring LinkedIn for developers who aren’t looking for jobs, these candidates are part of an invite-only database who have opted in to be contacted.

developer linkedin.png


When many recruiters think of where to find developers, they immediately consider LinkedIn. However, 22% of developers we surveyed don’t even have a LinkedIn account. So if you’re a recruiter or hiring manager focusing solely on that one social network, you’re missing out on a huge pool of developer talent. To be a successful recruiter, you need to go where the candidates are.

Phone Call

44% of developers said they hate being contacted about new job opportunities over the phone. Many developers simply don’t have the time to pick up a phone call during their busy day, so online messages are easier to look at and respond to as they are less time-sensitive. Sometimes phone calls are a required part of the interview process, but the initial contact regarding the job shouldn’t be done over the phone.  


33% of developers don’t even have a Twitter account. Of those that do have an account, the same percent said they “hate” being contacted there. The strict 140-character limit on tweets and direct messages doesn’t allow for much personalized conversation between the recruiter and developer, which could be a reason for the percentages above. A study from the University of Victoria stated that 25% of developers found Twitter to be overwhelming, and 8% did not appreciate the 140-character limit. These could be additional reasons why Twitter might not be the best way to reach developer talent.


52% of developers said they hated being contacted on Facebook about job opportunities, making it their least-favorite of the platforms we included in the survey. Sorry, Zuckerberg.

Developers may not necessarily speak your language or use your preferred means of communication, so it’s important to cater to their needs when contacting them. By knowing where developers prefer to be contacted and what to write in your recruiting message, you are one step closer to successful engagement.

2017 hiring landscape


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Call +1-877-782-2577 or email careers@stackoverflow.com for answers to any questions you may have