IT recruitment is not so obvious. Often, customers ask us where we find candidates, and we answer that we find most of the candidates on LinkedIn.
We already have a lot of experience in using LinkedIn, and Amazing Hiring helps us to find candidates. Thanks to this, without leaving LinkedIn, it is possible in most cases to find candidates who are finally employed by our client.
However, sometimes it happens that LinkedIn is not enough. While there are quite a few professionals on the portal, not every good professional has an account on Linkedin. Therefore, for niche positions, we need to go beyond the scheme.
This was the case with the recruitment of Scala Developers for VirtusLab. And that is what today’s case study will be about.
Scala is not such a niche technology in Poland, but it is not very popular either. An additional difficulty in this case was that VirtusLab is a very recognizable company in the Krakow scala environment. As a result, many people I wrote to knew the company well and if they were open to a change of job, they already applied there.
Another difficulty was related to the small number of people who work in this technology. While they were not Golang Developers, of which there are literally several on the market, it is also not as popular technology as Java, C# or C++. Therefore, I quickly ran out of potential candidates from LinkedIn.
However it may sound, I have been waiting for such an opportunity for a long time to be able to try out a few sourcing tricks in practice, which I have known rather theoretically until now. I will briefly describe what platforms I used to find people who “hid” from me on LinkedIn.
I chose this portal to start with. Privately, I call this portal “programming deviantart”. Within this platform, you can both develop your programming projects and contribute to larger projects.
On Github I was looking for programmers who had repositories at Scala. For searching I used an internal search engine that also supports various types of logical operators. Then Then I searched for profiles of people who were listed and assessed how many repositories they have in Scala and how long ago they were added.
When assessing candidates, the first criterion was the number of repositories entered in Scala. In the case where the evaluated candidate had only one or several repositories, which in addition were described as “Scala excercises” or “Scala coursera tutorial”, I did not consider such a candidate. However, when there were more repositories – the candidate was definitely in my circle of interest.
Of course, to be sure, I re-verified the skills of these people based on their profiles on other websites. However, my assumptions were rarely incorrect. Mostly they were engineers who experimented with Scala. And most often in such a wide range that they could easily be considered for the position of Scala Developer.
Github turned out to be very helpful. With its help, I found many Scala Developers who had an outdated account on LinkedIn or did not have it at all.
Stack overflow is a portal for the programming community where developers ask questions about various technologies. Each question is tagged with the programming language or framework/library it applies to. Points are awarded for helpful answers to the question.
On this portal, I used x-ray search through two search engines to find the right people: Google and Bing. My goal was to check if the results obtained would be different. I received almost identical results, but it may be due to the fact that their number was very limited.
Then I displayed the profiles found using x-ray search directly on Stack Overflow.. This allowed me to identify more people whom I could not find anywhere else. Unfortunately, the final result was not as spectacular as at Github, probably because many results overlapped.
Moreover, users usually use nicknames to set up profiles on Stack Overflow, not names and surnames as on LinkedIn and finding an email address is much more difficult than on Github. All this significantly hinders the identification of the person.
Here I used the Intelligence Search plugin, which searches for group members, for example Java & JVM jobs, who additionally live in Krakow, study at AGH, Cracow University of Technology, Jagiellonian University, University of Economics, have the title “Scala Developer”, work at XYZ, etc.
Unfortunately, Facebook recently prevented the use of this plugin, so if I had to repeat such a procedure today, instead of Intelligence Search, I would use DiG. It is also a free plugin that allows you to scrap Facebook group members into a CSV file and search it in Excel for given criteria.
The whole trick is that based on a person’s interests, we assess how likely a person is to program in Scala (or another language we’re looking for). For example, if someone is a member of several groups related to Scala and is still active in them, we can assume that they can program in Scala. Therefore, they will be the candidates of interest to us.
Moreover, we can also look for people who in the “About me” section of their FB profile have information that they work as Scala Developer. Surprisingly, there are people there that you won’t find on Linkedin.
The last platform I used was Meetup. My initial goal was to check all members of the Krakow Scala User Group. However, given that there are over a thousand members of this group and there are people from HR, marketing, sales, as well as a lot of programmers from other cities, I came to the conclusion that it would be easier to look for specific events from the perspective of participants.
Usually there are not more than one hundred participants of a given event, therefore I was able to find a few new people. It went relatively smoothly because at this stage I already associated a large part of programmers from the Krakow Scala world and did not need to check them in other sources.
When looking for programmers, LinkedIn is sufficient in 80-90% of cases. For niche specializations, expanding your search spectrum might be very helpful. If you do not have time for this, let us know, we will help😉 !
I assumed that not everyone reading this article would be interested in sourcer backstage.
For those who are, however, I present example strings that I was using to search and a list of helpful tools HERE.