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November 9, 2017
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December 2, 2017

3 ideas for sourcing in IT

The tech space is particularly challenging, or so recruiters claim. In reality, most techies have some online presence, which allows you to find them – so how hard can the sourcing part be? In my experience, a lot of recruiters who struggle with tech recruitment are those who don’t actually specialise in it. They are successful simply sticking to LinkedIn with other roles they work on and so when that same approach doesn’t work for identifying developers – they get frustrated. If this ever happened to you, here’s what you can try  for some better results:


1. Github

It should be a platform all the tech recruiters recognise. Github allows developers to store their code, review code shared by other developers etc. It’s definitely not as recruiter friendly as LinkedIn is – if you’re going to look for candidates on github, you can’t just type in a job title and hope for the best. To really use the platform well you’ll need a much better understanding of the job you’re looking to fill, which is one of the reasons I like it so much. It forces you to put a little more effort in your search, but it also offers considerable benefits:

  • it is quite easy to find email addresses using github as well as all the information you’ll need to write a well researched approach message. If there’s something that you don’t understand, be honest about it – but also pay attention to information that’s easy to understand for a non-technical person too. Just imagine starting an approach message with “I can see that you share quite a lot on github, those are some interesting projects you work on!” as opposed to “Your Linkedin profile is quite impressive”.
  • you can use potential candidates’ github profiles when you’re dealing with your Hiring Managers. Being able to view a sample of someone’s code should give them a much better understanding of their skills than reviewing a LinkedIn profile. You can ask for feedback on candidates and use that in your approach messages if you don’t feel up to writing them on your own. How cool would it be for a candidate to hear someone in your organisation has something nice to say about what they’ve shared in the very first email?


2. Meetup

If you’re not ready to give github a try yet, maybe meetuup will be a little easier to start with. It’s a platform used for organising… you got it, meetups 🙂 They don’t necessarily have to be IT related, but a lot of them are, in fact in Poland it’s quite rare to see other meetups on there.

I think meetup is amazing especially if your competitors have a much bigger budget for events than you do. A lot of IT companies in Poland (do check if it’s the same where you are!) use Meetup to advertise their events with their audience. This means it’s really easy to access the list of people who attended, say, a meetup for Java developers. You do’t even have to source too much – if someone’s attending an event like this, they are verry likely to be a Java developer, right? 🙂 all you need to do is check out their profile and, if they haven’t disabled that option, drop them a free message to introduce yourself!

Oh and if you want to go a step further, try joining an event or maybe encourge the developers from your company to join. If you have a referral process in place, make sure that your employees are able to get credit for referring people they meet at events.


3. Workshape

There’s an even better way to find people in IT, especially when you’re not a very technical person yourself. It doesn’t even require sourcing! If you’ve never heard of workshape before, it’s a recruitment platform created specifically for IT roles. All you need to do is describe the focus on the role to be matched with your perfect candidates. Let’s say you’re looking for a frontend developer – ask yourself (or your Hiring Manager), what will this person actually do with their day? Use the answers to create a shape, for example:

Developers looking for work will create shapes of their ideal roles based on what they would like to spend their time on. Obviously, both sides also add some details around the technologies used and voila! You get presented with a list of candidates who want a role that closely resemble yours.

The reason I absolutely love this idea is because it allows you to have a much more interesting conversation with the candidate that’s focused on the future (“I see this is what you want to do in your next role”) rather than the past (“I see you’re already doing this for a competitor so I thought we should chat”). That way, you’re no longer an impediment to the recruitment process, someone who will never understand the technical details of the candidate’s experience or the intricacies of the project your company is working on. Instead, you focus on what a recruiter should be doing, facilitating the recruitment process and handing it over to the Hiring Manager once you’ve established the candidate could be a fit for the role from a non-technical perspective.


I really think sourcing and recruiting in IT doesn’t have to be that hard. Get curious about tech, try to understand the projects your candidates are working on and learn to use IT terms properly. As a bonus, here’s a tool that can help you do this while sourcing: it’s called GlossaryTech and it seems quite popular with recruiters I know. Try it and see for yourself if it makes your job a little bit easier 🙂

Kasia Borowicz
Kasia Borowicz
Social Recruiting geek turned trainer; Recruitment Open Community manager; blogger. I enjoy coffee, reading and yes, recruitment :)


  1. Suvasanamayee Viswanatha says:

    I love how brief and to the point it is. IMO are challenges connecting with IT talent (85% of it has been created by us recruiters itself) – but we have to become better at our craft and also start cleaning up the bad name that our profession has got.

    check out sourcecon – it is travelling to belgrade in 2018 and there are opportunities to speak at the event 🙂

    • Kasia Borowicz says:

      Thanks for the comment Suvasanamayee! We most certainly do need to do a better job, I agree we can solve most of our problems by making a little more effort.

  2. Tim says:

    Great post! I love searching via GitHub and have used Meetup as well. However, for agency recruiters Workspace is a non-starter because we’re excluded.

    • Kasia Borowicz says:

      Thanks for your comment Tim! Yes, Workshape is a tool for in-house use. What you can benefit from, however, even as an agency recruiter, is something that Hung Lee, the CEO of Workshape, does. Check out the newsletter he created, there’s a fresh batch of amazing recruiting articles every week, they’re all categorised and you’ll find a short description for each one too! hIt’s called Recruiting Branfood (very fitting!)

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