3 hacks for effectively sourcing developers

With a severe market shortage of qualified software developers, recruiters and sourcers need to be creative when searching for and approaching potential candidates. So how can you address this challenge? 

While some people have expressed an interest in new opportunities, what about those who haven’t? They still represent a rich source of potential, and it is good to cover all your bases.  

In order to unearth these candidates, you will need to search where others don’t. Here are three practical “hacks” to help you succeed in technical sourcing — without having to be too technical.

Google for resumes using Custom Search Engines

Google’s Custom Search Engines allow you to easily make advanced searches without navigating the complexities. For example, they can automatically add a search string to the terms you enter, without displaying it; this allows you to find specialised results without writing advanced Boolean operators. 

In other words: Custom Search Engines are programmed to only return certain types of search results, so you get more of what you are looking for. Here are two examples of IT sourcing Custom Search Engines:

1. http://bit.ly/developerresumes will find Developer resumes on the web. Within this Custom Search Engine, there is a search string that directs Google to bring up resumes instead of other web pages — so you will get only those results you want, without needing to know advanced search syntax. Try searching using a location and skill-related keywords. 

2. http://bit.ly/GithubRepos will direct Google to find GitHub users with repositories in several programming languages, so you can find developers with the skills you are looking for. You can search for a combination of programming languages and a location; for example, java python javascript chicago.

Some tech-savvy sourcers and recruiters create their own Custom Search Engines; it is tricky, but can be done.

Search for resumes in GitHub content

GitHub is a place where members collectively write code — and it is a Sourcer’s paradise! Unknown to many in the recruiting world, GitHub is widely used not only to collaboratively work on software code but also to store documents such as resumes. These documents are stored in the “code” section along with software code.

Luckily, GitHub has search operators extension — which allows you to look for specific types of files — and filename, allowing you to search for specific document names (these are similar to Google’s search operators filetype and intitle). 

Using these operators together, we can run a targeted search. Here is an example: extension:json filename:resume “san francisco” javascript.

Another lesser-known resume format that is popular among GitHub users is TEX. Here’s an example search: filename:cv extension:tex “data scientist”.

Of course, you don’t have to necessarily include the file type in our search, and you may want to look through the many non-developers’ resumes, as well. The above example returns results for data scientists; here are a few more for different job titles: filename:resume “product manager” and filename:resume “vice president” engineering.

Find lists of software developers in ‘authors’ files

Software code repositories often have public “authors” files, listing contributors along with their email addresses. You can look for those files on sites for sharing software code, such as GitHub. To make the search more targeted, you can combine it with technology keywords, such as programming languages. You can even add a company email domain to the search to look for employees of a specific company.

To find lists of authors, search sites with public code repositories using Google’s operator site:. Pages listing contributors typically have the word “authors” in the URL; you can use that knowledge to look for the pages. 

The search template is: inurl:authors site:<site-with-code>. The operators used — inurl: and site: — tell Google to look only for pages with the word “authors” in the URL among pages within the <site-with-code>.

Here are some example searches on GitHub:

Here are some example searches on other code-sharing sites:

Using these tips, you can get more of the candidates you are looking for — and get to them before other sourcers do. Good luck!

Cover image: Shutterstock

Looking for more? Check out Irina’s Boolean Strings blog.

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