How To Find Qualified Engineering Candidates

As a founder, recruiting and onboarding top technical talent to your team is vital. A great software engineer will help scale your product and ensure the growth of your company. But, you probably don’t have a ton of time and energy to build the perfect hiring process and interview hundreds of candidates. So, how do you find qualified engineering candidates?

Leaning on the expertise of an agency is a great option. But if your organization isn’t ready for that, we’re breaking down tactical recruiting steps that you can easily follow.

Over the next few weeks, this series will cover how to scope a role, where to find the best candidates, how to outreach to them, tips for designing a strategic interview process, and more.

Finding engineering candidates to apply for your role

You’ve identified the role you need to hire for, the needed qualifications, and the benefits and compensation you can offer. This information should give you a good understanding of your ideal candidate. Use that knowledge to narrow down your target audience. The best way to source top talent is to meet them where they are.

Sourcing for candidates

Finding your own candidates can feel like a daunting task. Do you start by posting to a job board? Or should you start within your own network through word of mouth?

There are two main ways to source candidates. You can wait for talent to apply directly with an inbound approach, or you can proactively outbound to your ideal candidates. A combination of both is usually the best approach.

Inbound Hiring: How to get candidates to come to you

Job boards are a great place to start when you want to reach a large candidate pool. Popular sites such as Indeed and Glassdoor have free options depending on the number of job postings and the duration that they are up.

You can also opt for industry-specific job boards on sites like Angel List, Dice and Stack Overflow. Joining and posting to engineering communities on Slack is also a great way to get in front of qualified candidates. 

Outbound Hiring: Search for and contact your ideal candidates directly

This is a more direct way to get in front of your ideal candidates but is often time-consuming. The most popular place to outbound technical talent is LinkedIn. You can filter for people by company, role, school, etc. to compile a list of qualified candidates to message. 

Tips for Outbounding to Candidates on LinkedIn

To make your candidate search as efficient as possible, it’s best to start by identifying companies you want to hire from. This list will be helpful across your organization. You can share it with recruiting (in-house and agencies), your consultants and advisors, and marketing.

 Here are four categories of company types to include: 

  1. Competitors: Other startups or incumbents who are familiar with your product category and target customers.
  2. Adjacent: Companies that are not competitive but in the same industry and value chain.
  3. Aspiring: Companies you think have great talent with relevant skillsets and experiences you’d like to hire from.
  4. Comparable: Companies who may be in very different industries but you know to have similarities in relevant skillsets (ex. tech stack, sales motion, operational challenges, etc.).

 With this list, it is much easier to build search queries on Linkedin and generate ideal candidates to outbound. 

The best way to find qualified candidates is to post your job in places where your ideal hire will see it. Consider a combination of industry-specific job boards and direct outbound messages through filtered LinkedIn searches.

We hope that this guide will help your organization continue its growth and development. 

If you are looking for job opportunities in tech, click here.


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