Forgetting LinkedIn: 3 Places to Discover IT Candidates


September, 2023

Forgetting LinkedIn: 3 Places to Discover IT Candidates

topic IT Recruiting visibility1972 views

As recruiters, we know the importance of casting a wide net to find the best talent. While LinkedIn is a staple for sourcing candidates, we've found some unexpected spots for uncovering high-quality IT professionals. Places you wouldn't necessarily think of right away but are gold mines for tech talent. Forget the usual job sites and networking platforms for a minute. There's a whole world of untapped potential out there if you know where to look. We're going to share a few of our secret sourcing spots - the unconventional places we've used to connect with amazing developers, engineers, and other IT experts. These unlikely locations have led us to make great hires time and time again.

Look to Open Source Communities to Find Passionate Developers

As recruiters, we're always on the hunt for talented developers. While LinkedIn is a go-to resource, some of the most passionate programmers can be found in open source communities.

Meetup groups

In cities across the country, developers get together at Meetups to discuss the latest tech, work on open source projects, and network. Attending local Meetups is a great way for us to connect with developers in an informal setting, see their skills in action, and build relationships. We've found candidates at Meetups who were looking to take their career to the next level with a new role.


The popular code hosting platform GitHub is home to millions of open source projects and the developers who build them. We follow developers who actively contribute to projects we find interesting. Sometimes a developer's GitHub profile gives us a sense of their coding skills, areas of expertise, and passion for their work. When we come across standout developers, we reach out to start a conversation about their career goals and interest in new roles.

Online forums

Developers exchange ideas, ask questions, and discuss trending technologies on forums like Reddit, Quora, and Stack Overflow. We monitor popular programming subreddits and search forums for developers who provide thoughtful, in-depth responses. If we spot someone with the skills and experience we seek, we connect to learn more about their background and interests.

While unconventional, open source communities are fertile ground for discovering skilled, motivated developers. With a little digging, we've connected with candidates there who became outstanding hires. And by engaging with developers in spaces where they're actively collaborating and learning, we gain insight into who they are as programmers and what really drives their passion for tech.

Attend Tech Meetups and Conferences to Network With IT Professionals

As recruiters, we're always on the hunt for new ways to find top tech talent. While LinkedIn is useful, some of the best places to network with IT professionals are at local meetups and conferences.


While meetups are casual, conferences are bigger events, often spanning multiple days, with presentations, workshops, and dedicated networking time. Though conferences typically require registration fees, they are worth the investment. Not only do they allow you to establish your brand as a thought leader in the IT space, but they provide access to highly-skilled candidates from around the region or country.

After attending a few local tech events, you'll start to recognize familiar faces and build a network. Some of those new connections may even turn into new hires down the road. While job boards and LinkedIn have their place, in-person networking at meetups and conferences is one of the most valuable ways for recruiters to find great IT talent. By engaging with professionals face to face, you can make authentic connections and find candidates truly passionate about their work.

Partner With Local Coding Bootcamps to Tap Into New Talent

We’ve had success partnering with local coding bootcamps to find promising IT candidates. These intensive training programs churn out talented developers and tech professionals eager to start their careers.

Reach out to bootcamp directors and instructors

Bootcamp students are highly motivated to find work after completing the program. Since they’ve just spent several months intensely focused on learning in-demand tech skills, their knowledge is fresh and they’re enthusiastic to apply it in a real-world setting. These candidates may require additional on-the-job training, but their drive to succeed and passion for the work make the investment worthwhile.

Rather than sifting through hundreds of applicants on LinkedIn, we find tapping into the bootcamp network an efficient way to source strong candidates. The bootcamp staff act as a filter, only recommending students they believe would thrive in a position at our company. We get to skip the initial screening and start interviewing candidates who already come pre-vetted.

For small companies and startups hungry for technical talent, local coding bootcamps are a goldmine of potential. Don’t overlook these unconventional networks in your search for skilled IT professionals. Approach bootcamps with a spirit of partnership and openness, and you’ll find they can become one of your best sources for new candidates with the skills and enthusiasm to drive your business forward.

Leverage Your Existing Contacts on Social Media to Spread the Word

We’ve all been there—desperately searching for that elusive “purple squirrel” candidate with the perfect combination of technical and soft skills. As recruiters, we know the challenges of finding qualified IT talent. While LinkedIn is a staple, don’t limit yourself. Some of the best candidates can be found in unconventional places.

Your Company Website

Surprisingly, your own company website is a gold mine for discovering candidates. Monitor the traffic and engagement on your site to see what content and jobs people are most interested in. Then reach out to those visitors and invite them to apply. You’ve already captured their attention, so they may be open to a new role.

Industry Forums and Groups

IT professionals often participate in online forums and groups to discuss trends, ask questions, and share knowledge. Spend time browsing popular IT forums like Spiceworks Community, TechRepublic, and Coderbyte Forum. Look for members who frequently answer questions thoughtfully and accurately. Strike up a conversation and build a rapport to determine if they may be open to new opportunities.

College Campus Events

Develop relationships with local colleges, especially those with strong IT and computer science programs. Ask to attend or sponsor campus events to increase your company’s visibility. Meet students, evaluate their skills and enthusiasm, and consider them for internships or entry-level jobs. Campus events are ideal for discovering motivated, up-and-coming talent.

User Groups and Meetups

In-person networking at local user groups and meetups allows you to make authentic connections with IT professionals in a low-pressure setting. Look for groups centered around in-demand technical skills like software engineering, web development, or data science. Attend meetings, take part in discussions, and get a sense of who may be interested in hearing about new roles. The personal interaction can help you find ideal candidates who may not yet be actively job searching.

With creativity and persistence, you can uncover strong candidates in the unlikeliest of places. While LinkedIn has its merits, don’t limit your search to the usual spots. IT talent is everywhere—you just have to know where to look!

Read More - A Guide for Utilizing Social Media for Hiring in Canada

Hiring IT Specialist in Canada - Guide for Recruiters 2023


As recruiters, we're always on the hunt for new places to find strong candidates. While LinkedIn is a staple, we have to think outside the box to discover the cream of the crop. There's a whole world of talent out there just waiting to be found in the unlikeliest of places. So next time you're searching for that perfect engineer or web developer, don't forget to check sites like Github, AngelList, and Meetup. You never know, your next star employee could be lurking in the forums or attending a local tech event. The possibilities are endless if we just open our minds to new possibilities. Happy hunting, recruiters! May the search be fruitful and the candidates be plentiful.

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