Finding the strongest passive candidates with the least time investment is the challenge for all candidate sourcing strategies.

How do you find the best passive candidates for the niche skills that IT professionals such as Java developers or Ruby engineers have? There are a LOT of resumes out there on the web, along with social media profiles, blogs, tweets, forum comments, or, in Talent Bin co-founder Peter Kazanjy’s words, “professional exhaust.”

When you need to develop a pool of passive candidates with niche IT skills, try some of these candidate sourcing strategies developed specifically to reduce the amount of time spent on search activities and produce the exact results you need.

Social Media Aggregators

Social Media Aggregators are tools that recruiters can use to save time when looking for passive candidates. Talent Bin, for example, sorts through all that exhaust and reveals the niche skills IT candidates have and recruiters look for with rich aggregated social media profiles. Recruiters can use Talent Bin online or as a plugin to their recruiting programs and systems. Talent Bin reveals much richer information about candidates than just what types of positions they’ve worked in, detailing areas such as what specific IT issues candidates tweet regularly about and how they participate in forums. Recruiters get a comprehensive picture of a candidate’s interests, skills, and experience when using Talent Bin to search for niche skills. Other tools that use social media based candidate sourcing strategies similar to Talent Bin include Entelo, Swoop Talent, Dice Open Web, and Remarkable Hire.

Stack Overflow

Stack Overflow is a community for programmers, developers, and technical professionals to ask, answer, and vote and comment on peers’ activity on the site. While it doesn’t aggregate information on users into a neat package for recruiters, it is easy to find IT professionals talking about niche skills on the “hot” or “interesting” tabs, and get a good feel for skill levels and competency. No conversation about passive candidate sourcing strategies for IT is complete without mentioning Stack Overflow.


Gild uses science in the form of algorithms to crunch data about an individual’s online activity, to reveal talent in IT. Passive candidate sourcing strategies that put resume quantity ahead of candidate quality are doomed to fail. To that end, Gild scores IT skills, lets recruiters search candidates based on criteria such as coding skills, job title, and location, and shares code snippets for recruiters and employers to see a candidate’s actual work output. Using Gild also gives recruiters a good idea of candidates’ influence in the developer community, changing a time-consuming process of figuring out professional reputations into a quicker process of identifying great IT talent.


Google+ has a community for techies called Techno FAQ, which hosts a multitude of programmers, developers, engineers, and designers. Recruiters can engage in highly effective candidate sourcing strategies with Google+ by searching with directory tools, hosting a Google+ Hangout, becoming active users on Google+ and developing a network, and following people and groups through Circles. Google+ enables recruiters to interact in different ways with technology candidates to reveal abilities, skills, and knowledge not accessible from traditional sources such as resumes.

Using these tools enables recruiters to get an inside track on candidates before they ever talk to them. An added bonus: Along with finding passive tech candidates with niche skills, you’ll learn what the tech community is talking about, and get a better understanding of who the star players are and how they are perceived by their peers. Effective passive candidate sourcing strategies for IT must venture out into Social Media, and these tools are a great start on that journey.

What are YOUR favorite passive candidate sourcing strategies for IT? Share your experiences with us!

Challenges to IT Recruiting

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