The Candidate Sourcing Bible Stack Overflow
Why recruiters must source on Stack Overflow? 

Top reason: Though Stack Overflow is like Quora for developers where they post questions, answer, upvote and downvote answers, it’s also customised for recruiters who are on the lookout for great developers.

a)Stack Overflow receives 100+ visitors each month
b)There are more than a million active job seekers on the site’s database
c)Recruiters can send unlimited messages to candidates unlike any other platform.
c)The site allows you to list jobs and even run paid ads to find perfect candidates.
d)They have an algorithm that focuses on learning their users' (both recruiters and developers) needs the more they use the site. Meaning, the experience just gets smarter and better with time.

stakeoverflow candidate sourcing stakeoverflow candidate sourcing

Stack Overflow user profiles

Stack Overflow user profiles tell you everything you need to know about your candidates and give you a fantastic head start in your candidate research. You can use the information you find on the profiles to filter for candiadtes with specific qualities or skills.

  • Username
  • Location
  • Website
  • Member since
  • Link to Twitter profile
  • Reputation
  • Question asked
  • Other profiles
  • Profile picture
  • Tags contributed to
  • Recent activity
  • Badges 
  • Side projects
  • Recently asked questions
Stack Overflow User Profiles Stack Overflow User Profiles

Candidate search techniques for Stack Overflow

Searching through top tags on the user profile

The top tags section is a reflection of your candidate’s top skills. You can move your cursor over a particular tag to see a small hover tip about what the tag is.

  • To keep track of threads regarding the tag, you can use the ‘watch tag’ option. 
  • To learn more about the tag, you can use the ‘view tag’ option.
  • To see all tags of the user, click on the ‘view all tags’ section.

You can also jump into "" to see the complete list of tags in the site. If you click on a tag, you will be directed to a page that will have questions and answers based on that programming language. You can use the filters such as active, newest, or votes to filter the list, and look up people engaging on those questions. 

Using stack overflow tags in candidate sourcing Using stack overflow tags in candidate sourcing
Finding candidates by the programming languages known

Let’s say, you want to find users with significant experience in java and python, just type in ‘JAVA’ and ‘PYTHON’ into the Stack Overflow search box. The results will be a list of questions with the tag you typed in. To find users, on the left pane, navigate to users.

java python stackoverflow 01 java python stackoverflow 01
Finding candidates who have a LinkedIn account 

You can also use Google’s X-ray search to find candidates on stack Overflow. The basic string “site:” narrows the search down to the Stack Overflow website. You can further add other parameters to find candidates that best fit your job requirements.

If you are looking for users with a LinkedIn profile or a website, you can use the intext: parameter to get the job done.

site: intext:"" 

site: intext:"website" 

You can also use the intext: operator to find people who have spent a good number of years on Stack Overflow. intext:"Member since 2017"

Finding candidates with LinkedIn profiles on Stack Overflow Finding candidates with LinkedIn profiles on Stack Overflow
Finding candidates in and around your city

If you are thinking of recruiting someone in your location and would like to invite them over for a personal interview, you can find some candidates quickly.

Add your location to the string with the type of developer you are looking for and you will have a good catch in minutes..

site: Atlanta JAVA  -inurl:(jobs|website)

-inurl: operator removes job ads and websites from the search results and returns only users

Sourcing developers based on location Sourcing developers based on location