The Hidden Tool for Recruiting Tech Talent

To find software engineers and other skilled niche roles you have to look beyond LinkedIn. Learn how you can start recruiting tech talent with

When it comes to recruiting and sourcing resources, we hear a lot about LinkedIn. It’s the clear leader in professional networking and basically houses the resumes of over 200 million people around the world.

Then of course you have the job boards like Monster, CareerBuilder, and Dice, where you can find the active job seekers. However, in my opinion, those resources are becoming obsolete.

While LinkedIn and other sourcing sites are great for finding strong candidates for most positions there are some people who don’t really want to be found. They have incomplete profiles and you can’t always tell what their skills are — I’m looking at you, engineers. This is when you need to get creative and look for these candidates on niche sites.

Creative Sourcing: How to Find Tech Talent Using

That’s when I usually turn to For those of you who don’t know, is “the world’s largest network of local groups”. Anyone can organize a MeetUp Group and there are currently over 15 million members and over 140,000 groups in 196 countries. These groups can be for anything from book clubs to fitness enthusiasts to JavaScript Experts.

Screen Shot 2013-11-29 at 11.54.47 AMSigning up is free and once you’re a member you can search for Meetups using keywords (like JavaScript, .NET and Engineers) in a certain city. For example, when searching for a .NET Developer in Boston I can search for .NET groups within 50 miles of Boston and it comes back with 42 Meetups that may be of interest to me. I can quickly view a thumbnail style list with the name of the group and how many members it has. I find one called “Microsoft Developers Boston” with 872 members. I can then look further into the group and even view the member list.

Each member has a brief bio that can include their current job, their specialties, and sometimes links to their LinkedIn profiles or website.

Screen Shot 2013-11-29 at 11.57.20 AMFrom here, I will typically search for them on LinkedIn and reach out with an Inmail or connection first. If you cannot find their LinkedIn profile, there is also an option to email directly through MeetUp.

When Recruiting for Niche Tech Roles, Look Beyond LinkedIn

When used correctly, MeetUp can be a great tool to find candidates for positions looking for niche skill sets that may not be on LinkedIn. For example, if you are looking for a Clojure expert, someone with no skills listed on LinkedIn may be in the “Boston Clojure Group” on MeetUp and you would have never reached out if you didn’t know that. So keep an open mind about how to source and you may find yourself with more qualified candidates.

Have you had success recruiting tech talent using MeetUp or another LinkedIn alternative?

Senior Talent Manager, Engineering
You might also like ...
Predictable Pitfalls of Founders and How to Avoid Them
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in People + Strategy magazine here. We have romanticized founders having their “eureka” moments, writing their...
by Alisa Cohn
Startup Strategy
The Simple Secret to Getting Ahead in Tech
A couple of weeks ago, I read a fantastic article in the Wall Street Journal about Leyla Seka’s rise through...
by George Roberts
Startup Strategy
Using Empathy to Improve the Customer Journey
Empathy is key to improving the customer journey, but to develop it we need to get as close as we...
by OpenView