Management has opened a new position on our 8-10 person team of C/C++ developers.

As a team member, I've got a vested interest us actually finding quality candidates.

Can anyone suggest some informal measures I might be able to take to locate quality candidates who might be interested?

(The http://careers.stackoverflow.com/ service looks really great, but our HR department does not have an account. Though, they are looking in to it.)

Thank you

(P.S. Would this question be better on the main "Programmers" site? Not sure. Feel free to migrate.)

5 Answers 5


Since you said "informally", I'll mention my technique, which isn't fast. I organize a programmer's book club. It gives me a reason to socially hang out with developers outside of my office every once in a while. I figure next time some asks me if I know anyone who can write code, now I'll be able to say I do.

I suppose many of the people I have ever hung out with or met at a potluck are also programmers, but generally, when the expert who knows everything about C++ meets the expert who knows everything about SQL administration meetup each other, they talk about the weather and football games. They generally won't necessarily realize that the other is a programmer or if they're any good.


It's all about relationships these days. Recruiters and the like are good still, but if you are looking for people of reputation, you need to get connected with people who would know and recommend them.

Every programmer you know will know programmers from other companies. Find out where they gather, and especially where the best ones will show up.

In the case of C++ people, try some events like local users' groups, code camps or barcamps, hacking parties, etc.

Get some of your programmers involved in C++ open source projects, because those projects run on programming chops and reputation to a large extent. Once you have some insider connections, the network will start to expand.

Good luck!

Can anyone suggest some informal measures I might be able to take to locate quality candidates who might be interested?

I once heard that some organizations are finding there candidates from social networking sites like Facebook, Orkut, Twitter etc. I am not sure how much it is affective but I have observed that many developers [who are really talented and do blogging stuff] genreally post there blog's link on Twitter.

As you have mentioned that you are looking for talented people, in that case I doubt about the other job searching website because you never know that what they have written in resume is really true or not.


Getting leads on good hire in a informal manner does not usually happen very quickly as it all depends on how good your connections are in the industry. By informal, I am going to assume you mean that the leads are from friends or peers in the industry.

The problem is that if your professional network is small, the chances of getting good leads are small. So a larger professional network will help out here.

The other aspect of the professional network is the strength of the network. If your professional network have strong bonds, you and the peers in your network will have implicit mutual trust and respect. This helps significantly when you are socialising the news that your are hire.

Therefore to establish these two aspects (and many more) of your professional network, it will take time and active effort.

You could tried some of the online social networks aimed at the professional like linkedin.com and plaxo.com.

Good Luck!


A relatively cheap method to find qualified talent that wants to work in your organization would be through employee referrals. This could come from personal connections, team members on social networking sites, or people that employees might meet at conferences. Regardless of where they come from, the idea is that your current employees personally and professionally know the person they are recommending for a position on their team, and that the person would be a good fit for the work and the organization.

Direct applicants, either through referrals or applications to a job posting on the company website, lead to about 45% of all hires. People hired through referrals are typically vouched for by an employee, are qualified, and are at least somewhere interested in working for the organization. Direct applicants to postings on a company website are often strongly interested in working for the company (they hunted the organization down on their own, after all) and have at least some of the skills desired.

Recruiting through universities, especially local universities is also a good idea. University recruitment is a little cheaper than employee referrals, but you are often getting recent graduates and will probably get more resumes that need to be reviewed, candidates to interview, and so on (leading to a lower yield ratio). Having team members reach out to the universities that they graduated from might be another good idea.

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