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6 Tips and Tricks to Successfully Source the IT Candidate of Your Dreams

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IT candidates are very hard to come by because their skills are in high demand. If you find the right fit for your company, chances are they have multiple offers pending and might choose another employer. 

So, how do you attract and retain top IT talent? The following article will show you practical tips and tricks that let your source valuable IT candidates in no time, using resources that are at everyone’s disposal:

1. Use social recruiting tools

These recruiting tools rely on social connections to find your ideal candidate and are also known as social aggregators. More than 90% of recruiters rely on LinkedIn to source top talent, and 73% of job seekers (between 18 and 34) found their last job using social media.

Social recruiting tools function based on crawling mechanisms that scour social profiles, much like recruiters who go over CVs. Some examples include platforms like TalentBin, Entelo, Dice Open Web, and HiringSolved. 

2. Look “outside the box”

In IT, experience is not a must. Many IT professionals are self-taught and quite passionate about what they do. Niche experience, which is extremely valuable to any recruiter, is usually the result of a hobby that turned into something lucrative.

Don’t shy away from looking for talent in unexpected places; target hard-working, self-taught professionals who are on the brink of a career change. Drive and ambition are a candidate’s most significant assets, and you only stand to profit by choosing those two years of experience that might not be that relevant for the project you’re hiring for. 

The best way to get proof of competence isn’t by solely checking a candidate’s CV. It’s by performing pre-employment skill assessments with tools like Toggl or TestGorilla.

3. Become involved in IT communities

To successfully recruit candidates in any field, you must place yourself in the candidate’s shoes. When it comes to IT, though, there is so much demand that most of the people you’d like to bring on board are probably already employed. However, some would be willing to change jobs if the right opportunity arose.

To put them face to face with the opportunity you’re representing; you need to:

  • Spark and join conversations on social media: Twitter, Quora, LinkedIn, StackOverflow, Reddit, etc.;
  • Look for people who ask relevant questions and provide expert advice – these are your ideal candidates.

4. Use lesser-known recruiting tools

Boolean search is used to refine your search on a specific topic. It combines keywords using connectors like AND, OR, NOT, and NEAR. Check out this guide if you’re looking for all the specifics on Boolean searches. It will teach you everything there is to know about optimized recruiting using the Boolean method. 

If you’re interested in browsing through CVs that are available online, look into TalentHook and Infogist. These tools use the Boolean method to scour through many resumes, only to come up with the ones that fit your candidate profile. They crawl every portal: search engines, online job boards, professional job-seeking platforms like LinkedIn, etc. 

5. Simplify recruitment using SMS automation 

Text messaging automation is ideal when you need to contact multiple candidates simultaneously, but the advantages don’t stop there. Texts reach a whopping 99% open rate, which makes SMS the go-to tool for every recruiter. 

You can use automated texts to set appointments, keep candidates up-to-date throughout the recruitment process, send feedback requests and follow-ups, etc. Recruitment texts can all be scheduled ahead of time to suit your candidate’s program or integrated with your existing ATS. 

If the candidate you’re looking for is employed elsewhere, answering calls or emails might pose an issue. A text is instantly read, and its average response rate is 90 seconds.  

Another advantage SMS automation offers is that you don’t have to do manual work whenever you need to contact someone or send a reminder. You can create predefined texts with integrated custom fields and reach multiple candidates simultaneously. Each text will be personalized, allowing you to go through a large number of candidates automatically.

6. Become familiar with IT terminology, roles & values

If you’re looking to attract IT talent, you need to speak their language. Understand what is specific for each role, learn how to find candidates based on the right keywords (provided by the tools, languages, and frameworks they use), know what IT professionals value most, and tailor-fit your job benefits accordingly. You will need to:

  • Understand basic IT terminology & acronyms;
  • Look into standard IT roles and how they fit into a company’s organizational map;
  • Check out tools, languages, and IT frameworks;
  • Place yourself in the candidate’s shoes: define the significant pros and cons of the position you’re offering, then highlight the benefits from the candidate’s standpoint;
  • Identify must-have skills, emphasize job selling points, and refine your screening questions according to the candidate profile.

How to handle salary expectations

Because the candidate pool is limited, being clear about what you have to offer from the start is a must. Money is the number one motivator for 67% of job applicants. Studies also reveal that a job description that specifies salary ranges get better results than one that doesn’t. 

Specify the exact salary range and leave nothing to interpretation. Before committing to this hiring strategy, you will need additional research. Take into account factors that affect salary (e.g., location, experience, salaries offered by competitors, etc.) and roles – the cost of hiring a software developer is very different from that of hiring a database administrator or computer network architect.

These rough numbers will vary according to the candidate’s experience, the type of contract you provide (full-time, collaboration, etc.), and the type of project you are hiring for (mobile dev, full-stack dev, back-end, or front-end dev). Costs are determined hourly, but you can discuss that with your candidate and reach a mutually beneficial agreement. 


Hiring in IT is like participating in a competition with very high stakes. It will take your best strategy, competitive tools, and a lot of dedication to finding the right fit for the job. The key to success is meeting potential candidates on their preferred networks and anticipating their needs. Sometimes the best offer is the one that takes you completely by surprise. 

Author Bio: 

Alexa Lemzy is a customer support advisor at TextMagic. She is passionate about helping businesses grow through the use of technology. You can keep up with her latest articles and updates on Twitter. In her spare time, she likes to read and travel.

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