5 Best Tools to Source and Recruit on Stack OverFlow

Are you having trouble finding qualified talent to submit to your technical job reqs? These candidates are not as engaged in typical sites like LinkedIn and don’t apply to job openings on career sites as frequently. Because of their reclusiveness, it takes a bit of work to find them. To help yourself stand out as a recruiter and find talent that no one else has found, you have to be willing to think outside the box. If you are limiting yourself to standard candidate generation marketplaces like LinkedIn, you are missing out on potential talent that may be perfect for your role.

Stack OverFlow is a great option if you are looking to expand the net you are casting, particularly for technical candidates. So what is Stack OverFlow and how can you use it the source? This is exactly what we are covering in this article!

What Is Stack OverFlow?

Getting to the basics. If you aren’t familiar with Stack OverFlow, you will need to know what it is before you start using it to find talent. To be honest, it reminds me of a super technical version of Quora. Basically, it is a question and answer site for technical questions. Users can post questions, answer other users questions, and upvote the answers on the site.

The types of people on this site are going to be programmers or those dealing with programming language. If you are searching for an Investment Banker, this isn’t the site for you. If you need a programmer, this is likely where they are hanging out. According to Social Talent, Stack OverFlow is the third best platform for finding programmers.

Finding the Talent

There are two ways to search Stack OverFlow for candidates that have the skills you are seeking. There is the “All User Search” (aka free) and the paid Stack OverFlow careers site. Both are great options to locate the profiles of qualified developers.

All User Search – Stack OverFlow allows you to search profiles for profile information, in a roundabout way. The best way to search the platform is by using Google X-Ray. The main points of the profile you may want to include in your search string are location, and the tags they have contributed to. In many cases, the tags they are contributing to will give you information on the programming languages they are proficient in. According to some sites, X Ray may not always work though. Check out Devskiller’s in-depth article for more information on how to organically search the site.


Here’s some Boolean string examples: 

  1. site:careers.stackoverflow.com “Java Developer”
  2. site:stackoverflow.com/users “Java Developer”
  3. site:stackoverflow.com/cv “* * developer|engineer” (c rust OR c++ rust)


Stack OverFlow Careers

Stack OverFlow Careers – They’ve created a specific site dedicated to career opportunities. With the paid option, you can post a role directly in this section to attract candidates using the site, search profiles and set up a company profile page. Candidates interested in being found have the option to create a developer story. Those that you contact through this medium have a super high engagement rate, so if you can afford to put some money into it, this is a fantastic option. If your budget is nil, these profiles can be sources by using a search string on Google. It may take some trial and error to see which strings will give you the most results, but with some work you can definitely find who you are looking for.

5 Best Tools to Source and Recruit on Stack OverFlow

  1. Search Stackoverflow: Easily find users and tags with this advanced searching tool.
  2. SeekOut: Great for finding user contact information.
  3. Hiretual: Great for finding user contact information.
  4. StackOverflow Power User: Find the best “power” users with this tool.
  5. StackEye: Get notifications about questions and from users in your watch-list.

Contacting Candidates

Once you find candidate details, the hardest part is engaging them. If you are still using standard copy and paste emails to your candidates, please end the madness! Particularly with developers and other difficult to find candidates. Their experience is in demand and due to that, they are being endlessly contacted. Showing you have no interest in them is a guaranteed way for your email to end up in the trash bin.

So how can you show your interest? Take the time to read through their profile. When you reach out to them, make a comment on something specific that you found out about them by doing your research. By doing this, you are letting them know you aren’t just sending emails on mass, hoping to get someone hooked.

Make sure you have plenty of details on the role you are recruiting for as well. If you don’t know what you are talking about, it will be difficult to convey to candidates that they may be interested in the role. These candidates are in demand, so if they don’t get a good vibe from you they know someone else will be contacting them soon.

Here’s an example of a Recruiter Template:

Hi John, I was impressed by your recent answer to (post summary). I dove further into your profile and was again impressed by your high reputation score. I’m sure you receive a lot of fan mail but wanted to see if you would be open to learning about a new opportunity? 

(Job Link)

Jonathan Kidder

If you haven’t started using Stack OverFlow as a part of your sourcing strategy, you are missing out on the third most successful site for sourcing developers. It will take a little work to find talent, but in this market it is necessary. Take some time to get familiar with the site and the methods we talked about in this article to stand out among your peers and fill that super difficult reqs.

Bonus infographic about Stack OverFlow Careers

Infographic StackOverflow Careers 2
Hiring Ants co-founder, recruiter, web-designer, internet-marketer

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *