How to Source Software Developers in Slack Channels in 2022

By Yulia Kuzmane 28.01.2022 3 minutes to read

Recently, we spoke about how to recruit a strong specialist after you’ve searched for them everywhere and with no success. If sourcing in social media and professional networking services has come to naught, it’s high time to install Slack – a popular team messaging application. So how to use Slack for recruiting?

How Slack Works for Recruiting

Slack is a corporate communication service developed by the team of Stewart Butterfield, the creator of the photo-sharing website Flickr and the browser-based game Glitch. Immediately after the launch of the demo version of the app in 2013, the messenger became a hit in the US and Europe: on the first day of the trial period, 8 thousand companies were registered on Slack.

Slack is a service for communications between employees, however, Slack channels are not meant to be used strictly for business purposes. The messenger also allows users to create so-called “interest channels” and get together to form informal professional communities. Such communities are perfect for sourcing: having scrolled through the messages in the channel, you’ll get a good idea of the professional interests of the potential candidates and will be able to evaluate their expertise level.

“My recruiting experience shows that the highest paid employees in the technology industry, including developers, spent very little time on LinkedIn and checking InMails. Obviously, they are swarmed with messages from HR professionals from all over the country,” says Angela Bortolussi. “That’s why when I first tried Slack, I realized that this is a much more convenient platform for communicating with candidates. It allows you to engage in a more private real-time conversation with people you’re interested in.”

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Tips For Sourcing Developers in Slack

1. Find professional communities where you may discover suitable candidates

In order to find the right chatrooms, you may use the ready-made list of most popular communities – Slack List (the selection was prepared by Cory Pollock the co-founder of Leet, the gamers’ Instagram) or visit Chit Chats – the platform for searching interest-based Slack chats. For instance, Angela Bortolussi, the IT recruiter of Recruiting Social, has been hunting for Python developers via the Chit Chats service and discovered several suitable communities at once.

It is important to understand that a Slack community is not only a place where you can “hunt” for the candidates but also a potential source of information about the interests and needs of the professionals and trends in the industry. Quite often, the participants share opinions about employers in the discussions. A competent recruiter can analyze the reasons for complaints voiced by specialists and formulate the most attractive business proposal.

2. Get permission to join the community

To join the community of interest, enter your email address, choose a username and request access from the administrator. It is helpful to get acquainted with the community rules and guidelines right at the start.

3. Study the channels

When you’re accepted as a member of the community, carefully study the internal channels. In large communities, there are often separate channels for job search/job proposals. They provide an excellent opportunity to post your job for free or look through CVs which haven’t been published outside Slack yet.

Having joined the community, you’ll get access not only to the conversations among the participants but also to the full list of community members.

To see this list, click “Team Directory”.

You can message the potential candidate directly via Slack or via email. The email address is available in the profile.

Slack Etiquette for Recruiting

Recruiters who use the Slack messaging app for recruiting should abide by the unwritten rules of etiquette in chatrooms. Don’t spam by posting impersonal job offers several times a day – such users will be quickly kicked out of the group. Angela Bortolussi recommends that you introduce yourself and provide general information about the hiring company before posting a proposal.

Why Sourcing in Slack is Efficient

According to the recruiting professionals, sourcing in Slack can be as eclient as sourcing in forums and in professional communities. This service allows people to form interest-based groups and collectively discuss current industry news while preserving the opportunity to address each of the participants directly.

Having estimated the expertise level of the potential candidate and having tracked their interests, the recruiter will be able to formulate the most attractive business proposal for a particular professional.

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In case you looked everywhere and Slack but still need to find more tech candidates — try an X-ray Search! How does it work and what are the main boolean operators to create a query? Learn from our article.

Yulia Kuzmane Head of Sales & Customer Success @ AmazingHiring Yulia is in charge of AmazingHiring's successful growth in the European region, partnering with many IT companies and recruitment agencies that are willing to re-engineer their sourcing and recruitment processes. Before joining AmazingHiring, Yulia was an HR Business Partner at several IT companies, responsible for international recruitment and relocation processes. She holds a Master’s degree in Nationalism Studies from Central European University and is a visiting lecturer at Ventspils University teaching the “International Human Resources Management” course to MBA students.

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