Quora Is Perfect for Sourcing Tech Talent — Here Is How to Do It Right
Everybody likes a heartwarming and inspiring success story. If you look at the answers to this question on Quora, there are a few of those.
Like the one where a talented developer answered a simple question: “What are the best Python scripts you’ve ever written?”. After the answer had got traction and attention around the platform, a job offer landed in his inbox.
We are not saying that all of those stories are true, but at least some of them are.
And what does it mean for you? Other recruiters and sources are already there, building credit on the platform and engaging with great potential talent while you might be missing out on an opportunity.
If you’d like to try Quora for sourcing or gather some handy tips and tricks to step up your game there, this short guide is for you.
What is Quora and why it is perfect for sourcing
Quora, as stated on their official website, is a place to gain and share knowledge. It’s a widely popular Q&A platform where people spend hours either searching for answers or helping others out with their expertise. With 300 million monthly active users as of 2018 (the number must be at least the same today), it’s great for recruiters and sourcers for the following reasons:
Tons of user-generated content
People willingly demonstrate their knowledge on a subject matter, their approach to problem-solving, their ways of thinking. It’s basically a storehouse of information about your potential candidate left in the open.
Detailed personal profiles
People are often using their real names and photos, while their current employment, interests, or information about their skills may be discovered in the bio. The best part is that all of this is indexed by search engines for you to explore. This also provides you an opportunity to search for their profiles on other social media and get a full picture.
Clear division by specific topics
There is a built-in tool on Quora called “spaces” Like in other social media platforms (e.g. subreddits on Reddit), it is a way for users to find and follow the themes they are most interested in. As you may have heard many times, a major part of sourcing is going where your potential candidates hang out. Spaces are a great way to do just that.
So, Quora seems to be built in a way for you to quickly pinpoint particular professions or required skills. It is easy to explore tech talent and dissect their expertise judging by their input into the community.
Moreover, if a developer is eager to answer questions, spend free time sharing expertise, and learning from others, it’s a solid sign that we have a passionate professional in front of us who is doing what he or she loves the most.
Important notice about Quora
Quora is not a marketing or job advertising site.
If you try asking a question or answer to a question in a way that seems like a job ad – this post will likely be reported and later deleted, while your account and reputation on the platform will suffer. Keep that in mind.
A brief guide for sourcing on Quora
Let’s go over some main advice and use cases to solidify your sourcing experience on the platform. They are not sorted in any way, yet the more you implement, the more effective your sourcing process will be.
Start with your own image
Set up your profile thoughtfully. It’s your chance to make the right first impression whether you are reaching out to someone, answering questions, or liking others’ content on Quora.
There are 3 main fields to fill out here:
Your profile credential should explain from first sight who you are and what you are doing. Credentials and Highlights are complementing this information greatly with information about your employment, location, and more.
Concerning the description, we’d suggest staying concise and clear. And don’t forget that you may add external links here, e.g. to your other social media or even your company’s careers webpage.
You can start with finding other sourcing/recruiting practitioners on Quora to see how they approach filling up their profiles. And always mind the SEO aspect of the process.
Contribute to the community
There is a point in building some trust and credibility for yourself. Try providing value to Quora users in your field of expertise.
On the one hand, we are looking for experts, who are sharing their expertise in a field you are hiring for. Yet, sometimes they are also in need of answers. This might include career advice, recruitment processes, employee experiences, and so on. And that is when you come in.
Maybe there is an outstanding Java developer who is considering changing jobs and now seeking advice. A python coder who is encountering setbacks in finding work-life balance. Oe even a C++ expert who wants to know the intricacies of a board game you love.
There are countless opportunities to find common grounds with potential tech talent if you are an active contributor.
Also, others may see the number and the contents of your answers in your profile. And it’s better to look like this
than to look like this
Connect with the experts
Probably that’s the first idea for sourcing on Quora that came to your mind. Yet, while obvious, Identifying experts on a certain topic you are interested in is a skill that needs mastering.
This gets us back to a job description for a position you are trying to fill. It’s important not only to extract the right keywords but to be familiar with the field.
Or maybe you decide not to explore this specific question, cause it’s not in-depth enough or tells nothing about the folks answering it.
For your support, there is also an internal upvoting system and a comments section for each answer.
Master URL structure for X-ray searches
As we said before, all content on Quora is indexed by search engines, which provides you an opportunity to conduct x-ray searches on Google (or other).
Try searching inurl:quora.com/profile along with your desired skills:
Add a location to narrow down your search. Or perform the same search, but this time together with an employers name:
X-ray search is a broad topic that we’ve covered in our blog and other content before and it requires a separate conversation. The main advice is to never stop improvising and to get to know the ins and outs of a specific platform.
You may also try Quora’s internal search bar as a starting point.
Check prospects you found elsewhere
There is a separate use case for checking out the activity of your candidate.
Quora might be a beneficial research tool when more information is needed on someone you’ve found in another source. In this instance, same with the social networks, sourcer may observe others “in the wild”.
Use this to confirm a candidate’s expertise or to collect more data for personalizing your initial cold email or other means of reaching out.
Be mindful with direct messages
There is an option to contact some of the Quora users directly.
As with any other website, remember that this option is a direct invasion of someone’s personal space. Hence, it shouldn’t be a blatant job offering or spam-like approach.
Praise the person’s expertise, find common touching points to connect, personalize your communication, and don’t bust the door down with a sales pitch.
Monitor your company’s mentions
Answering questions directly mentioning your company is a great way to convey your values and promote your employer’s brand.
So look out for such questions to answer them promptly and with all the passion you might.
Quora seems built for sourcing. Here is the summary of the main steps to follow on uncovering the full potential of this site for your recruitment needs:
- Avoid posting straight-on job ads. That might get you banned.
- Work on your own profile as you would on any other professional platform.
- Invest time into building trust, providing value, and capitalizing on engagement opportunities
- Choose the questions mindfully, follow the conversations and find the perfect candidate among those who answer.
- Apply your knowledge of the platform to conduct x-ray searches (and don’t forget to improvise)
- Gather “intelligence” on candidates you’ve found in other sources. Quora might provide you with helpful insight on them.
- Act as an ambassador, when someone asks about your organization
And don’t forget that sourcing on Quora is not an easy challenge. It is time-consuming and requires profound expertise in specific fields.
We’d love to hear your story of implementing Quora as a source in the recruitment process. Feel free to share it at firstname.lastname@example.org
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