Hire more software engineers, direct, for free

The state of play and why you need this. 

Simple supply and demand. There are two universal truths about developer hiring for companies of all sizes: there are not enough developers on the open market to fill every single job, and most developers are already employed. To compete, you need to search (and be seen) on the platforms where your target audience hangs out……….or you could just sit and wait and keep your fingers crossed that they come to you. Nah.

Ninja: Medium-Dark Skin Tone on Apple iOS 14.2

➡️  The following ninja plays are designed to lower your cost to hire, time to hire,
and improve the size and quality of your talent pool. All of these moves are free, actionable
and easy. 


Who are we and why should you care?

After 15 years of building World class tech teams for the likes of Skyscanner, Cuvva, FutureLearn, Travelex, ITV, BBC & Birdie, we’ve learnt a few things that can make a big impact in the aggregate.



  1. Google into Linkedin  
  2. Octohunt into Github
  3. Slofile into Slack 
  4. SQL Query into Stackoverflow
  5. Optimise your subject lines


1. Google into ➡️  Linked in


💰  Cost = LOW
🤔  Complexity  = MEDIUM
⏱️  Time input = HIGH
📈  ROI  = HIGH

What is it for? Search for top developers looking for work using search queries without having to pay for Linkedin recruiter licence.
What is it? Bypass Linkedin’s payment service, or at least parts of it, with the world’s biggest search engine and some boolean.


  • ⌨️  Type this bad boy into the search bar or into a Google search page. And Boom, pages and pages of developer profiles looking for work. N.B. Change the coding language or add others, as well as the location to suit your requirements.
Site:linkedin.com/in "open to new opportunities" AND london AND "software developer" AND java. 

  • Wanna look for just female developers?
    Add ‘female’ at the end of your query with no ‘AND’ like this: 
Site:linkedin.com/in "open to new opportunities" AND london AND "software developer" AND




2. Octohunt into ➡️  GitHub


💰  Cost = LOW
🤔  Complexity  = LOW
⏱️  Time input = LOW

What is it for? Allows you to search GitHub’s user base and filter entries based on peoples’ location and their coding skills.
What is it? A free website that links to Github’s user base. We could show you how to do complex targeted searches within Github, but when you can use Octohunt’s site, why bother – this’ll make it nice and easy for you  – all you need is a Github account – it’s free to sign up


  • ⌨️  Sign up to github for free 
  • Now go to Octohunt
  • Search for developers using the search bar
  • Done


3. Slofile into ➡️  Slack


💰  Cost = LOW
🤔  Complexity  = LOW
⏱️  Time input = MEDIUM
📈  ROI  = HIGH

What is it for? Posting jobs on Slack tech communities, engaging with communities, spreading the word, employer branding.
What is it? Slofile is a public Slack community database. Find Slack groups to join. 


  • ⌨️  Login to https://slofile.com/ via your slack account
  • Search for communities relevant to you niche 
  • Join the ones that pique your interest 
  • Start engaging within the rules of the community you join
  • Done




4. SQL Query into ➡️  StackOverflow


💰  Cost = LOW
🤔  Complexity  = HIGH
⏱️  Time input = MEDIUM

What is it for? Search for the top developer contributors to StackOverflow and filter with your chosen tech stack.
What is it? The Stack Exchange Data Explorer is a tool for executing SQL queries against data from every website in the Stack Exchange network 


  • ⌨️  Head over to here
  • Enter the title of your query (this will have no impact on what you search)
  • Enter the SQL code you find here into the large white textbox on the stackexchange. 
  • “run query” to view the tag name text box.
  • Make sure all indents are identical to the code in the doc otherwise it will not work.
  • Adjust the number of results (green text) and the location (red text) to your preference 
  • Enter the programming language you would like to search in the “tagName” textbox using lowercase and click “run query”
  • Export your search as a CSV or Search StackOverflow using the resulting usernames.




5. Optimise your subject lines  


💰  Cost = LOW
🤔  Complexity  = LOW
⏱️  Time input = LOW
📈  ROI  = HIGH

What is it for? Getting the most bang for your buck when you send someone a message. Subject lines have huge impacts on response rates, here’s what we’ve uncovered in relation to sending engineers that message in a bottle over the last few years and thousand of messages sent. 

Takeaway – the optimal result or highest response rates were received when the following elements were present in the subject line: 

“Job title + location + salary + company name”

Pro Tip:
To further bolster the response rates, if the message is sent on behalf of (SOBO) someone on the tech team, the CTO or hiring manager for example, response rates increase by another 6% per cent. Signified here in the graph as ‘SOBO’

Graph – combined response rates from 2018 – 2020 – across email and linkedin Inmails

This is all fantastic, but i’m stacked…. 

Hiring top tier engineers is tough but, as we’ve shown you, it needn’t be crazy expensive. All these hacks are great, but if you’re stacked for time and you want your hiring planned and executed by experts, get in touch with one of our talent strategists today. 


speak to a talent strategist