Link was copied to the clipboard

A dose of remote recruiting knowledge – once a month, straight to your inbox.

4 Creative Ways How to Hire Programmers Like a Pro

Recruitment tips | January 8, 2020 | itcraftship | ,
4 Creative Ways How to Hire Programmers Like a Pro

Are you worried that you have a lack of candidates in your developer recruitment pipeline? Would you like to hire programmers like a pro? Use your imagination and turn passive programmers into active candidates for your developer job offer. How? Stop looking for “Ninja Web Developers” or “Rockstar Java Programmers” and including fruits and Beer Fridays in your job ads like everyone else does. Think outside the box!

Check out these 4 examples of innovative candidate attraction methods and get inspired!

Smallpdf creates a recruitment chatbot

The first example comes from a Swiss company offering lots of useful online PDF tools. Their method of original candidate attraction is implemented right into their landing page. If a visitor who opens up their website is a programmer, then a recruitment chatbot window will pop up.

A message from Panda recruitment chatbot

But wait – how the hell do they know who is a programmer? Well, the answer is pretty simple and extremely creative. They have implemented a script that discovers the browser extension that you have installed. We tested it, and it looks like one of the React Developer Tools is responsible for triggering the recruitment chatbot.

Conversation with Panda recruitment chatbot

Here’s how the whole chat looks like. It’s one of the most creative ideas we’ve ever seen concerning candidate attraction – no one really expects to see a panda texting them and offering them a job. Also using the traffic on Smallpdf’s website and picking out programmers from random visitors thanks to clever use of recruitment chatbot is a great method of low-cost passive sourcing.

Flickr tries to hire programmers through its source code

Flickr also tries to turn random visitors into active candidates and push them into their recruitment pipeline. Their solution, however, filters the programmers out of all other people in a more concealed manner. Flickr used the power of their website’s source code as a method of creative candidate attraction. Once you go to their main page and click on “view source” in your browser, this is the code that you’ll see:

Flickr source code

We guess not every software developer who visited their website must have checked it’s source code, although this method of candidate attraction is not about quantity. It’s not only inventive but also ideally targets all their dream candidates – if you’re curious enough to check the source code of the website you enter, then you must be a passionate programmer.

Another perk of this passive sourcing method is that it’s free. Thanks to their approach Flickr is saving time, saving money, and also getting praise for creativity. Truly, one of the best approaches in developer recruitment.

Spotify bets on music to improve candidate attraction

Another great idea comes from the Swedish music giant. They used their company’s resources, meaning their vast database of music, and used it as a method of candidate attraction in their active sourcing strategy. The music inspired their HR team to create recruitment playlists.

The titles of the songs spell a message asking the programmers to apply to Spotify’s job openings. Our favorite is the playlist created by André Hellström, who would send the link to it to passive candidates he sourced and contacted via Github.

Recruitment playlist by Spotify

The titles spelled out a message asking the programmer whether they were happy with their current job and telling them that Spotify was hiring 4 programmers for their team – Python, Java, and Frontend Developers. We’re impressed with the amount of work that must have been put into this creative job ad, and, to be honest – we would love to apply if we received a message with such a great playlist.

ITCraftship implements video to engage passive candidates

It’s not modest to mention us among so many great companies, but we got lots of positive feedback from passive candidates concerning our method of reaching out to them – so we just had to boast a little. If you want to learn more about our recruitment process, check out the ITCraftship’s page. Here we want to mention what happens after our first reach out to a software developer.

Before we hire programmers, first we generally contact them on LinkedIn. Our first message usually looks like this:

LinkedIn message to software developer

If we manage to interest the developer with this short but pretty straightforward message, and they want to know more details, the next message they get from us entails a short video. It’s recorded by us and gives additional information on the position and the company to the candidate. If it catches their eye – we ask them to apply and schedule an intro call with us.

You can check out one of our previous videos here:

Recruitment video by ITCraftship

Thanks to devoting some time to recording this, we saw a significant increase in positive answers from programmers and it actually helped us get more passive candidates in our recruitment pipeline.


We hope this list of inspirations entailing some really creative methods of pushing software developers into your recruitment pipeline will help you come up with your own ideas, and that you will hire your perfect programmer. Recruitment is a little bit like advertising – you have to convince your active and passive candidates that your company is better than anyone else’s and you won’t be able to achieve that if you just follow everybody’s footsteps.

Think about what else you can do to fill in your recruitment pipeline – create a recruitment chatbot? Record a video in which you describe your company by singing a song about it? Organize a hackathon? The possibilities of candidate attraction are endless.

Let us know what you do to recruit programmers in a non-conventional way and check out these 5 facts you need to know before hiring a remote developer while scaling up a company!