How to Source Candidates on Hacker News (Plus Your New Favorite Sourcing Tool!)

Tonight’s TalentOps Meetup featured a “lightning round” of 5 sourcing strategies, two of which included tips on how to use Hacker News to source candidates. Vivek Reddy, Head of Talent at Entelo, and Aline Lerner, Recruiter and Blogger, both referenced the social news site as a way to reach high-quality technical talent.

Hacker News is a social news website frequented by programmers and entrepreneurs. It is run by Y Combinator, an incubator and investment fund, but can be a recruiting vehicle for any organization if used properly. 

Here are 6 quick tips to get started recruiting on Hacker News:

Ask HN: Who is hiring?

Y Combinator companies are able to post to the front page of Hacker News every day, but anybody can post job openings on this thread on the first of each month. Vivek recommends that your founders or tech leads post here to generate the highest levels of interest.

Ask HN: Who wants to be hired?

Connect with candidates who are actively seeking new opportunities by visiting "Ask HN: Who wants to be hired?". This thread also appears on the front page of Hacker News on the first of each month. 

Follow “Show HN.” 

Hacker News community members often post their projects on the "Show HN" thread. Find projects that are relevant to your team, and be sure to reference them in your outreach to these candidates.

Leverage your own team.

Hacker News members will be more receptive to posts authored by your engineering or founding team. In addition, your own team may have good “karma” that will help amplify your posts. (HN karma is credit members receive for high levels of activity on the site, which determines their level of influence.)

Be thoughtful.

The community is not going to respond well to spam; don’t do it. Write authentic content, and don’t duplicate your posts.

Use this!

For the meetup, Aline built a Hacker News User Search tool that can be found here.

Enter bio keywords and identify members with relevant interests or projects. (Then go ahead and send her a thanks @alinelernerLLC!)

Your best source for high quality candidates is an employee referral program. Learn how to build an effective program by downloading our ebook:

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Candidate Sourcing