#Asia Why networking is still the best way to hire developers


Posting job openings on an online portal can feel like waiting for fish to bite on a pole. It’s a game of patience and luck. Sure, there are fish swimming down there but catching one is entirely up to chance.

With the unrivaled popularity of online job portals, looking for prospective employees has never been easier. These can range from simple bulletin boards to complex matchmaking systems. Regardless, the long wait may be detrimental for your company. While you’re twiddling your thumbs, your company is already in need of a new employee.

Contrary to the convenience it offers, merely posting on online job portals is never enough. Even now, nothing still beats contacting prospective employees directly. According to a Stack Overflow survey, only 17.9 percent of developers found their current job through online portals. Most still rely on good old-fashioned networking to get a job.

You’re not tapping the best developers and software engineers.

Based on LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends 2015, only 30 percent of the global workforce is actively looking for a job. More specifically, 62.1 percent of the developing community is open to new opportunities but are not active in the job hunt. Meanwhile, only 13.1 percent are active on job portals. Mathematically, you’re tapping only a fraction of your prospective employees.

Where can you find the 62.1 percent? While they may still have job portal accounts, they can be found in larger online communities. These range from large professional networks like LinkedIn to developer platforms like GitHub. Software engineers and developers are members of the creative community. Like other creators, they recognize the value of uploading their portfolios online. These provide an excellent way for getting to know their work and contacting them.

Conversely, developers aren’t just screen junkies who glue their eyeballs to their monitors all day. They often hang out in public community events like DataScience Singapore. Networking at these events creates interesting opportunities for both you and the developer.

Contacting developers directly creates repertoire.

Online job portals can reduce applicants to a resume and a profile. Meeting developers or messaging them directly puts a face on the name. It gives you a chance to informally get to know a potential employee without the pressure of an interview environment. You’ll get to know him or her as both a person and a developer.

A whopping 85 percent of job openings are still filled through networking, according to Lou Adler, author of The Essential Guide for Hiring and Getting Hired. In fact, 89 percent of applicants accept a job offer faster when the recruiter contacts them directly. The benefits of having a personal conversation with an actual person without a mediator are undisputable.

Applicants will have more details about the job.

Conversely, an applicant can learn about an opportunity better when they meet someone directly linked to the company. Job portals are often comprehensive when it comes to objective company information. However, there’s only so much that a developer can learn through a job description. Details like compensation and working culture are some things that jobseekers would want to know.

Getting to know prospective employees directly mitigates this, even on an informal basis. Through a direct conversation, you can both promote your company and foster a potential applicant’s interest before the recruitment process starts. Based on another Stack Overflow survey, the top criteria that a developer considers in a new job includes: growth opportunities, compensation, culture, and design languages used. These are elements that are impossible to convey in a few paragraphs on a job portal properly.

Technology makes job seeking more convenient for employers and applicants. The ease, however, takes away from a more lasting relationship that can be fostered by good, old-fashioned networking. Despite everything, the value of a relationship is not lost on advancing technology. Networking is still an employer’s number one tool in finding new employees.

Hiring developers? Post on Tech in Asia Jobs to reach out to our community of tech talent.

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