Day in, day out, our IT recruiters do the impossible — they find rare IT candidates with highly in-demand tech skills who just happen to be finishing a contract or looking for a new job and are open discussing their next move.

Is it magic or blind luck? Neither.

We’re just really good at two things: networking and mining the web to find rare IT candidates. Today I want to give you  three sourcing techniques we use to source those really difficult-to-find candidates.

Target technical resumes with intitle and inurl searches 

We search Google (and other search engines like Bing and DuckDuckGo) with  the “intitle” and “inurl” command to find resumes with specific technology and location keywords.

Example of an intitle search command on

Use the intitle or inurl command on most search engines, including Google, Bing and DuckDuckGo.

For example, the following search string returns profiles of individuals with the words Java Developer, J2EE, Toronto or TO in the title of their resume or cv: (Intitle:resume OR intitle:cv) “java developer”  J2ee (Toronto OR TO) -job -jobs

To try this yourself, copy the search string and paste it in to the search box of a search engine. You can modify this search to target URLs (webpage addresses) by using the “inurl” command. Here’s an example:

(Inurl:resume OR inurl:cv) “java developer”  J2ee (Toronto OR TO) -job -jobs

Try this search string with other technology keywords and locations to find resumes for a job that you’re trying to fill. Remember to put -job and -jobs at the end of the search string so that you don’t get too many job postings in your search results.

See Boolean Search Secrets to Become a Master IT Recruiter to learn more about writing Boolean search strings.

X-Ray Search Github for Technology Experts

X-ray search is a Boolean search technique that allows you to target a particular website. It comes in handy if you are looking for candidates on a code repository like Github or Bitbucket.

Super bonus tip: You can x-ray search LinkedIn!

Github is a place where programmers share and rate code.  It’s a great place to find passive job candidates because you can see examples of their work and how they are perceived by their peers. When you want to discuss a job opportunity with someone on Github, you can break the ice by mentioning a great piece of code that they shared.

For the best results when searching Github, be concise with your search string and only search for the technology and location. For example, to search Github for Python developers in Toronto try:

site: python Toronto

Screen capture of an X-ray site search of Github

X-ray site searches are a great way to find difficult-to-find job candidates

Finding IT job candidates on Twitter

Although many people think of Twitter as a place for sharing thoughts and pictures, Twitter is actually a great recruitment tool. You can use Twitter to search for IT specialists and engage them in conversations about job opportunities. You can search Twitter for profiles using  keywords that target the technology and  job location.  Also, try searching for tweets with hashtags about specific technologies.

Your strategies to find rare IT candidates?

What are your favourite strategies for sourcing those very difficult-to-find techology canadidates? Please share them in the comments section below!

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