Recruiting programmers and data scientists can require going beyond just writing a job description and posting it online. Below we describe some alternative ways you can find qualified candidates.

Tech and Data Science Conferences

Tech and data science conferences are great places to find passionate folks who are interested in current trends in their field. Consider attending even if the event is virtual, as these events often feature candidates who are showcasing their work. Conferences usually include structured networking events, and these events can be great opportunities for meeting potential candidates who are looking for work.

Online Communities and Forums

Online communities like GitHub, Stack Overflow, Kaggle, and Hugging Face are places where programmers and data scientists congregate to discuss, share, and work on projects. These platforms allow you to see a potential candidate’s portfolio of work, their problem-solving skills, and their engagement with their larger professional community. Some communities also have dedicated Slack Workspaces with career channels.

Professional Networking Events and Meetups

Consider attending professional networking events, tech meetups, or local coding groups. Sites like can help you find relevant gatherings in your area. These can be great opportunities to meet professionals who might be open to new opportunities.

Employee Referrals

Don’t forget to ask your existing team in anyone in their networks might be a good fit for the position. Folks in your current group likely have professional networks of their own, and they may be able to recommend qualified colleagues for your open position.

To get technical referrals through the networks of your colleagues who are technical, you’ll need to:

Workplace Culture and Recruitment

Getting good technical candidates requires having a good reputation with having technical people. How do you get a good reputation with technical people? You can:

  1. Support their careers
  2. Understand and support how they work
  3. Make them feel valued
  4. Advertise their work
  5. Cheerlead when they move on

Another way to start is by writing down and sharing your lab culture, philosophy, and values.