How effective is advertising at stackoverflow com

Developer Sourcing with Stack Overflow ??

With the overwhelming feedback on my last article Worldwide Developer Sourcing: Reasons and Process for this, one question stood out in particular: How do I generate applications worldwide?


The first way of course always leads to your own network. When that is exhausted, there are actually two alternatives: headhunters / recruiters and job advertisements.

In my opinion, headhunters are particularly suitable when you either want to poach a candidate from the competition without getting your hands dirty, and recruiters are especially suitable when the person responsible has little specialist knowledge, because, for example, the recruiting is done centrally by HR becomes.

However, I have specialist knowledge. And very special requirements. In a startup environment, you can't just onboard a developer for 2 months, but in the best case, he should already have experience with exactly the framework that you are using. I also appreciate the personal contact and the first impression. On the one hand, I would like to get an idea for myself - on the other hand, it is also more authentic for the person addressed if they deal directly with their future superior.

All I need is a large enough number of applications. That is why I regularly choose job advertisements. Today I wanted to introduce an alternative that is not so well known in Germany: Job advertisements at Stack Overflow.

Stack overflow

try {
// Try something wrong here

catch (e) {
var xcb = “[js Autovermietung+“ + e.message; (xcb, '_blank');

Classic. (Source)

With a bit of marketing background it is of course obvious: You have to pick up the target group where they are. And where do developers stay? Right: on Stack Overflow. All day. And often when they are frustrated with their current job because they have to solve a problem that they might not have without the job.

So I once placed job advertisements on Stack Overflow. The position had very special requirements: It had to be exactly a combination of two special frameworks (React + Redux). This is what it looked like in my case.

In the first 24 hours, I received 25 applications for this special position. Almost 50 in the first week. So I was able to filter out well internally and then have good conversations. You can see the result above.

In the following I would like to go into the features.


The targeting can be defined very finely on frameworks or technologies.


You not only see how many applications came and when, but also from where the traffic came from.

Applicant Management

Incoming applications and the course of the conversation can also be traded directly here. Unfortunately, there are also many who do not apply via the platform but directly via email. Of course, they'll fall out of here.

Comparison of costs

In my case, 1650 € were due for 90 days of job advertisement. The display can be changed or updated at any time.

Compared to traditional simple job portals (e.g. Monster) the costs are of course about 3 times as high. However, if at all, you only get “off the peg” applications. In other words: Mainly university graduates and classic corporate careers who have never seen anything other than Java in their lives and not even in Production Scale - no offense - or classic straightforward high-level workers who are not suitable for my startup environment and still asking too much money.

However, the costs are still well below those of recruiters (e.g. and recruitment platforms (e.g. 4scotty). They always want 10% - 30% of the candidate's annual salary. For an engineer, this can easily go into the 5-digit amount. Even Stack Overflow ads are cheaper.

Alternatives for job advertisements

At this point I have to clearly advise against two well-known alternatives with costs in the lower 3-digit range. I wasted money and (more importantly) time trying these out.

I set up t3n jobs for two companies (10 - 50 employees) and received almost no response. May be more suitable for marketing trades, definitely not for developers. No application for € 300 - € 450.

Dice: Even this job portal has not proven itself in practice despite the current aggressive advertising. 2 applications for 500 €

But you also have to say that you have a disadvantage with the large job portals in Germany as a small company / unknown startup. Most applications are likely to go to the big, established players with more prestige. You only have a chance at Stack Overflow if you formulate your job advertisement clearly and a little provocatively.


The more specific the requirements, the broader you should search. And that's exactly when Stack Overflow becomes interesting because of its sheer reach. You can also generate many international applications in this way.

Posted byKlaus BreyerPosted inTechnologyTags: application process, frontend, hr, sourcing, stack overflow, vacancy