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5 ways to source A-players

Lena Volk
Lena Volk September 18, 2019

Surcing, recruiting, a-players

5 ways to make A-players sourcing easier

In the last article, we talked in detail about who A-players are and how you can define them at the interview stage and even at the stage of CV/LinkedIn profile screening.

Our team specializes in sourcing, so we decided to think about how to find such employees quickly.


As we know, A-players employees have achievements that you can “touch”. This information is often hidden in the "Honors & Awards" section. So we can just search in this section: «honors and awards» java Ukraine «звания и награды» java Ukraine 

But sometimes they write about their achievements in the “Summary” or “Education” section. They can be easily found by keywords:

(medal OR winner OR won OR “first place” OR “1st place”) java Ukraine

This query also shows people who won olympiads, hackathons.

Olympiads. Recently, one IT company asked us to find candidates s who participated in olympiads. This is also because many A-players took part in olympiads and won them in the past. That’s why some IT companies take an active part in olympiads as sponsors and look closely at the participants there.

As we are looking for candidates with experience, we decided to try to find them on LinkedIn.
Examples of queries for internal searches on LinkedIn:

(olympiad OR олимпиада) java Ukraine
«KPI Open» java Ukraine 

The last request was with a specific Kyiv Programming Olympiad, but you can change to the one that you are interested in.

You can also look for information about the olympiads in the profiles in the  "Honors & Awards" section. (olympiad OR олимпиада) java Ukraine 

Participation in hackathons. Hackathons are also a favorite place for top performers. The previous query (medal OR winner OR won OR “first place”) java Ukraine can show you guys like that.

Or just search for people on LinkedIn:

Hackathon Java Ukraine


The results of the study among A-players employees showed that many of them were involved in social projects or are involved in volunteering activities.

For example, one developer wrote a website for an organization that helps homeless animals find owners. Some of them can also indicate such information on their LinkedIn profile, and we can find it using the query:

(«Волонтерская деятельность» OR волонтерство OR волонтер OR volunteer) Java Ukraine 

Or we can search via X-ray, as we did with “Honors and Awards”.

Previous promotions

As we know from the previous article, top performers are often promoted. Of course, you can view all LinkedIn profiles and check it out.

Or you can use LinkedIn Recruiter and Sarah E. Goldberg's life hack. Here it is:

In the “Time at current company” section, put a longer time than in the “Time at current position” section. And in this way, it will show you people who worked at the company at different positions. On LinkedIn it looks like this:

IT рекрутинг в Linkedin


We also have a client for whom the university is important because the company has already noticed that candidates from some universities are better at interviews and fit into the team much better.

For this company, a LinkedIn Alumni search helps filter out the candidates we need:

Поиск в Linkedin по вузам

Also, we remember that the specified GPA or average grade from 4.5 in the education section can also be indicative for us.

Therefore, we make a keyword filter on LinkedIn:

(GPA OR «средний балл») Java Ukraine 


The best way to meet A-players is via personal recommendations from friends. So establish connections with candidates, become personal recruitment consultants for them, because they also often need help and recommendations related to their work.

If we talk about LinkedIn, then there is also a section “Recommendations” where you can search. But here it is important to read recommendations from people you trust, and not just get on the profile of a publicized candidate.

And of course, not all the top performers are active on LinkedIn and their profiles aren’t always are filled with all the information. And to find people who are not on LinkedIn or GitHub, look for them at professional events or thanks to your friends.

But if you work with an A-players vacancy, then you can start sourcing with just such requests to narrow the sample to more suitable candidates at the beginning.

And if you want to find out more about sourcing, take our sourcing courses.