How To Target Job Listings Effectively

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We recently launched a page that shows developers hitting Stack Overflow in real time. Over the past year, we’ve invested a lot in building our advanced targeting technology, and we’re excited to show the benefit of targeting job listings on Stack Overflow versus other platforms. For hiring developers or for developers looking for jobs, we’re able to show jobs to the right developers based on the content they look at on Stack Overflow. This behavioral targeting is more accurate than profile-based targeting, and something that Stack Overflow can uniquely do to provide the best experience for both candidates and recruiters. When you post a job on Careers, we show the job on Stack Overflow, the world’s largest developer community. There are lots of different kinds of developers out there. Providing us with some descriptions of the kind of developer you are looking for helps us advertise directly to the right people for your company.

The targeting screen

Targeting Interface

On the targeting screen you have a few options for how to describe the role you need filled.

Developer types

Developer Types is the most general role: “Full Stack Developer” and “Mobile Developer” are examples. This is the most impactful feature you can select. Although two selections are allowed, you are almost always better off just choosing a single option here. Only if your job requires developers to be very proficient in multiple roles will two selections help. If your job sees a second role as a benefit or you are willing to train for it on the job, selecting just the more important one will help find more qualified candidates.

Technology ecosystems

In this category you will find stacks or collections of technologies that roles might require. You might have heard someone say “I’m a Node developer,” or “I’m an Android developer.” They are describing the set of tools with which they are most proficient – and we can target that directly. In addition to ecosystems, there are many complementary tools listed in here such as “SQL Server” or “Cloud.” While these are not the primary stack, they are helpful to know. Selecting any choices that apply here is encouraged.


This allows you to specify the list of countries in which we should advertise your job. We only show your job to developers in these locations. Developers browsing Stack Overflow from anywhere else will not be able to see your listing and we will not show ads for your job to them. Use this if you are looking to recruit developers from specific countries.

Potential targets

Potenial Targets Widget

As you modify these high level targeting features, you will see the Potential Targets widget on the sidebar update. This number is a rough estimate of the size of the market for developers you want to hire based on your targeting criteria. In this expanded details view, you can see a breakdown of the market. Total targets are the developers in the area around your Targeted City. Close matches are the developers who match any of your targeted criteria, and strong matches are the developers who match most of your targeting criteria. If the number of Potential Targets drops too low (depending on location, there are just very few developers in some of the more remote areas of the world), then you are made aware of that up front with this tool. You can alter your targeting criteria or consider offering flexible work options such as allowing remote workers to increase the size of your targeted market.

How we know

Nearly every developer in the world uses Stack Overflow to find solutions to the coding problems they encounter in their daily lives. That’s important. Stack Overflow sees what developers actually use, not what they say they use on resumes and online profiles. There are no other companies in the world with direct access to this quality and quantity of data on developers. Our advanced targeting technology makes use of this data to determine the tools and roles each developer is proficient at. As developers use Stack Overflow, we show them ads matched using your job’s targeting criteria. Targeting your jobs leads to more qualified candidates applying to your job as well as a better, more relevant experience for Stack Overflow users.

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