The recruiting experiment

Last week, for a variety of reasons, I decided to take a more "hands on" approach to recruiting for our team. I didn't really like the existing Job posting/Recruiting Pitch, so the first task was rewriting it. I peeked at the posting for similar roles at some places I wouldn't mind working at to get some inspiration (think Github, Twilio, Path, etc). After a rewrite and copy editing session (my English skills suck, I moved to American school's a bit late) by Greg Holt I got our team lead to post the role.

It posted just in time for me to put it up on the Hacker News monthly "Who's Hiring" thread. Even though I'm not actively looking, I love reading this thread every month because you get a little sneak peak into the community. I'd also heard other people had some success with posting on the thread so I posted our gig.

Posting on hacker news at first seemed a bit silly. Managing to get the attention of a candidate there seemed unlikely. There's probably over 200 posts on that page. Fortunately, there where only 3 from the Austin area which ended up helping (we got at least 2 nibbles from that post).

This wasn't really cutting it. It was 10:30 in the morning on a Friday. So how the hell do I get this job posting in front of more eye balls. In front of eye ball's belonging to the kind of people we want to hire. More importantly, how can I get this job posting more visibility without me doing a lot more work.

The plan

Recruiters have the normal places like LinkedIn saturated. I've had exactly one good interaction with a recruiter on LinkedIn (excellent job Square recruiters). 99% of the time they've never even looked to see if you're really a fit for their job, they're just doing spray and pray recruiting. So, best to avoid those places from the get go.

So where to first? Twitter. Theres plenty of smart people on my stream, and in return they probably have smart people on theirs. If I can get a few retweet's I can probably get a few hundred eyes on the position for very little work. So, I sent out a tweet on Friday morning:


That got me a few retweet's, including one from the @openstack twitter account which has 15k followers. Not too shabby, but that reminded me. I'd also seen the @openstack twitter account tweet about new postings on the openstack community job board. Of I went to find out how to get our gig listed there. Two quick emails to jobs@openstack.org got the job opening listed there by the time we got back from the food trucks parked out front.

Where else? I knew Reddit had a big Linux and python community. Both communities would attract the type of folk's we're looking for. Surely there had to be a subreddit for job postings. A few clicks later and we've got posts up on /r/sysadminjobs and /r/jobbit. Both are focused on pertinent topics on a website where "my kind" of people gather. Perfect. Thats enough for one day I thought. Except, I kept thinking I wanted more views. Both these job subreddit's had relatively few subscribers.

Dropping $30 to flirt with 100k users

The /r/linux subreddit has 100,000+ subscribers. That's an awful lot of people subscribed to a community all about Linux. Chances are a few of those subscribers are techs/devs/ops people. I want to get their attention. So I got curious and checked out how much it would cost to advertise on /r/linux. The minimum amount for a day was $30. So just $30 for me to potentially get in front 100,000+ people interested in Linux? Hell yeah, sign me up! There's probably a lot of casual users on /r/linux, so targeting the python community might have been a better move but in the end I just figured I'd try /r/linux first.

...on Tuesday we'll find out the $30 was worth it.

The Score so far

Its Sunday night, excluding rewriting the job posting I did maybe an hours worth of work Friday morning. So far the referral links have had 390 clicks. Of those 4 have applied through the referral site. In addition, 2 people tracked me down through Hacker News to send me emails, 1 through twitter, and 3 more reached out through Reddit. Good, but not as fruitful as I'd hoped.

Since you've read this far, take another 10 seconds and see if you wanna come hack on an awesome product with me?