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Ask HN: Ever been hired through a “who's hiring” post?
252 points by bhollan 443 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 282 comments
How many people here have ACTUALLY gotten a job through the monthly post?

Provide what information you can (company, job title, post (if it's still alive)).

A post from "the other side of the table" :).

The previous company I worked at, I hired two people through who's hiring posts. We pretty much tried it out for about six months as we didn't have much luck through the more traditional channels our division's HR department used. So yes, there are real positions being filled through these posts.

That said, just because it's on Hacker News and this is an informal place doesn't mean you don't need to put at least a little effort into your application. I don't think I ever received that many emails in response to a job posting that didn't even contain one complete sentence to go with the resume. I seem to remember that I received multiple emails from candidates that contained fewer than five words. The best one was the one that just contained a random link (presumably to his/her resume, but I didn't need to click on a potential phishing link that badly), no words, nothing else...

The two people who ended up getting hired (one a very junior developer, the other one a mid-level developer) wrote informal cover emails that showed signs of intelligent life at the other end of the keyboard, much like you'd expect from someone trying to apply for a job :).

You have to see it from th job hunter's perspective. It is very common to send out 20 resume's and maybe get a single response or two. It is very time consuming to write a custom multi-paragraph cover letter with every application. Eventually all job hunters learn that you get the same response rate when you write one sentence cover letters as you do when you put a lot of effort into them. Why spend so much effort when you don't have to?

Well, it works both ways.

You might send out 20 resumes. As a hiring manager - especially when using a "no filter" approach like posting on here (keep in mind that IME people posting jobs on Hacker News are more likely doing "guerilla hiring" and circumvent their HR departments) - I easily get 100+ resumes, and I don't have days to spend trawling through them. I think it was rands of randsinrepose who mentioned before that the average time an HR person or a manager gets to spend on figuring out if a deeper dive is worth it is about 30s.

So I have to filter them by something. If you as an applicant - who would like at least an interview with me -can't even put in the effort to write in a few sentences that tell me why I should look at your resume, I somehow have to assume that you'll put in similar effort after I hire you. That's not a good first impression and IMHO it counts when you're dealing with a hiring manager as opposed to an HR department.

Keep in mind I'm not asking you to write a cover novel. Put yourself in my shoes and tell me which of the resumes you'd look at if you have only limited time:

1. The one that says

"My resume attached", or fewer words to that effect

2. The one that says

"Hey, I'm applying for your job opening because I love writing web apps in Ruby on Rails with a ClojureScript front end".

It's possible that how much effort a candidate puts into demonstrating token emotional attachment to a job posting is not a great predictor of job performance.

Correct. It's also possible that, as a candidate, demonstrating token emotional attachment to a job posting positively correlates with advancing through the candidate funnel.

Your strategy is yours to choose.

Most of the best people I know have very little interest in getting another job. So, I suspect funnels tend to remove the top and bottom.

PS: I had someone insist on the opposite process where they only looked at people who HR rejected, their team was awesome if a little odd.

That company likely has culture issues then? I've never even heard of anything like that before. I've heard people say that their HR doesn't understand them or what they do, but this is taking it to another level.

His theory was this. He like everyone else wants the top 5%. Some of those people graduated from standford and have a clean job history. Those people don't spend much time looking for work. While smaller in number, great people with odd backgrounds are likely to spend longer looking for work. So, if you actually want the best look for them in the rejection pile.

Clearly this is not going to scale, but it really depends more on other companies being defective not a poor culture at your company.

PS: I am more of the opinion that focusing on great people is a mistake. Most competent people can be great, when in a role and team that fits them.

Hah, this sounds like the Moneyball of hiring.

If that is how a given company filters for candidates, then I have desire to advance through their funnel.

This seems like a reasonable deal to me.

Funnels can filter both ways. :)

Filtering is not even the job that funnels do.

You don't need to demonstrate emotional attachment.

You do need to demonstrate that you can solve the problems of the potential employer.

People advertising for a job have a business problem to solve. If you can demonstrate that not only can you solve that problem but that you have solved similar problems for other businesses before, then you stand a greater chance of making it through to an interview.

You're right! Cover letters are all about demonstrating value. Cover letters are great for copywriters, marketers, and others whose primary output is prose for humans. In such cases, cover letters demonstrate competence for the job at hand.

However, software engineering is not such a job. A cover letter showcasing a software engineer's ability to author vaguely reality-flavored prose and get past the HR drone doing the reading is not showcasing their ability to perform critical job functions to address business needs. Such an engineer is spending significant amounts of their time to tick a prediction-value-free box on someone else's ill-informed list.

I've literally never had a good experience with a company that wanted a cover letter. I've done it dozens of times. In every single case, with precisely zero exceptions, it's produced no value for me. I've been on the other end of hiring processes as well, and there I've similarly found precisely zero value in cover letters across dozens of cases. Fact-dense and fluff-light resumes are much more valuable.

Code samples? Great! Toy problems? Great! Prose? Not so great.

Do you need help solving the problem you appear to have where you may be misevaluating candidates by measuring them wrong? I have some ideas! It could be costing you the best candidates!

Cover letters don't need to be paragraph after paragraph of prose, and they don't always go to HR drones either, see for example, the context of this thread because many of the who's hiring posts bypass HR drone screening.

> I've literally never had a good experience with a company that wanted a cover letter.

To provide a counter point, for a recent contracting job, I got an interview with a cover letter only (no resume), and then the position.

I had responded to a 'we're hiring' link at the end of a technical blog post (linked to from HN). I wrote a brief email introducing myself and talking about the value I thought could bring to the company (with links to examples of prior, related work), and that led to follow up emails and an interview. I don't think it would have gone any further if I had just sent an email saying 'Please find my resume attached' and then sent a generic resume.

What did the cover letter that got you an interview look like? What it something that could not be describes as paragraphs of prose? What you say about it - introducing yourself, showing an understanding of their problems, talking about your value-add - sounds very likely to bear a strong resemblance to paragraphs of prose. Though if you tell me it was a series of limericks, I will be very impressed.

When I'm applying to a company of greater than fifty or so people, I tend to assume that any general-purpose resume-inbox will be read primarily by an HR person or recruiter. Not personally by a hiring manager. That would almost certainly be a poor use of time.

What, precisely, does a cover letter show that a well-composed resume doesn't for an in-house full-time engineer? A willingness to accept the received wisdom that authoring prose on demand demonstrates critical core competencies for software engineering job performance, perhaps?

To cap it all off, I've found that at scale the improved response rate from submitting applications with cover letters doesn't justify the increased time spent applying. Doing the reading and writing to create a halfway decent cover letter takes at a minimum 10x the time it takes to click "Apply with LinkedIn".

That what the interview is for. This is just a pre filter.

What if I don't love writing web apps in RoR and just want a friggin job? I shouldn't send you a resume at all? Would it be appropriate for me to just lie about it?

What if the all the people who tell how they love writing web apps in RoR are just bullshitting you in the hopes that you really believe it? What if they're mostly just very excited newbies who haven't yet had the time to figure out that maybe it's not so exciting and lovely after all?

I'm not saying you're doing anything wrong, but it sounds like you choose very arbitrary filters. Not that I can recommend a better filter, if your time is indeed so limited.

Depends if you're a world class bullshitter or not :).

You've pretty much hit the nail on the head about the filters - they have some arbitrariness to them, and most people outside (and, if my experience is anything to go by, inside) HR use filters that work for them based on experience in the past. I'm not saying they are fair and unbiased (they aren't), but they work for that particular person.

I for example would perfectly OK with you emailing me (if I were hiring, which I'm not) a cover email that says something like "I have the skills you're looking for, I like the area your company is in, and I'm looking for a job that allows me to bring my dog to work and have a work/life balance". That's again specific to the hiring manager tho', I'd take refreshing honesty over someone trying to visibly BS me any day.

What a lot of people don't immediately see is that if a company is hiring, they're not looking to hire your resume - they're hiring a person (which a specific skill set) that they're going to spend 8-10h/day with. A cover email can convey more about you personally than a list of past accomplishments.

> What if I don't love writing web apps in RoR and just want a friggin job?

You don't need to say you love writing web apps in RoR, but you should at least say that you are good at writing web apps in RoR (if that's the position being hired). If you have real world examples you can point to of things you have built as well as approximate site load/scale stats, even better.

You don't need to love the work, but you do need to be able to solve the problems the business is facing. In my experience, the better you are able to convey that, the better your likelihood of getting an interview and then a job.

> What if I don't love writing web apps in RoR and just want a friggin job? I shouldn't send you a resume at all?

Probably not. If someone is doing something they don't like, they tend to stop doing it so well as time goes on. While it may work out for a while, people usually need to care at some level about what they're doing to do a good job. Not everyone, sure, but I wouldn't take the chance.

There is also a lot more to working than just doing a job. Working around people who don't care about their work is demoralizing.

You could very well be working around professionals who take pride in doing their job well despite hating (or just not particularly liking) it. It might even look like they love the job.

Maybe it's not so common in SV startups that insist on hiring lovers. But in other industries it might be more of a rule than an exception.

You get 100+ resumes through a "Who's Hiring?" post?! I get two-three in a good month, but more often than not I get nothing at all. That said, I have hired one person through HN back in 2011, if memory serves me right, so this hasn't been all for naught.

Oh, ouch! That sucks. Your product is pretty darn cool. I remember cross-comparing it and some other stuff. Only reason I didn't buy it, was the lack of a desktop webapp. (That's a serious problem IMHO.) If I were interested in moving I'd totally apply there.

Do you have a link to a recent job posting? If so I'm sure you can get some feedback on why that is.

You don't say what you are looking for in the post. There is a mention of "platform engineer" but no clue what this is or what he's supposed to do.

Plus, I assume that the NY area + security engineering has a lot of companies competing.

> I easily get 100+ resumes, and I don't have days to spend trawling through them

It is your job to look through resume's. This is what you are paid to do. You claim to be a hiring manager. It is not my responsibility to convince you to do the job you are paid to do. My resume contains all the information you need to make the determination of whether I am qualified for the job, including "I love writing web apps in Ruby on Rails with a ClojureScript front end" adds nothing to the application but does waste my time.

Actually, no. A hiring manager is "a manager who is hiring". I.e., not an HR manager, but the person who put in the request to hire someone. Generally their job actually entails delivering a product or service or similar. -Part- of that is filling the team. But that is not what they are measured on. At the end of the day, what they will be evaluated on is delivery, not hiring.

As such, it is up to them how much time they spend hiring, and it is up to them what heuristics they use in that. Because, ultimately, time spent on hiring is time they're not spending actually helping the other team members who they have already hired, and it is only indirectly related to actually delivering the thing they are supposed to deliver (whereas they may have demands on their time that -directly- affect the delivery).

It is also up to you whether or not you try to help them by showing you have actually read the posting, and know something about the company, and whatever other heuristic they have. That's totally your prerogative. But you do not have -any- standing to fault someone whose job is delivering something with not considering you because you didn't want to put in some effort.

Write one cover letter and copy paste. I can totally understand prose selling better than a listing of "past things done".

Is it really "prose" if it's written in such a way that it can be copied over and over again?

Prose is writing that is not poetry, so yes.

> "I love writing web apps in Ruby on Rails with a ClojureScript front end" adds nothing to the application

I agree with this point. Writing that sort of sentence is meaningless fluff.

That being said, you need to think of things from the position of the people hiring you. The manager is going to give the tech lead a bunch of resumes and cover letters and ask them to read through them and make a short list of 5 (or whatever) to interview.

If they are looking to hire someone to build RoR web apps with a ClojureScript front end, then you make the tech lead's job easier if your resume and cover letter highlight your experience building RoR web apps with a ClojureScript front end - or if you don't have that, at least point out how your other experience means you can still solve their problem.

While it is possible that a generic resume contains all the information needed to make a determination of whether you are qualified for the job, you should be emphasizing the parts relevant to the current job so the person putting together a short list doesn't have to study your resume, instead, they can look at your application for 30 seconds and go:

Yep, yep, yep, wow this person has everything we're looking for, onto the short list they go.

Because here's the thing. The tech lead is usually a busy person and they've got better things to do than spend and hour or two sifting through resumes.

When I've had to do it, I'd take a quick first pass through all the resumes and put them in one of three piles: easy yes, easy no and maybe.

If all the relevant information is in your resume but I have to hunt around for it, then you'll likely end up on the maybe pile.

If I get through the stack of resumes and my easy yes pile has enough candidates, then the maybe pile doesn't get a further look, because I'm trying to minimize the time I have to spend looking at resumes.

Do you have any data to suggest your approach works better than random selection? A lot of hiring managers seem to admit to not bothering to read cover letters.

I diligently entered cover letter and resume information into a spreadsheet when hiring, and to be perfectly honest, the only correlation I could find between cover letter + resume and interview results was resume length.

Data, as in carefully curated and collected? No, I don't. I admire your approach but I've never taken it this far.

What I have is interviewing lots and lots of people over a couple of decades, first contributing to hiring decisions and eventually making them myself. As developers you see patterns emerge and you start making use of them. For a halfway efficient review process you have to make a first pass over the resume submissions and whittle the pile down to a manageable size quickly, making use of patterns spotted in the past.

In that respect, my experience tells me that "no cover email at all" = "shotgunned resume to every job listing" = "not a good fit". That might not always be the case, but it's an 80/20 rule. Yes, I'll potentially overlook a couple of qualified candidates, but I'm probably already doing this after work instead of spending time with my family because I've decided to essentially circumvent the HR department.

Part of the cover letter conundrum is that if you come in through the front door (ie, the official job listing curated by HR), your resume is likely landing in some HR system and the hiring manager might not even see it. In that case, it's a total waste of effort.

If you're coming in through the "back door", say, via a post here on Hacker News, there is a good chance that your first contact is the actual hiring manager. She or he will probably at least skim your cover email.

Honestly I'd go for number one, if I had to pick one.

Number two strikes me as trite enough to earn negative points, particularly the use of 'love'.

"you get the same response rate when you write one-sentence cover letters as you do when you put a lot of effort into them" is faulty thinking. There are many reasons an employer might not be interested in an applicant, and many reasons why they might be. The frustrating part of the hiring process is that not getting a response doesn't provide you with visibility into any of them.

But assuming the cover letter doesn't matter is as much of a mistake as assuming industry experience, or years of experience, or having gone to a particular school doesn't matter.

a) different companies prioritize different things, even if the requirements list is the same.

b) small things can get your application silently rejected (or more often, delegated to a 'maybe we'll come back to them' virtual pile), because employers get dozens of applications (hundreds over multiple positions) and the cost of interviewing is high (and worth noting, much higher than your cost of writing a cover letter).

"It is very common to send out 20 resume's and maybe get a single response or two. It is very time consuming to write a custom multi-paragraph cover letter with every application."

If you're a programmer and you're approaching problems this way, I most likely don't want to hire you. Strike a balance between automation and giving a personal touch where it's necessary.

Automated personal touch, mmh.. i can do procedural Rts units, i can do that.

Dear Sir and Madam, i always greatly admired the spaghettis <autosearched product> growing in your <companysname> yard. The idea of adding <featurename> to <autosearched product> was asthma taking and diamond. Now finding myself, in need and desire to accomplish, a similar feet, ladder jump several feet deep up, i hereby apply for your post <jobname mined> which i will embrace with great pressure on passion fruit and tail end.

RegEx full Regards

I'm not sure if you willfully misread that and you enjoy being wrong, or if you made a mistake and need to re-read my response.

I use a fill-in-the-blank cover letter for this purpose.

And if you're shooting your resume off to such different positions that you can't cover them with the same (or one of a few) intro paragraphs, you're probably not that great a candidate for this specific role anyway.

And if you really wanted the job you'd take a few minutes to personalize it. I'm assuming most hiring managers want that part of a cover letter to see a little about you as a person and why you're interested.

I'd rather hear from someone specifically interested in this job vs someone looking for just any job.

I have a form cover letter with a few customizable sections, and it works great.

I have a cover letter that I customise with great care for each application and it seems that its only use is to demonstrate that not a single recruiter ever reads it. Not even a little bit.

Note that most of them do not even read the résumé either, since they often obviously go through it for the first time while they call you on the phone.

As a job-hunter, I always write a well-researched cover letter, and I don't care if some employers ignore them.

As a hiring manager, I love a good cover letter.

So no, I don't see it the way you describe.

Seriously, also as a hiring manager I can't imagine not writing a personalized cover letter that's customized to the company I'm applying to. It's literally the first impression that a company has of you as a candidate, and I want them to think 1) I want to be hired 2) that I am thoughtful and prepared 3) that I am a great candidate for the role and company (which, if you cannot explain persuasively in the cover letter, is a bad sign).

Eventually all job hunters learn that you get the same response rate when you write one sentence cover letters as you do when you put a lot of effort into them.

Weird way to look at it. I would think a company that would accept a one sentence cover letter would also accept a longer cover letter, but that the inverse wouldn't be true.

As such, wouldn't a classic job seeker always sell to the longer-letter requirement, since they are otherwise automatically disqualifying themselves from an unknown percentage of employers?

One thing I haven't seen mentioned is that I see recruiters getting resumes from places like LinkedIn and cold-calling those people, based on experience and keywords in their resumes. And if those people don't need to bother with cover letters, maybe no one really cares.

People might also think that since companies are still crying about the shortage of programmers it's still a "renter's market" and that enough employers are desperate enough to not squabble over missing cover letters.

But I still have no great theory about why people wouldn't have at least a single paragraph about themselves that they paste into emails to make them seem slightly more personal.

If the proportion of companies that don't accept one-sentence cover letters is relatively small, then the cost of writing those cover letters (which can be significant) probably isn't worth it.

Maybe its the perspective that a insisting on long formal and inefficient processes wouldn't make for a good employer.

That doesn't match my experience. In my experience, I get above a 50% response rate when I send out resumes with cover letters that I put effort into.

Yeah, that sounds a lot like my early days. Cold applying is horrible. Since then I let friends know that I'm looking, check out interesting places to see if anyone I know works there, etc. My last job hunt involved applying to a single place, with an internal recommendation. Same for the previous job. Etc. The last time I applied cold was in the 90s.

I realize that getting to this point takes time, and usually involves working in the same town for a good while. But when you can do it it's a nice way to get your resume on someone's desk for real consideration rather than, say, getting culled by a recruiter because you don't have the exact incantation they were told to look for.

> Eventually all job hunters learn that you get the same response rate when you write one sentence cover letters as you do when you put a lot of effort into them

I've never found that. In fact I've found just the opposite.

I've always tailored cover letters and CVs to highlight the points mentioned in the job description and why I can solve them, and I've always had a high rate of applications to interviews and then jobs.

It makes the job of the person sorting through CVs that much easier.

I've been on both sides of the table, and if you have 100+ CVs to go through, the short cover letter+CV that covers most of the issues raised in the job description will almost always make it to the short list for interviews.

You could write a script that generates a couple of customised sentences for you, given its parsing of the job listings you are responding to. Flagged at the end as such, it would also show the recruiter some skills, and an advanced sense of humour.

Isn't that correlation, not causation? It's entirely possible you could meticulously write 20 detailed cover letters, and get no response because you don't fit the role or the hiring manager is swamped or any number of reasons.

Whenever I apply for a job, I always take the time to write a good cover letter. Why wouldn't you maximize your chances?

I agree 100% with you except that the ratio is probably more like 100:1 rather than 20:1. Between all the arbitrary filters, employer inaction/black-holing, and networking-nepotism, your odds of cold-applying with a resume are really, REALLY small. When you're at that point it's a numbers game. Spray and pray as many resumes as you can.

Those who send tens or hundreds applications without trying to do any work or without any ability to perform the job are disproportionately represented in the total volume of applications you get. The best way to handle this is to screen them out by requiring just a little work. Writing a few original words pertaining to the offer is one way.

>A post from "the other side of the table" :)

You're describing what worked for you. You don't know what works for other companies that are hiring.

You don't know the percentage of companies that look for the same things you do, the percentage that use an automated resume filter that simply ignores cover letters, the percentage that do something entirely weird and unexpected, the percentage that believe the cover letter is much less relevant than an active Github profile - and so on.

I wish employers would stop making this basic mistake. If you want a cover email, ask for one. Don't assume that you have an industry-standard application process (you don't - no one does), that applicants who don't match your unspoken requirements are bad (they may or may not be - you have no more information than anyone else does), that your special hiring process quirk gives you a deeper insight into applicant quality than any of the tens of other possible hiring quirks (it doesn't), or that your company is special enough to ignore all of the above (it isn't.)

If you want to articulate that you're looking for personalities with enhanced conscientiousness as an explicit hiring goal, that's one thing, especially if you're willing to trade off other qualities in the Big Five.

But randomly picking an action and assuming it gives you hire/fire information with no further context doesn't seem usefully rigorous.

Don't assume that you have an industry-standard application process

Most companies around these parts use similar services for resume intake, and those that don't seem to use email.

For the former, I haven't seen a resume handling service that doesn't have a "Cover Letter" text field, so if we can stipulate that those are common enough, why would an applicant leave it blank?

For the email case, it's a bit cold and impersonal to send an email with a resume attachment or URL with only whatever few words are necessary to keep your email client from popping up a warning questioning whether you really want to send an empty email.

> For the former, I haven't seen a resume handling service that doesn't have a "Cover Letter" text field, so if we can stipulate that those are common enough, why would an applicant leave it blank?

* Because it generally goes to /dev/null. Possibly literally.

* Because the time you need to get a cover letter ready and uploaded, the fucking session has expired and you need to restart the whole fucking process. Again.

I do write and send cover letters, and I hate all the online application systems with all my heart. It's awfully time consuming, nerve consuming (those web forms always suck donkey balls, the required fields are cryptic, and you need to re-type in a gazillion fields what you have already typeset in the CV you'll be required to attach anyway) and you (well, I) never get any answer past the automatic acknowledgement that I sent an application.

I am not sure why this was down voted. I think you touched a great point, maybe because of the tone ?

I am fine with any requirements for the interview process as long as they are clearly defined.

And the most recent whos hiring from yesterday I only saw one "cover letter required". I do that when I hire. I love reading them. So many are obvious boilerplate copy/paste that the applicant is sending to everyone, or, poorly written (these go to the trash can). The ones that are keen have a story to tell about how the position aligns with their experience.

On the applying side, I choose only 5 companies last time and wrote very strong cover letters. Got a call from all of them. HUGE time saver when job searching, be picky with who you apply to and craft a good cover letter.

Confirmation bias? How do you know those companies were actually responding to your cover letters, and not your other strengths? Do you have evidence that if you'd sent out no cover letters (or a single sentence copy and paste job), that you wouldn't have gotten the same response rate?

I'm not sure it's confirmation bias, but if it is multiple people have had the same experience.

For the last two jobs I got by actually actively seeking out an opening rather than being contacted by a recruiter, I only send out 2-3 applications each, but with a cover email that was custom to each company.

On one occasion I had a 100% interview rate, on the second one a 66% one (1 out of the three companies had an automated screening system and I'm pretty sure I was too expensive for them).

You need both.

Whatever experience you have, it won't get you through the door if you give less than a single sentence as a cover letter.

Whatever cover letter you have, it won't get you through the door if you have no experience in your resume.

Have some experiences + have a few sentences cover letter. That's the magic recipe. If you have any less than that, you're going with a disadvantage.

I think also you have to have an understanding of what problem you as a dev or designer are solving when they pick you. For example, right now the mobile app market is maturing.

Thus, if I just put up a code/app demo site I am not matching up to what I should be solving for the startup, that is app and in-app conversions. Thus, in my case I have buckled down in some 100 hour weeks to produce some UX app demos that are somewhat lite full apps that show how I would solve the app and in-app conversions issues through UX design.

Once I have the intro conversation established with that I can than point out that its actual working code and talk about the code architecture.

So at the end of Nov when I post the UX demos of videos,screenshots,etc I know that I will see a huge upswing in both visits to my stuff and some full qualified leads opposed to my meager non-effective approach that I tried in previous months.

Two years ago when the "Ask HN: Who wants to be hired?" thread appeared for the first time I wasn't quite happy where I was at, and posted my details. I was located in the Netherlands at the time and literally one of hundreds posting, thus I didn't have too high a hopes, but why not.

A few local companies reached out, and I interviewed with one or two, but for whatever reason neither ended up working out. At that point I wrote it off and went on with life.

Two months after the post someone from RethinkDB reached out explicitly mentioning it. It later turned out he had gone back through all the posts. After two phone interviews they flew me in, had a the hardest interview in my life to date, but ended up with an offer which I happily accepted.

The rest is history as they say. I had a great time at RethinkDB until about two months ago when we unfortunately had to shut down.

I'm the guy from RethinkDB who found and hired Jeroen!

I will say it's pretty rare, but when searching for a very particular skill set "Who wants to be hired" can totally work for finding new to mid-level devs.

Why are you looking for "a very particular skill set" in "new-level" devs?

And, what is this particular skill set?

Well, at the time something in the list of "C++ (Boost, STL), Python, SQL (PostgreSQL, SQLite), git" caught his eye.

Since it was RethinkDB I suspect the combination of C++ (which RethinkDB is written in), Python (one of the 4 languages for which there are/were "official" libraries), experience with 2 different DBMSs and an interest in "a challenge as a backend enginer to further hone my C++ skills" were probably all factors.

Speaking from the other side, I've hired 10 people from HN over the past 5 years, 2 within the last 6 months. These have included some of my best hires.

Currently, I see about 30 HN applicants per month. We interview roughly 30%. The rest are unqualified, demonstrated no understanding of or interest in what we do, and/or were spamming their resume.

These get interviews:

  * Strong candidates who did their homework (this is always the best)
  * Strong candidates with minimal or lightly tailored emails
  * Borderline candidates who did their homework
These get polite rejections:

  * Borderline candidates who did no homework
  * Unqualified candidates
These get ignored:

  * Candidates who send blatantly templated emails
  * Candidates who apply via "email blasts" (e.g., BCC all recipients; send via an email campaign tool)
I prefer to see both understanding of and interest in the role. Tell me why you're a fit and why you want to work here. A few sentences will suffice. Doing so: 1) improves the probability of an interview; and 2) for me, practically guarantees you a response.

> Tell me [...] why you want to work here.

This part always makes me laugh. The only possible true answer is usually "to get a job", and not much more. The applicant generally does not and cannot know about the company, nor about the job at that point.

The only info about the company is some bullshit in the job posting; and on the company website, some info intended for clients, i.e. in advertising format, and a bit more of the same bullshit in the company description.

The job is just described through technical requirements and a list of tasks. Tasks that you may or may not have to perform on a regular basis, you don't know. You cannot know which task will represent 90% of your work, and which one will in fact never show up, because it was there "in case", or to attract answers.

There are so many different domains in computing that you generally don't know beforehand which will really interest you; and you often have no idea of what the specific domain in which the company works even is a thing. Anyway you could work the same way on the same satisfying job in various domains and trades, whatever these are.

So, why this specific company? Because I need a job, this offer seems to fit me, I seem to fit it, the purpose of the job does not make me sick and the location is OK for me, the rest remains to be discovered. During the interview process, for example. But why this specific company, I cannot answer, for I don't care what its name is, and yet I have studied it more than most applicants who will write how much they'd love to work in company XXX to design YYY.

I think that's an overly cynical outlook on job hunting and not in line with what I've actually found on the hiring side. In general, I've found that people have specific areas of interest. Some people love social products, others love enterprise, others love hardware products they can mail to mom and pop, others love games, others love productivity tools, etc. The list is really endless.

Of course, people have different personal situations that might result in them ending up at a job that's not in one of their particular areas of interest, but it's overly dismissive to say "the only possible true answer is to get a job", when in fact many candidates could get jobs at tens or hundreds of companies and are very selective about where they end up. We recently hired a candidate who took a sizable pay cut to work with us. I'm sure he could've gotten a meaningfully higher offer to work elsewhere, but ultimately he actually just believed in the long term value of what we were building, and that's valuable for both parties.

It is true that some people don't really care at all, but that actually seems to be the minority in my experience. I've had candidates answer me in the past with "to be honest, I saw a job listing and applied" when I asked them why they want to work at our company. I appreciated their directness, but ultimately if that's how they feel, it probably wouldn't be a good fit for either of us.

When I read your writing and you say things like

    the purpose of the job does not make me sick
that makes me quite sad actually. You should aim much higher.

When was the last time you yourself actively looked for a new job? I've found there's a strong disconnect between hiring managers/recruiters who haven't been in the job market for several years and applicants actively looking for new employment. I've been on both sides recently and have to say I'm more sympathetic to the concerns of the job seekers voiced here than I am to the concerns of hiring managers.

It takes less than a minute to skim a resume and determine if a candidate has the requisite skills/experience to merit a phone screen. On the flip side, it takes at least an order of magnitude longer to research a company, figure out what the role is actually about, and tailor a cover letter. Meanwhile, my experience has been that hit rates for applications typically follow the 80/20 rule for most people (80% go to a black hole, 20% get a favorable call or email response), regardless of how much time is spent buttering up a profile vs. just sending a resume.

Unless you spend as much time as your applicants responding to their applications and telling them why they're not a good fit (which would be great), you're basically asking someone to work much harder than you for a less than even chance of getting a response back when they likely have better things to be doing.

I don't think it's cynical at all. Unless you're one of those rare, elite, top-0.1% talents, who can literally pick and choose among offers from his favorite companies, the deck is very much stacked in the employer's favor--you often have to settle for what you get.

"I'd like to be able to pay my rent this month, but gosh I don't have a passion about this company's area of interest so I think I'll pass on this job" -- said nobody ever.

OP's answer may be a bit cynical, especially compared to a highly qualified candidate with a pick of many offers, but one thing he said does ring true:

"...the rest remains to be discovered. During the interview process, for example."

In my experience as both employee and employer, the interview is a discovery process for both sides. Prior to interviews, the candidate should have some hypothesis about why they want to work for you based on an extrapolation of publicly available information, and it's worth following up with them after the interview process to see if their hypothesis has been confirmed with more concrete information. If it's still vague, then there may be a problem.

Works in reverse for the company too, of course.

Good to know things from a recruiter's perspective! Thanks.

What do you mean by "strong" "borderline" and "homework"?

Applied to about 11 HN jobs during my last job search (over the course of 2 different monthly posts). Only got acknowledgement from 3:

- One said they decided to merge their two listings and I wasn't qualified for the new joint role.

- One asked me to do a small programming challenge, but afterward indicated they were pursuing a local applicant (they had said upfront relocation would be covered).

- One invited me for an on-site interview weeks later, but I had already taken my current job (found through Craigslist).

I'm not upset at all for the behavior of the companies that did respond. Even if they were working the market, from my perspective they were very respectful.

I am very pissed at the non-acknowledgements and it makes me more and more likely to start sending shotgun emails. (I definitely have crafted my cover letters carefully and researched the companies up til this point.) At the very least, I'm going to start being more extreme and aggressive in my prose, and skip traditional fluff.

That said, I adore my current job, so I don't expect to be leaving anytime soon. :)

I have a similar experience. I do my homework, write a brief but specific and relevant intro letter, all together probably takes half an hour at least. Never hear back, not even a rejection email. This has been my experience with 10+ applications. I got a phone interview after one application and had the exact experience as your #2 - asked to do challenge, they hired someone immediately after giving me the challenge but didn't tell me. Wasted a weekend working on it.

I've gotten two solid leads leading to interviews through "Who's Hiring" posts, but didn't end up taking either job.

Company 1 wanted me for a remote position, but wanted to pay me about half my market rate. This is a casualty of the salary dance -- everyone is so busy hiding their numbers that sometimes you get too far into the process before you realize there's no way to make the numbers line up. If they'd listed a salary range on the original post, or I'd given a salary range in the initial contact, it would have saved everyone time.

Company 2 brought me in for an interview, then went silent for a month, then re-contacted me to resume the process after I'd already taken another job. They're a small security startup, and were really busy due to a security emergency that flared up while I was interviewing, and I slipped through the cracks. Understandable in that case, I guess, but good engineers are rarely on the job market for long, and if you're not able to focus, you will have a hard time hiring them. (Unforgivable in a larger company that has full-time recruiters and HR people, which doesn't mean it doesn't happen all the time.)

Company 1 wanted me for a remote position, but wanted to pay me about half my market rate.

Is it possible to get anywhere close to a Silicon Valley salary on a remote position?

Sure, I always pay everybody the same (for a given position). I.e. paying for the job done, not for the needs. Else what do you take into account? "This person has no kids, so needs less cash." "This person has a vacation house; clearly need to cover those expenses". I always prefer local so if I'm hiring remote it's because of some skill I can't find locally. I want them to be a happy, productive employee, not to feel that they are getting a lesser deal.

I also have a "no salary negotiation" rule since I do a lot of negotiating, while most people don't. If I'm hiring two Scala developers, why should one get paid more because they possess better negotiating skills when what I actually need from both of them is good Scala programming skills?

(Not hiring at the moment -- at new company none of us are drawing any pay yet).

Although negotiation skills may not be valuable to you, I'd like to point out that negotiating can be a valuable skill for a developer.

I frequently negotiate with clients over requirements and implementation details. I can save a lot of development effort by negotiating away a detail that ramps up the complexity of a feature significantly. Often the client doesn't place much value on the particular detail that makes my job a lot more difficult, and is quite willing to accept the alternate approach I propose.

Some developers don't even try to negotiate that sort of thing, and end up doing a lot of work that doesn't provide much value to the client.

>I also have a "no salary negotiation" rule since I do a lot of negotiating

From the other side of the table, this is a red flag for me. In 100% of my anecdotal cases of seeing this (admittedly only like 3), the pay was way under market rate, and there were people who worked there that did have negotiated salaries, and were paid a lot more. I think lots of other people have this connotation, too.

Yeah, I tend to agree that location is BS to use as a way to try and save a buck. Everyone's cost of living is different, and even in a local area can diverge dramatically.

If you've filtered for basic competency where you can be sure you're not being BSed about their basic capabilities, I think I as a hiring manager would predict a slight correlation between better negotiating skills and better programming (and other) skills that I actually need them for. Often better negotiating is just asking for a higher-than-average price up front because you know you're worth it, because you know you're probably more skilled than the other person, and you know that in all likelihood you'll be contributing beyond the official bullet-points of your role -- i.e. your "given position" on paper is the same as the other person but you're doing a lot more.

Of course many places just need average skilled programmers, and if you can fill your roles with good enough people at a cheap price that's good business. But the general assumption that everyone implements the same Cog interface so they should get paid the same, while fair, is incorrect -- just like everyone has a different cost of living, I've never come across two identical devs nor two identical (except maybe on a short piece of paper leaving out a lot of details) dev positions. I think cutting out the possibility for negotiating better than others will also cut out the skilled-and-know-it batch from joining you unless they're super passionate about the product for some reason.

Sure, I've done it. But you're competing with a lot of people, so you'd better stand out.

In this case, it wasn't that the company wanted to pay me less for the same job because I was remote, rather than in SF. (Though some companies do that.) It was that they only allow remote work for a few positions, which happen to be lower-paying. They want to keep "core engineering" local, for communication or whatever. I can't really argue with that -- it's their company and they can run it how they want. But I'm sure not moving to SF and doubling my cost of living for a job that pays largely in lottery tickets.

The Seattle area seems to have equivalent or better salaries locally or when the remote company is in SF. Might just be my limited view though. I know a guy in my company who relocated to France and took a lower pay, but I suspect if he had stayed in the US it wouldn't have gone down much if at all. There are a few others who transition into a mostly-work-from-home person, then full-time-work-from-home except occasional sync ups for planning or whatever, and then leave the city entirely for a cheap cabin with fiber somewhere nice (still the occasional meetups though). Not sure if their pay gets cut.

Anecdote: My current employer, which has employees in many locations, pays the same position differently by location. HR told me that Silicon Valley and Manhattan are both above Seattle, and that the DC area is at the same level as Seattle.

for a cheap cabin with fiber somewhere nice

Where on earth is that? lol

~$100k is not unheard of

I was actually very surprised at the amount of folks that simply didn't respond _at all_ -- meaning not even an _acknowledgement_.

The folks that I did hear back from were great, though. Nothing ever actually worked out in my case, though.

I've been on the job market in several industries before finding my way to software engineering. I can tell you that non-acknowledgement is absolutely the norm in pretty much any other industry, particularly in the case of online applications. Imagine firing off 100 applications through online portals, personal emails, responding to posts, going in person, etc and never, _ever_ hearing even a robo-response. It is soul-crushing. I felt like I was screaming into the void.

Even though I've been in this industry awhile, the _luxury_ of being sought after in the job market still shocks me. Every time a recruiter reaches out to me on LinkedIn, even when they're clearly spamming, it is still mind-blowing. Every time I get a casual job offer from friends or acquaintances who are hiring on their teams, I'm flabbergasted.

Back in the day, I would've been thrilled to hear even a "thanks but no thanks."

It's like the difference between being an attractive person vs non-attractive.

That seems to happen everywhere these days - I've sent out several applications recently (non-HN) and had absolutely nothing back, not even an acknowledgement.

It says a lot for the professionalism of a company when they can't even auto-respond a receipt, although a personal rejection would always be nice - if you can't be bothered to say you're not interested, why should I be bothered to apply ?

I take the time to filter out jobs that I know I would be good at and then write a cover letter and customize my resume for the job, only to not hear any acknowledgement at all. I'm about to just blast my resume out with no filter and see what happens.

And I think that's the crux of the issue. When I was laid off, I hit the job boards. I started out being careful with my choices, doing custom cover letters, etc., but after no response from many, I started "shotgunning" and hoping something would stick. But that's what everyone else is doing: one-click apply to job/send your resume, and then HR gets overwhelmed, and determines not to send individual responses, which continues the spiral.

I had one job I finally got a rejection from a week after I had started someplace else. As much as I may have liked any one position, I had mouths tl feed. No point in waiting 3 weeks for a simple response.

I think you nailed it. Then the recruiters start doing the same thing on the other end. I have 10 years of experience ands till get entry level help desk positions in my inbox.

Ditto + I get electronic engineering stuff, which was my career path/company role until I switched to systems and networks in about 1989.

I've gotten very cynical and hardened to this over the years. I remember meticulously researching companies and preparing detailed cover letters showing exactly why I'm a great fit for that job, spending hours reviewing and tweaking them until finally sending them off, only to be "black-holed" by the company. After 40-50 or so of these you just start spraying and praying.

Hiring managers & HR: Tired of getting "spray and pray" resumes? STOP DOING THIS.

Founder here. I used to reply to every applicant individually because I couldn't believe someone wanted to work for my startup. But then that got to be burdensome so I set up a reply template, but even then people would reply to the template and continue the conversation. Then my co-founder pointed out that spending lots of time replying to everyone wasn't a good use of my time.

Point is it's nothing personal. If you're not getting replies, try to stand out more. Don't just send a resume, send a GitHub link to a project that's relevant to the company.

I get a dozen resumes a day (not joking), so give me a reason to not hit "Archive" immediately.

This basically says you don't value people. You want them to go through all of the effort for you.

You say that replying to everyone isn't a good use of your time, but having to apply to everyone, with the likelihood of being ignored apparently is a good use of my time ? My time is just as valuable as yours.

The Github idea is great... except there's no way I can magic up a project 'relevant to the company' for all of the applications I'm making - which I have to be making because nobody replies any more. I'm certainly looking to get some projects going in my spare time, which is minimal.

I'm too old to 'stand' out - if 20 years of programming isn't enough to get a more personal interview, then I'll just move on - I have no interest in competing with people from a marketing perspective.

Of course, I don't expect us to agree, as we're coming from completely different sides (and requirements).

In the modern world, it's amazing how many old-school (Business time is more valuable than employee) mindsets still exist.

Thanks for taking the time to reply though. I genuinely do appreciate that.

> My time is just as valuable as yours.

The co-founder's time is worth what? They just got investors to hand them millions of dollars over a few meetings, on the assumption that if successful, they'll be worth hundreds of millions one day.

You are one of dozens of applicants. Some guys with 20 years have the problem that it was the same year over and over. How do they know your skills are even current and relevant?

If you're an experienced programmer, maybe you're going to make $50 to $100 an hour (depending on your market). But if you're applying to multiple firms, wouldn't you put yourself to work at that opportunity cost to differentiate yourself enough to get the job you want?

Why wouldn't you be willing to jump through whatever hoops necessary to get the job you want?

> on the assumption that if successful, they'll be worth hundreds of millions one day.

Building good relationships is a good foundation for future success. I have had interviews that didn't result in me getting/accepting an offer, but the process was smooth and the decision amicable that I look forward to meeting/cooperate with/work with the same people in the future when the stars align. On the flip side, I have had interactions so terrible I won't ever consider working/meeting with or recommending the companies and the people involved, should they move on. It's a small world.

>Why wouldn't you be willing to jump through whatever hoops necessary to get the job you want?

Because I'm not a performing animal.

If you're in the position to get a dozen resumes a day, is there not someone else in your organization who can handle the initial resume screen? Seems a bit inefficient to have the founder personally hitting "Archive" on all the applicants he rejects.

This does sound so unprofessional if you are hitting "Archive" button after skimming through resumes/cover letters. You do understand that candidates spend significant amount of time applying for an open position and trying to get your attention. Everyone's time is equally valuable.

A 'reply' template is rarely useful. If it is not a yes/no response, then you are just wasting more of the candidate's time by making them wait.

As a founder if you aren't able to handle the volume of the applications that you are receiving, then you should delegate the work to someone else and get them to filter the applications.

You don't have to continue replying after sending them the "sorry, not interested" template reply. Sending them that is infinitely better than just ghosting people, which is grossly rude and unprofessional.

Perhaps you should let the marketing team reply. Candidate interaction is also customer interaction.

That's appallingly self centered. Nothing personal.

You have to realize that "We're hiring" is not always what it seems. Many company advertise that they are "hiring" to form a narrative of growth and perceived success for investors, customers and the industry in general.

Even worse is when their application process is "different" and they ask that you write code addressing some specific problem to submit with your resume. I'm not talking something simple, but a well thought out problem that requires a few hundred lines.

I get that they're trying to be different and evaluate candidates on metrics other than just resume, but to send that kind of thing in (which takes a week of effort outside of your real job) and receive no acknowledgement or response to a follow up a couple weeks later is lame.

I was recently stupid enough to have had taken a task involving Spring Boot. I literally had to learn Java in a week make a web application using it in a week.

The recruiter knew my inexperience with the technology but have it as "a challenge to observe my performance in an unfamiliar setting."

It made that rejection much worse. Particularly when I had my code judged for a framework I'd only used for a week.

Is it possible they didn't expect the problem to require a few hundred lines?

Well, that's not the point. The point is they didn't acknowledge that I submitted anything at all, and didn't acknowledge me after a follow up email a couple weeks later. That is always annoying, but in especially poor taste when you ask the applicant to complete a coding challenge before submission.

I don't like nonresponsive folks either, but it's par for the course. Consider that before putting effort into a coding challenge or whatever they're asking of you.

In my experience for remote-position, at-least I received ack. mails like "time-zone issues are there" etc and like 20% never sent ack. at all. Strangely most often those company appear almost every-month with same job posting, I wonder whats going on.

My theory is that the no-cost HN posting allows some of these companies to keep posting perpetual openings in hopes of finding that elusive 100x developer that's willing to work for less than market rate. I can't say that bothers me too much, though. It's not that hard to see who has the same open req month after month and avoid those companies.

It's 100x now? I thought it was 10x. And theses guys work for _below_ market rate? Interesting...

I have a feeling those positions will be open for a while ;)

A 10x developer that works for 10% the normal rate, maybe :)

"appear almost every-month with same job posting, I wonder whats going on."

Perhaps H1B fraud? There's a local company just a mile from my house that's been advertising the same $50K CCIE position for near fifteen years now.

I always hear "we're looking for remote but not in your area". Most remote posts don't actually seem to be truly remote. I'm in the US eastern timezone, shrugs.

To your second point, they are probably fishing for good devs that will work for lower than market rate. They don't actually have a job but are hoping to find a unicorn.

There are tax implications for having an employee in some states, regardless of what the person is paid. For instance I've been told that it would cost us several million dollars to hire someone remote who lives in New York. That developer would have to be really amazing to make it worthwhile to hire them!

That's interesting. Sometimes I do see "remote (Seattle area only)" or something like that. I work remote now but my company basically has a presence in every state and most countries.

I'm actually working on a fun project that sorts through months of "Who's Hiring?" posts looking for companies posting identical or nearly-identical postings month after month. It'll be called "Who's Not Hiring?" Look for it once I get some free time :-)

That sounds like fun.

If you haven't done that part yet, I actually wrote a scraper[1] in Java for the "Who's Hiring?" threads when I built a job searcher[2].

Not the prettiest, but it's pretty fast.

[1] https://github.com/hnjobs/parser

[2] https://hnjobs.emilburzo.com/

The scraper was the easy part :)

Earlier this year I spent roughly three months job hunting exclusively through cold-emails based on Who's Hiring posts (I'm in the London area). I applied for 10 positions (and got my 10th - at a fairly large media company)

Some numbers of reasons that I felt I didn't get through the hiring process at the positions I applied for:

* Company changed their mind hiring for the position - 3 cases

* Didn't get through due to insufficient experience - 2 cases

* Didn't get through due to for poor performance on the hiring test - 3 cases

* No response received - 1 case

These numbers are a bit flaky since in the end it's a combination of factors that results in a yes/no decision. But I tried to roughly divide them into what I felt was the main "deciding factor" of the interview process.

For background, I'm a backend / "full stack" developer with 5 years experience (Most of the places that I got filtered out for experience reasons were because I didn't have enough of Brand X, etc)

Were there any hints you noticed in retrospect that the insufficient experience or a bad hiring test results were probable? If I could somehow predict those experiences up front I think it would save myself and them time and anxiety by stopping short. The best I have on the experience bit is just being very honest up front with how familiar with that Brand I am rather than trying to skate by and stretch the truth e.g. "I can do C with classes so I know C++!"

I am a software engineer at Periscope Data (https://www.periscopedata.com), and discovered the company through a Who's Hiring thread, and we have hired at least two other software engineers through HN Who's Hiring since then as well.

I was searching for "scala" and they had the word "scalable" :-)

Hah, I have the same problem, but the flip side. I'm searching the "who wants to be hired" posts on behalf of my company (https://www.rallyhealth.com).

I search "scala" and get excited when I see 20 or so hits, but almost all of them are "scalable"

Try searching for "Scala " or "Scala." or "Scala,".

I was happy to discover Firefox now has a "whole words" option when searching.

Try looking for Lua jobs. Turns out a lot of people want to evaluate hires...

Hmmm, that's some food for thought... maybe I should stop pushing my HN job search tool[1]

You wouldn't have found your current job if you used it.

[1] https://hnjobs.emilburzo.com/

Applied for software developer position at Top Hat (https://tophat.com). Ended up getting hired as their 2nd employee. Worked there for 5 years, after being promoted to VP Engineering and eventually Chief Architect.

Saw the company go from 6 people to 120 people. Incredible ride!

Thank you for asking this! I was thinking about what's the best way to ask something like this - I was too negative about the $subject to ask anything without offending people.

I have been watching these for months now - for a long time just out of curiosity and recently because I'm starting to look for a new job.

My own experience is that a single digit percentage of these jobs actually sound like there might be people who can interview for those if one had to check all tick marks on the skills and experience requirements faithfully!

This to me is baffling and discouraging as I typically don't want to bother with jobs I can't check all boxes for even though I am fairly confident I could easily do those jobs!

Anyone who was hired - can you comment on the delta between what the job posting asked for and what you actually had along with how closely what you actually did matched with what was asked for?

At GitLab, we have this line at the bottom of our job postings:

  Avoid the confidence gap; you do not have to match all the listed requirements exactly to apply.
We believe that while it would be nice to have someone that exactly checks all the boxes, we are willing to look at candidates that might not feel they are all the way there.

I'm impressed. This shows a lot of self-awareness. Makes me think that there's a big disconnect in hiring at companies where they're actually looking for people who check all the boxes and then complain about not filling positions.

Yes, the occurrence of these was so slim that I do distinctly remember seeing that on the GitLab jobs page! Thank you for taking a realistic approach to hiring - I will see if I can find anything that excites me @GitLab!

The way I approach the postings is I look for companies and positions I would be really interested in. Even if I don't meet the requirements, e.g. they want a senior engineer (I'll be a new grad), I'll apply anyways. The worst that could happen is I don't get a reply or a no, but sometimes they do reach back. Recently this led to some great conversations with senior engineers (good career advice and insights into the company) and them referring me internally to HR for when the company starts looking for new grads. There were a lot of no's and that can be attributed to me not being qualified for their positions due to lack of experience in certain fields/tech.

For the ones I did get interviews with recently, I generally met about 80% of their requirements and maybe one or two of their reach requirements.

> positions I would be really interested in

Sounds like a good thing to try out - I suspect I didn't try that out until now because I avoid going out of the way to convince people in person - One more thing to work on! :)

> a single digit percentage of these jobs actually sound like there might be people who can interview for those if one had to check all tick marks on the skills and experience requirements faithfully

This has been my experience as well. It seems every job is for a Senior with 5 years of experience in 10 specific technologies.

What happened to the days of on-the-job training? Or was that ever a thing in the IT realm?

About 18 months ago I posted on "Who wants to be hired?" and saw that Realm was looking for people in the monthly "Who's hiring" thread. I think it was Tim ('ello mate, hope you got the bucket picture) who posted those on HN back then.

I reached out to them, alongside a number of other startups that were interested in remote workers or had an office in Copenhagen (my SO and I wanted to move there from southern France). I got to the final stages of interviewing with a handful of companies before choosing Realm.

I initially applied for an engineer position on their C++ backend database, but was offered a team lead position. I'm currently leading the Realm Object Server team in Copenhagen.

We're always looking for great people around the globe, either remote, or through relocation packages.

The job listings on your web site don't suggest that remote work positions are available. If that's really the case, then I respectfully suggest updating the text.

(I really appreciate the effort Realm has put into supporting the development community by hosting conference videos; you're definitely creating a lot of goodwill that way.)

It looks like there's a change in strategy here, which goes against what I posted initially. I wasn't really aware of it, and it's still up for grabs on a case-by-case basis, but from the looks of it, we're now mainly interested in local candidates.

Apologies if I created any confusion by claiming something without fact-checking first.

I used to browse the "who's hiring" every month, even though I had a job I loved. I saw an ad for an MLB team (Astros) looking for an analyst, which was super interesting to me. I sent in an application, went through the process and ended up taking the job.

I don't browse them anymore, there is no way there is anything better for me out there right now.

The job I currently have I got from a "who's hiring" post about 3 years ago. When I first started there was a team of 4, now it's just a team of two, me and the founder. Back in June 2016 I was told that the company couldn't pay me anymore so I had to find another job. I think I sent out 20 or so applications from the most recent "who's hiring" at the time and didn't get a single response.

While I have not, I have had three experiences recently that I would like to relay for whatever it is worth. In the past years that I have responded to these monthly posts, three of them have progressed into multiple phone/Skype interviews and two of those multiple phone /Skype interviews have progressed to on site interviews one in San Francisco and one in Berlin.

The one that consisted solely of multiple rounds of phone/Skype interviews went on over the course of a few months and had positive feedback each time. Very recently one of the cofounders emailed me and said they have decided that they aren't going to hire for this role at all. So it was interesting to see this company advertising the same position yesterday. The cofounder emailed me a week ago.

The two interviews I had that progressed from multiple phone/Skype interviews to actual on site interviews were very similar. I felt that the onsite went very well and the feedback that I got from the recruiters was that "everyone really liked me" and "thought it was a good fit" and "how did I feel about it. In each of those I had mutual positive feedback and said I was interested in moving forward.

What followed in both of these was unprofessional and disrespectful behavior. Recruiters responded with "Great, you will hear back from me by the end of the day" and we talked salary and relocation issues. And then days and weeks would go by with radio silence. Needless to say this puts the candidate in a really awkward position. Feeling that enough time had significantly passed I reached out to the recruiters and new assurances would come about they are waiting on something and they would be getting back in touch asap, by the end of the day or latest tomorrow etc. Then the dithering and silence would be being anew.

All three of these companies had postings yesterday for the exact same positions. In fact all three perennially post these same positions on the "Who's Hiring" threads.

Anyway, thanks for letting me share.

I wish you would name the companies so I can avoid them.

You don't think people would be upset if I did that? I wish there were a good forum to do so. Because like you mentioned people could potentially avoid a similar experience.

I agree that you probably should not post the names publicly. But it might be appropriate to email the forum moderator a link to your above story and a link to each of the three postings in question as an "FYI" and leave it up to them as to how they wish to handle it. They might well be interested in hearing that specific companies are abusing the privilege to post free job postings once a month.

Thats not a bad suggestion. Thanks. I wish there was an alternative to glassdoor where people could get this type f information out there, both good and bad. I am kind of put off by the whole look, feel and experience of glassdoor. Its a great idea though.

Yep. Got hired by a German startup as a senior software developer, worked there remotely 3 years and quit last year. Our tech team grew from 3 to 10ish, and I think most were hired through a "who's hiring" post.

Twice, actually. The only two engineering jobs I've had so far.

First time: Sqor Sports (~50 person startup), I was an entry level 'Platform Engineer.' Sent an email with my resume, got on a Skype call with the CTO, talked about some code on my Github. Then went in for an in person interview, talked to him, VP of Engineering, and the head of DevOps who would eventually be my boss. Only technical questions were about linked lists. Learned a lot, made friends and connections over the 7 months I was there. Then the company had a huge round of layoffs which I survived, but knew the company was going downhill, so I started looking again.

The first of the month came around, and a couple days later I got a response from another email I sent via a 'Who's Hiring' HN post, a company by the name of Distribute (~20 person startup). Showed the CTO some of my code on Github again, then met in person, did a very quick, to the point interview. Was asked to implement DFS in python, took 5 minutes. Talked a bit about Python modules and unit testing and in about half an hour I had a job offer as a Python Engineer, with a salary 1.5x the previous company. The entire process from my first email to the offer took less than a day. Gave my two weeks and I've been working there ever since.

Yup, came to Smarkets (https://smarkets.com/) 3 years ago via hiring thread. Before that got to a number of interviews through earlier ones.

Some of our more recent engineers have come via the monthly thread too.

Went through phone + video screen, in-person interview (they flew me down), and was finally hired several years back (May 2013 was the posting date, but I replied directly to an individual @apple.com email; can't find the original HN post) as a full time Sr Engineer at Apple through exactly this. I was living in Portland, OR at the time, so they paid for relocation too. Took a few weeks, but there was communication on both sides throughout.

I obtained my current position through a "Who's hiring" post, back from around the fall 2014 time frame.

I currently work as a full-time remote software developer for Rackspace's OnMetal product (https://www.rackspace.com/cloud/servers/onmetal), which can be succinctly described as a bare-metal cloud.

It's been an enjoyable position in many dimensions: interesting work, open-source focused development, a large degree of autonomy and flexibility, and highly competent teammates.

I believe the main reason I got a phone interview was due to the email I wrote in response to that post. It described my most recent professional experience in terms of how it challenged me to grow as a software developer, an overview of how it worked and what technologies I used to build it, and what value that work ultimately provided. That modicum of effort was well-rewarded.

Actually getting hired also depended on doing fairly well during the subsequent interview process, but that process wouldn't have happened without standing out somehow in that initial interaction.

tl;dr: Write a good cover letter!

I was hired 2 years ago by Angaza to be one of their early engineers. Found the role when I was idly trawling through the massive hiring thread one evening, mildly dissatisfied with my job at the time, but not really actively looking for a new job.

The company's mission was exactly what I was looking for -- a chance to do good in the world with technology. I reached out via email, got a prompt response, and have been here since.

We are still alive, still trying to lift people out of energy poverty, and still hiring. Our entry in the most recent thread:


Yep. Sent an email a couple months back from a WhoIsHiring thread. Got hired after about 7 rounds. By a company 15 mins away from my house. :)

7 rounds?? Does that mean you go in on 7 seperate occasions?

Seems like the standard 2 phone screens + 5 onsite interviews.

5 onsite interviews? Since when is that 'standard'? Unless you mean one day with talking to 5 different people. I wouldn't consider that to be 5 separate 'rounds', though.

+1. I actually went through this once (sort of - 5 phone interviews) but that is in no way standard.

My story was - getting interviewed by progressively more senior folks with positive feedback on the spot from whoever I was talking to. So then finally after 4 rounds of technical interview calls I get to talk to the hiring manager who is telling me something along the lines of "the feedback has been awesome BUT we didn't expect to find someone this fast and now need to wait till the next hiring cycle".

We do the following:

1. look at resume

2. recruiter phone screen, just basic are you a human who knows how to answer the phone, usually 15-30 minutes

3. tech phone screen, 45 minutes

4. half-day in-person set of interviews, some tech and some not

And then make a decision, although we'll filter out at each step.

This is interesting. Why not do another in-person half-day?

It's been forever since I was involved in on-site interviewing but it used to be pretty standard to have more than one (but usually not more than two) rounds of in-person interactions.

The point being:

A) avoid "having a bad day" bias on both sides

B) not decide too quickly on the "maybe" candidates

C) get more senior people in to convince the outstanding ones

Any strong "don't hire" reactions could cut this short of course but it seems like a good idea to give it a little more time for a serious candidate.

Is that not done anymore, or are you trying to make your hiring decisions faster than other companies?

(And in either case, do you have any insight as to why?)

2 in-person interviews means twice that an employed developer has to either take a PTO day (for something that might not work out), or lie to their boss for why they need to take a really long lunch. Also a lot of companies fly candidates in to interview (i.e. Google), it'd be really expensive to fly the candidate out twice, plus the candidate is effectively investing at least 2 days for the round trip flight and interview.

Since it's a buyer's market for developers (supposedly, I haven't always seen evidence of that out here in the midwest), a developer that's already employed (and thus, signalling that they're good enough to keep their job, which makes them more desirable to other corporations) isn't going to want to take a bunch of time off for interviews with a single company (especially if they're actively looking for work with other companies too - going through the process with 4 or 5 companies could easily eat up most of my PTO time for the year).

I know I hate to take a PTO day for an interview, and if you made me take two you better be willing to pay me an ass load of money and be doing something I really want to do.

Besides, the interview process is exhausting enough. Since so many companies have intense coding exercises or quizzes you have to practice for (especially since they rarely warn you what you're going to be asked you pretty much have to refresh your entire computer science degree), I may have spent 20-30 hours in my spare time refreshing my knowledge ahead of the interview already. I had a five hour intense onsite interview at Google and I needed a couple days just to recover from the mental exhaustion of it. If I know you're going to do that to me twice, for maybe a 25% chance of getting the job (assuming a handful of other good candidates), I might just not bother altogether.

My girlfriend is going in for her second onsite interview in a couple days, but she's in corporate real estate, and all she had to do to prepare is get dressed and make sure she had her portfolio. The first interview they asked her a bunch of personality questions, some questions about her job history, and looked at her portfolio. If that was as intense as a developer interview was, it wouldn't be AS big of a deal to have two onsites.

I see your points.

Flying someone in twice probably only makes sense for higher-level positions, though you could always schedule two days of interviews on the same trip. Having already paid for the flight and expenses, you could make an argument for it that most flown-in candidates would I think accept.

(For local candidates, AFAICT the "doctor's appointment" or similar excuse seems pretty easy to manage.)

As to the exhausting Google-style interviews, I guess they're designed as a one-pass filter. Which seems unfortunate -- many people are more compelling on the second pass -- but apparently works pretty well for giant ad brokerages that also happen to do lots of computer-science-y stuff.

The vast majority of onsite interviews I've had were exhausting Google style interviews. Generally speaking, the ones that haven't been were the ones where I got the job (exception is the current job, that was a two hour sit down exam where I was left alone. I made it, but I'm surprised I did. I've seen dozens of people come in and fail at the test since).

My favorite interview, in fact, was one were a grizzled veteran (he was the Lead Programmer on NBA Jam), asked me a couple questions on the code sample I brought in, showed me an example (uncommented) class from their actual code base (I verified later) and asked me to interpret what it's doing, asked me a couple more questions, then said "Okay, I know you can handle the job, now let's see what you really know."

And he proceeded to ask me deep questions about memory and graphics, which I could only partially answer most of them, and then he proceeded to teach me about the details.

It felt more like a mini-lecture at that point than a pop quiz ("Do you know this? No? Well tough! Better look it up later. Next question!"). I legitimately learned things from that interview that I can still recall today.

Then I had a friendly chat with the president of the company afterwards, who used to work for Midway and designed many classic arcade games, most notably Rampage, about what they do at the company. I played that game a ton when I was a kid, so I was happy just to be chatting to him like we happened to run into each other at a family BBQ.

I was in and out of there in about an hour, and there wasn't even a weed-out phone screen.

Then I got a job offer a few days later, which I ended up accepting.

Your process seems pretty standard to me, and what I've experienced most of the time. That's not the same as 5 onsite interviews though. I do know some people that have been called in for 3 onsite interviews though, which seems pretty excessive. 2 I can understand, and I've had 2 onsite once before.

Doesn't that make it impossible to apply while already employed? If I had to do more than 1 phone interview and 1 onsite I don't think I'd bother.

That sounds like a weeks worth of work, for what?!

I actually got my current job at IBM Watosn through a Who's Hiring post.

It stuck out to me because my hiring manager put his email in the post. Since I would be talking to an actual person rather than applying into a black hole, I decided to send an email asking for more details.

A few months and several remote interviews later, I got an offer.

I can't find the actual post anymore though.

I got hired at Twitter(pre-IPO) through the monthly Who's Hiring post. Definitely the best outcome from multiple povs - career, money, learning, future-proofing. I would literally not be able to do what I am doing today if I hadn't clicked on that HN Who's Hiring thread & taken a chance.

Yes. Capsule (http://capsulecares.com/). Interned while in school, contracted for a month after graduation (couldn't work full time at the time), and now joining as a full time employee.

They posted in the last Who's Hiring and it was similar to the one I replied to.

I got hired at my current gig through a who's hiring ad. Our recruiter had sent me a message on LinkedIn, which I basically ignored, but when I saw the Who's Hiring post, I reached out and was eventually hired.

I've even tried doing a "who's hiring" post myself, but it didn't produce strong candidates.

Yep, my current job is with a company I found via "who's hiring". (I'm in the UK, outside London, if it matters)

This is good to hear.

I was hired from the monthly posts! Firepoint's Phil posted the ad when I was looking for post-grad employment. We chatted, they were exactly as described, and then they flew me out to meet in person. Couldn't have asked for a better team to work with, thanks HN!

I just accepted a job kind of through this. It was with a big tech company but the recruiter ended up having me interview with a different team than the one advertised in the thread.

I submitted a thread yesterday about doing reviews for who's hiring companies but it seems like it was deleted or I didn't submit it correctly. I think there should definitely be more open dialog directly related to these companies posting.

I have had a lot of luck getting interviews through this process and I'm currently writing a blog post on how I approached it and tried to game my way in almost to interviews.

After reading the post by TheMog about the emails they received I can see now why putting in a little effort goes a long way for this.

I got hired from a "want to be hired" type post, not replying to a company listing.

I was hired recently as a product designer, and my understanding is that the CTO saw me in a thread and passed me on to the design team. Overall, a great experience, because I was talking to real people from the jump, rather than going through a recruiter/web form layer in the beginning.

I've gotten many other inquiries from similar postings, but few were of interest. In general though, the answer to the question "do people respond to the postings" is a strong yes.


The freelancing section is a different story. I've only gotten one serious lead ever from that, and he dropped off shortly after in search of cheaper labor. So it goes.

Throwaway from my main account.

I am a recent grad and I was looking for a job since May to Sept. I applied to a lot of places from the HN Who's hiring threads.

I thought I'd post my stats below:

Remote: I applied to around 25 of these posts - I got only ~3 replies.

* Coinbase: Had a hacker rank challenge that didn't work seem to work (and was disqualified)

* Hola Networks: Extremely slow & async (took almost a month)

  - Google Docs code test (2 questions - was not allowed to use an external editor or compile my code) and the contact refused to talk to me before I had complete this challenge.

Now for in-person local interviews (in and around Toronto):

I must have applied to over 50 companies posted in that timeframe. A few rejected at first reply (needed more experience although the posting itself didn't mention how much experience was needed), a few didn't bother replying and finally of those who did reply (~10):

* 1st interview stage: went to about 5 companies (rejected for culture fit, not enough experience, didn't do well at the white board [0]). Others made me use hacker rank or other similar tools.

* 2nd Stage: white boards (most went well apart from [0]). One hired an internal referral (and rejected me).

* 3rd Stage: Rejected because they had better candidates. One offered me a Job Offer (but not in my field at all - it was a call center support role - they why even interview my coding skills? :/)


Overall, while I didn't have a lot of success at HN Who's hiring, the quality of interviews was much much better than from other places I had applied. If I were looking for a job again, I'd definitely use it as a source of Jobs.

[0] - It was at an American car manufacturer: First stage: phone call with coding questions over the phone (and verified against answers his paper) and 2nd stage: in person, they kept asking me THE EXACT DEFINITIONS of various stuff in Java (I explained what they were, and what they did but they were not the exact definition as in Wikipedia - WHICH THEY WERE VIEWING AS THEY WERE INTERVIEWING ME)

Yup, sent a cold email with HN in the subject line and ended up with a job as a software engineer at a YC startup.

I did not actually get a job, but reached out to 3 companies (Robinhood.io, Intel and can't recall third one) and all of them responded.

Robinhood.io (it was 3-4 years back). Got a coding challenge on HackerRank. I did horribly and obviously did not make progress.

Intel's position was in Portland, OR. I am in Bay Area. I inquired about working from Bay Area offices. The position required me to be onsite.

Can't recall 3rd company. Email communications only and figured it doesn't work for us.

So, I had 100% success in terms of responses, by far best acknowledgement rate.

I was doing the hiring for Netherlands Cancer Insitute I got maybe 40 replies with some really solid candidates. We did ~15 interviews and made a couple of offers. But the people we liked had too high salary requirements (or mine is too low, haha). We've tried to persuade them not everything is about money to no avail. I will definitely post the salary range in the ad next time.

Apart from that it was a really pleasant experience and handling the emails was an interesting break from what I usually do.

> But the people we liked had too high salary requirements (or mine is too low, haha)

Not everything is about liking the candidate. You don't have to like them for them to do a good job, because if you don't hire the ones with high salary requirements, you end up with no one.

I was hired at Moveline as a software engineer (MEAN + CoffeeScript + Golang) back in the summer of '13 via HN:


The company shut down in '14. A few former Moveliners and I co-founded Crater in early '15 (https://crater.co).

I believe I answered Leaflabs' ad here in March 2015. I was put through the interview process and still work here as a Member of Technical Staff.

Found my current gig at 500px through Cmd+F "Toronto". It was the most effective filter for finding progressive tech companies. Also interviewed at a couple other places. This was the most interesting by far. Started out as just a series of conversations regarding technologies/processes used at 500px and other places I've worked and the conversations evolved into an offer.

As a freelancer, I've found lots of work through HN. My most recent posts [0] have gotten a decent amount of attention and I usually get emails for a few days after the posting. I find that most people from HN are my best clients, but a few are people who I have absolutely no interest working for (never reply to emails, low pay, confusing project specifications.) They rarely lie in the middle.

I'd bet that freelancers (or people hiring freelancers) are way more successful than people looking for full-time jobs, because the process of hiring an employee usually involves a lot more people than just one "normal person" typing up a comment on HN - a handful of people will work together with budgeting, interviewing, salary discussions, HR, etc to get a person hired as opposed to a freelancer who can be hired by just one person who says "sounds good, here's the project, let's get started."

[0] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12853391

I got a pre-senior year internship at PagerDuty through a Who's Hiring post back in 2011. Ended up converting to full time the next summer and working there for nearly four years. A+ experience, would apply through HN posts again.

The post in question: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2431094

At my place of work we no longer post in Who's Hiring threads because we found the quality of engineers applying to be relatively poor.

Based in London.

Without context, what does this mean? It could simply reflect the quality of your advert rather than the medium.

For example, on yesterday's Who's Hiring I saw a London advert for a full stack dev with 4-5 years experience for £38k-£44k[1].

That's a very low salary for London.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12846786

Honestly, all London companies who posted salary range are quite unimpressive...

The ones around £40k are not even trying to recruit.

That's interesting. Do you think its due to location, salary, or technical merit?

A lot of people come to HN only for Who's Hiring and thus don't represent the average poster. While Who's Hiring not as bad as Indeed, it's still an open job listing so you're bound to get a lot of noise.

Where are you looking instead?

Other side of the table: we've hired at least 2 people from the "Who's Hiring" posts at here at iRobot.

Hey I was going to post about iRobot, and you beat me to the punch again!

On this - I was one of those hired by iRobot from one of these threads, and this was the guy who I first spoke to about the job!

Out of curiosity, for what specialties? I appreciate your help in getting my resume in front of humans up there, but I'm still kinda upset I couldn't get anyone to even talk to me.

Also, y'all better be nice to my first-cousin-one-removed-in-law.

Both of the people that we hired through my iRobot posts are embedded software engineers (both on my team, actually).

I'm sorry that we didn't get back to you, though - I saw that I replied to you when you asked about your status, but our HR people should have closed the loop with you too. That's our bad; my apologies!

I think we've gotten a lot better at recruiting communication in the last couple of years, both for "yes" and "no" situations. Of course that doesn't help you from a while ago, but hopefully it's better for more recent candidates.

Damn, I was hoping you wouldn't find enough local people, would finally give up and put REMOTE in your postings... ;)

When I was searching. I went through the listings and sent out a number of messages. Not bulk, but carefully looked at each company. Gauged my interest and figured out why I wanted to work there. Nary a response. I thought it was because I was a lurker, and didn't post before that point.

Did you mention your HN handle in your application? I don't do that but I still get a pretty high response rate.

At the time I hadn't started commenting :). So didn't have a HN account to mention.

I've gotten a pretty high response rate to my applications to HN Who's Hiring posts, but about half those companies end up ghosting me. I had good experiences (prompt, courteous, professional, etc.) with DigitalOcean and CrowdStrike though I did not receive an offer from either.

pretty sure DRChronos has been "hiring" for several years now only to put their interviewees through 2 day hackathons and then use the code they wrote

Yes. Working since 1 year for one of the company regularly posting in the "Who's hiring".

A few years ago I contacted a few people, and got contacted myself a few times with a "who wants to be hired" post. Some of those led to interviews, the one that led to a job was from being contacted through my "who wants to be hired" post.

Yes, and I wrote a short informal introductory email along with my resume. If you don't understand the problem from the perspective of the person doing the hiring you don't come across as a good problem solver. Hiring is a social human transaction.

I got an interview wit a company that I really wanted to work with. I didn't even apply with them originally so I was very pleased to have them contact me from an Ask HN thread. I didn't end up getting the job but I have no doubt that I could have.

I was reached out to by almost every single company that I approached (NYC) and finally ended up accepting an offer.

If I can make a recommendation, go for the companies that supply personal email addresses. If they don't supply them, go find them.

I got a couple of meetings and interviews from Who's Hiring posts but none of them resulted in offers. I'd still say it's my best and first channel for finding work beyond my network/relationships.


But I did get flown to the US (from Australia) for an interview.

It was for a DevRel position at a (quite successful) YC company. I've never done DevRel, but I did have a background in the field. Almost my communications was with the CTO.

Interestingly, I got a job as a senior data scientist at Oracle via a "who's hiring" post, and I found out later that my hiring manager wasn't aware of it at the time. A contractor at an Oracle acquisition posted that the acquisition had open reqs, and I emailed him. He forwarded my info to a recruiter, who passed me along to the hiring manager. When talking with my manager later, we were both amused to discover that he thought I'd been approached by the recruiter, and didn't know about the HN thread.

I found an internship, and my roommate has found his last two full-time jobs through "Who's hiring?". I haven't checked the thread recently, but I appreciated the early days when some companies had a filter for people coming from HN (e.g. "email hn@yourcompany.com"). It felt like there was some sort of community.

Now there are probably 1k+ posts in those threads so I'm guessing that feeling is gone, but I still recommend it to friends that are looking.

I almost got hired.

I had a very good phone interview and then an interesting set of coding questions with Silicon Valley Bank. Unfortunately, before we could meet in person and possibly have an offer - I got an offer from a startup I really liked but they wanted me to respond within the next few days. Given that my start date was less than three weeks out, I accepted the offer and had to quit the process but nonetheless it was quite a positive experience.

Yep, I was hired as a software engineering intern from one of Scribd's Who is Hiring posts (also ended up interviewing at Stripe by contacting them from their post).

It sounds a little like you are disappointed about never having succeeded at finding a job via the monthly posts.

Despite obvious reasons like lack of corresponding skills or lack of intention on the job poster's side this can have a lot of other reasons, though. Finding a good match and having the right ressources, department green lights, etc ready just at the time when you want to hire is also tough. Lots of things can go wrong. Hope you keep up trying!

I got my job at YourMechanic as a Sr. Software Engineer by applying to a job posting on HN. It wasn't the monthly who's hiring thread but close enough.

Yes, my first real engineering job at Factual. I applied as a data scientist (not actually really knowing what that entailed) and was re-routed to be a data/software engineer, which ended up being a great fit. Once I was at Factual I kept running and updating the Who's Hiring post and picked up some other amazing candidates, my favorite of which now works at Google LA with me! It's definitely a worthwhile funnel.

Yes, several years ago I found a great REMOTE C++ job. The first contact, the interview process and the actual work - every step with this company was very enjoyable. The team, the most important factor for me personally, consisted of extremely talented, friendly and simply great people from around the world. The company is defunct now, but I still have a nostalgia of working with these guys and gals.

My team ended up hiring a candidate found through the Who's Hiring post. I found the resumes I got to be better than those I get from HR on average.

I did 5+ years ago. It was for a senior Java engineer position in one of the cities I was hoping to move to. Ended up being one of my favorite jobs.

I sent out around 9 emails yesterday, got back 3 responses (so far). Both responses came from ads that included real emails rather than jobs@ emails.

I did the same thing for the October thread and had a much better response rate for real emails versus applications/jobs@company. I ended applying to about 25, 15 direct emails, 5 HR emails (jobs@company), and 5 applications. Only about half of the direct emails got back, but the ones that did all ended up having interviews with (about 3/15 are in later stages of interviews or have an offer). 4/5 HR emails replied, only 2-3 were genuine and of that 1 got me an interview (ended up not being a good fit anyway). Of the 5 applications, I nearly got automated rejections within 24 hours :(.

Even though the emails had lower response rates, they work much better in my experience. You get to talk to someone (usually an engineer or manager, sometimes a founder or exec) at the company.

Wish you the best!

We (Credit Karma) hired two engineers from September's posting. One so far from October's (5 candidates are still in pipeline, more new grads).

We've hired front-end, data engineers, and eng lead roles. A bunch of full stack engineers are in the pipeline.

I personally respond to every candidate that reaches out (scott.shumaker at credit karma dot com), so that helps ensure they don't get lost in our HR pipeline.

We've hired two amazing (remote) ML and Distributed Systems engineers at Mediachain Labs from "Who's Hiring". We try to post every month. They were both excited about our vision and finding them in the wild like that was a perfect fit!


Yes, twice.

First I was hired for a mid-level mostly-remote web dev position at Moveline and stayed there roughly a year until the company folded.

My current job at Socrata, where I've been quite happy for the past 18 months, also came via a monthly HN jobs thread; it has been mostly doing frontend web dev (but with enough variety).

If I find myself in need of employment again, I will undoubtedly turn to the jobs thread again.

I have. I think only sent emails to one or two companies in that month, and this one had me an offer in a couple weeks if not shorter. Much preferred their interview process to others.

And.. I'm still working there a year and a half later with no intention of leaving any time soon! The people are great and things are going quite well.


I got contacted by an advertisement agency. I worked with them remotely for a year (until I decided to join a startup)

Very nice people indeed. Projects varied in topics and difficulty. From editing HTML pages to managing RC Robots via internet and gathering/analyzing data from huge databases.

Not sure if they want me to share more info. But I'm thankful to this monthly post for it. It was a nice gig.

I got an interview through one and wound up spending an entire weekend frantically working through their "assessment project" only to be told on Monday morning that they hired someone else, before even looking at my work. I don't blame HN for this, just sharing my experience. Not sure whether I'd be willing to do assessment projects in the future.

I've hired somebody directly from a who's hiring post.

This was the post: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7830111.

The developer was remote - we did a couple of phone screens and sent a contract over within a week or two. I still work with him and he's one of the best engineers I know.

For a couple years at Matasano, the Hiring thread was our most successful recruiting tool.

I have received 3 offers through "who's hiring" for a job as a iOS developer. As a Canadian I am still waiting for some VISA requirements to finalize the job I accepted and I will be moving to SF.

I believe I got a lot more responses when applying through HN than I did elsewhere. My experience has been very good.

If the VISA does not work... square one and I guess remote work again.

I got my current role at Apple via "Who wants to be hired," which, although not the same, shows the value of these threads.

I've hired three from these posts.

I really wish every candidate had a one page lander that let me evaluate without clicking so many links.

[raises hand]

SRE, not going to post the name of the company but its a distributed org and former YC alumni company. It's only been a few months but I am very happy there so far, and the process that resulted from reading their post here was one of the more enjoyable interviewing experiences I've had.

Early in my job search, I sent a few emails out to companies through Who's Hiring. Turns out I was a bit under-qualified for the positions (college sophomore, they wanted post-terminal-degree types), but each chat was a positive experience.

Maybe 1 in 5 stopped replying before we could have a serious talk.

Yes! I learned of Mixmax (https://mixmax.com) in a Who's Hiring post from last fall, interned with them from January to August of this year, and am returning early next year after I graduate.

We're still hiring like crazy :).

No, but I have had some fantastic companies reach out to me, just not the right position for one reason or another. http://angel.co ended up having the right fit though which I discovered through some other comment on HN.

Yep - I was lucky enough to be hired by The Guardian (https://www.theguardian.com) :)

Oh, and we're still hiring! Happy to help if you have questions, or want to be referred. All positions are in London, UK.

I've gone through the interview process and received two job offers as a result of "Who's Hiring" posts. The posts tend to come from first parties that are motivated to hire talented new members for their teams, so the opportunities are very legit.

I did a couple years ago. Attack Pattern (http://attackpattern.com/). They are still alive and well, but I ultimately had to find a different job when I decided I wanted to go remote.

Not through the monthly post but I got hired at Vitrue because of this comment on HN getting me the lead: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2112938

I did! I guess the title was "generalist hacker type." Here's the original post: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7325886

Yes, I got hired in my current role through HN. Even moved countries for it (Australian now residing in NYC).

I've hired about 10 folks via HN in the past years (not going to share names for obvious reasons). The average quality is really good, better than any other 'channel' i've used.

In my most recent job search, I drew from the Who's Hiring thread almost exclusively. I probably contacted about 10-15 companies, of which I heard back from about 5, did the full round of interviews from 2, and got hired.

Several years ago, the company I worked for hired an awesome C++ dev we found from a listing I posted to "Who's Hiring". It definitely works. He was one of the most resourceful and talented developers we had.

Yep, my current gig (ridewithgps.com) I found through a "who's hiring" post. Didn't have to move, I have a 15 minute bike ride to work every day and get to work with great people in a fun industry.

On the company side, I've only gotten scripted applications which is a bit disheartening. Going to thumb through the "Who wants to be hired" post for November and see if I get any good leads in there.

I was hired through a "who wants to be hired" post. I was looking for part-time work, provided my background, and got contacted by a great company. Not long after, we decided to make it full-time.

My current job is from a "who's hiring" post. The post was in the last July edition and I was hired this last August. It's also the best job I've ever had. So there's that.

To those of you remarking on the lack of response to applications:

1) recruiters get a lot of applications.

2) it's risky providing feedback. "Unlikely to be a team fit" could lead to discrimination claims.

Indirectly. A friend pointed me to the forum when I was looking for a job - I reached out through the company website listed on a few posts and accepted an offer at one of them :)

I got a job offer in 2015 from a company I found through their who is hiring post. I also have had lots of informal conversations and a few other interviews from those posts

I ended up being hired as a result of hn conversations before who's hiring started.

I have hired one person through who's hiring. Terrific results.

I've been at PillPack (pillpack.com) for more than three years now and I found them by searching for "Cambridge" in the June 2014 post.

Yes, I have gotten contracts (not salaried jobs).

I got an interview and offer through posting in a "Who wants to be hired" thread, although I ended up taking another offer.

Yes <3 UseTrusted, Software Engineer Intern :)

I hired someone who found our job listing on the "who's hiring" post and it worked out really well....

In May 2014 I got two onsite interviews and one offer from the "Who wants to be hired" thread.

I've only ever gotten blanket spam from posting in "Who wants to be hired?"

Try our blanket today! It is best blanket, used by astronaut!!

I was hired for an internship through this last summer by a Boston-area startup.

I have gotten consulting gigs through it. Never looked for a full-time position

Was that through the Who's Hiring or the Seeking Freelancer ones?

We hired our designer through a who's hiring post earlier this year!

Yep, currently transitioning to a company I found in the October thread.

- Gotten a contract gig - My current Job was found here

I'm a front-end engineer.

I found my job (InfluxData) through "Who's Hiring".

Got a contract, it took awhile for a response but found it on HN.

I've definitely been interviewed, never hired though.

Yes! Got an internship with Twilio 5 years ago.

I made one hire through Who's Hiring.

I got one, back in 2012.



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