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Ask HN: Should we agree that this account will submit all Who is Hiring posts?
294 points by whoishiring on March 31, 2011 | hide | past | favorite | 46 comments
I will use this account to submit

  Who is Hiring (Month YYYY)?
  Who is Hiring Remote Workers (Month YYYY)?
  Who is Hiring Interns (Month YYYY)?
posts on the 1st of each month at the start of the business day in the United States.

This could put an end to our peers competing to put forward Who Is Hiring threads by submitting them increasingly prematurely.

edit1: This idea seem to be well received, so expect the posts tomorrow morning around 9 AM Eastern time.

edit2: I will write a script to automate these posts and run it on my server for the foreseeable future.

edit3: I will send the script as well as the password for the 'whoishiring' account to several prominent HN users (tptacek, patio11, edw519 and pg/nickb) for safekeeping.

I like this idea. It would also make it easier to see past who's hiring threads as well. Just go to:


and look at the submissions. Beats crawling through results on searchyc.com.

Couldn't the jobs section be used for that?

Jobs section is used for YC companies only. It's a fair reward for accepted companies to get prominent status on HN.

I think it's just mistake. More people would check the job board if there were more jobs there. YC company jobs could just be sorted to the top automatically to give them a leg up.

This is a really good point. Being the only ones there decreases the YC companies' prominence, because unless people are specifically thinking, "I want to be an employee at a company backed by Y Combinator," they're probably not going to check there very often.

I believe PG reserves the jobs section for companies that were funded by YC.

I like it too.

Why do all jobs have to be posted at one time once a month? There is already a "JOBS" tab at the top of HN. Why not just let other companies post to that page. You can still emphasize YC companies, stick them at the top for 30 days, and then everybody else below it. For that matter if PG ever wants to monetize HN adding paid job ads might be the best/easiest way to do it.

Pragmatically, the answer is: we don't have to convince PG to have a "whoshiring" account automatically post a thread every month, but we do have to convince PG to change how the jobs tab works.

I completely agree, but you should fill out the account information - something like 'This is a bot to post the monthly "who's hiring" thread. If there are any issues, please contact <foo>@<bar>.' - that'd also let us know who's behind this account.

Love this idea. I vote for this. Or maybe if anyone can actually edit the HN source and make the app self-post when it is first of every month (IMO keeping it automated will be easier...)

bigsassy's point about searching is right. It surely makes it easier to browse these threads when you have a dedicated whoishiring user account.

Whoever is posting this, please mention the format of the job posts clearly on every thread (whatever format... this thread http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2057704 says location first. It's description is a good example).

Sharing a password is an uphill battle with the problem of the commons. Automating one account would seem a lot easier.

Ya, after posting the comment I started wondering about the worst case - what if the person who owns the account forgets to post coz he's busy or even worse... is dead. We'll end up creating accounts like whoishiring1, whoishiring2, etc which totally beats the advantage of being able to keep the hiring threads in one place.

I finished the Racket-lang intro guide today. I thought I could pitch-in with some code by adding the automated post feature to news.arc (in arc3) and sending a diff. Sadly news.arc is 2610 lines of lisp in one file. Scared me :)

Like a good programmer, you're worrying about edge cases :) Let's just do it. We can fix potential problems later.

He doesn't intend on sharing the password, he intends on doing the posts himself every month. Perhaps he could have phrased it better as, "Can we all agree that Who's Hiring posts will only be made by this account?"

You should also def include a Who's Hiring H1Bs as we saw in February if I remember correctly.

It may be better to consolidate all of these categories into one post and ask commenters to include a leading line of keywords (like FT, PT, REMOTE, INTERN, or H1B) that indicate which sorts of applicants are welcome.

Trying to find remote opportunities in today's post is difficult, since many employers put "no remote" in their posts. Same issue for H1B ("sorry no H1B at this time"). However, I'm sympathetic to employers who might not want to post in both threads if they're looking for both local and remote, and I'm all for not cluttering up the front page with too many job threads.

Perhaps we should implement a more easily-searchable remote keywords, like REMOTEOK, H1BOK, etc.

yuk -- post is too long, and much less usable. 3 posts per month is not too much, imho.

I'm fine with the idea, but I'd suggest also adding a

  Who is looking for a Co-founder (Month YYYY)?
to the list.

Probably should include one more, Whose hiring freelancers edition, that way we could get all the "I need someone to build X" wrapped up under one section.

It should be posted mid-week. I run a developer job board, traffic on Monday/Friday/Weekends is much lower than mid-week.

For whatever reason developers look for new jobs primarily tuesday-thursday.

Probably while they're bored at their current job...

Is this really needed when you can simply use http://searchyc.com and find all the posts and even relevant job descriptions from previous posts?

I'm worried about the first of the month falling on a Friday such as tomorrow, April 1st. Will the weekend squash the popularity of a Friday 'Who's Hiring' thread?

I don't think that has much to do with using a separate, automated account to make the posts.

If weekends turn out to be an issue, the person running the posting script can just edit the post date (e.g. set it to "the first monday of the month") or whatever.

First, I'm a little unfamiliar with this problem--why this bad:

"our peers competing to put forward Who Is Hiring threads by submitting them increasingly prematurely"

Maybe this suggests that >1 submission a month is better?

Finally, perhaps it'd be best to stagger the three post types throughout the month so they don't compete with each other for attention?

>1 submission a month is a bummer. It drives the quality of the posts down, and turns into the same employers that are always hiring (guilty, here) into spammers :)

1 good quality, well organized hiring post a month is awesome..

If you miss the hiring posts when they're on the front page, you have to trawl through multiple posts (one early one that has some employer posts and a thread about "don't post early). Inconsistent naming could cause you to miss a thread.

And this isn't just about making it easier for job seekers -- we want to make this easy for employers to encourage them to come here when they're looking for talent.

I totally agree, but I don't think multiple posts is the answer.. Either a new tab like 'Ask HN' that keeps these in a longer-lived list.. or an external site. I know a number of HN'ers have stood up external sites for this.. but I don't think anyone's done a good job keeping them simple, and getting the word out.

So yeah.. first choice for me would be a top level HN link like 'Ask' or 'comments'.. second choice would be someone write something external that people could always go to for HN job posts.. I'd probably go as far as to karma-wall users posting on the site too..or at least allow users to filter by it.. or just rank job listings by karma achieved in the HN hiring threads. I dunno. But yeah... once a month on actual HN is plenty, IMHO

I wrote a simple script generating rss feeds to follow these postings more easily from my rss reader. The url for a feed is in the form of http://whoishiring.heroku.com/rss/post_id

e.g http://whoishiring.heroku.com/rss/2391828

It captures the parent comments. Maybe you can include a link as well in your posts?

Great idea, some questions...

Can we have a vote on this?

How will this be enforced?

What's PG's take on this?

I vote no. Its valuable to see the HN name of the people submitting open jobs. For the most part, people aren't only interested in a company name. They're also interested in the people they could end up working with. I want to see the submitter's voting and commenting history.

I think this is in reference to the actual "Who is Hiring?" submissions, not to those who post jobs under those threads.

I guess my recent post http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2391491 opening one more category is what prompted you to post this?

I didn't see this posting, but I do think it is a bit too much.

Then at least include a small note suggesting all the possible jobs people are looking for. (including data science, machine learning)

Technically who's hiring should encompass everything, but I guess it doesn't occur to people that they can post remote workers in that thread. Similarly I suspect those threads are not attracting data scientist/machine learning engineering since the majority of the posts are not of that category. which is why I started this one. But I do agree that fragmentation is a big problem.

Good idea. I will do this

This would be super. I always want to post in these threads (because youDevise is always hiring great hackers) and have trouble finding them reliably. Thanks for suggesting this!

You can subscribe to RSS feed also


Centralizing it so it's under one person's control? That doesn't make much sense at all.

Can you explain what might go wrong? The worst thing that I can think of is that the posting script might fail one month, which is easily fixable. If there's any abuse, the moderators can put a stop to it.

Simple, single point just works. Yes.

part good, part bad. there needs to be room for new kinds of categories...

great idea. but ... where are the posts?

I vote yes

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