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Hacker News Job Board?
142 points by jgrahamc on June 16, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 67 comments
I'm thinking of setting up a job board that only people who are Hacker News users can post to. I would use the same arc code that is used for HN, but this board would be open to the non-YC companies.

To authenticate your account you would need to:

1. Create an account on the jobs board with the same name as your HN username

2. Place a magic string in your HN about: box to prove that it was you

3. Have at least 200 karma or have been an HN member for more than 2 years

4. Unauthenticated accounts could still comment, vote etc., just not submit jobs.

Would people use this?

Have a field for telecommuting as well. I wouldn't mind switching in to web dev, but I don't want to leave Toronto to do it. Places that would accept telecommuting would make that easier.

Yes, please. It would be much more useful that way.

Since there's enthusiasm for this I will set the site up and submit it here. Unless PG cries foul and says he doesn't like me hijacking the HN karma for this purpose.

OK. I built it. Here's the announcement: http://blog.jgc.org/2011/06/usethesource-job-board-for-hacke...

I don't meet your qualifications, and I'm already thinking to myself that I need to post/comment more. So here's a data point.

I decided to change it to over 1 year instead of 2.

What's the thinking on the limitations? Is this just supposed to make the users think they are part of an elite bunch? Are the employers supposed to think that somehow selects only elite hackers?

The biggest problem with job boards is... recruiters. The idea here is that members in good-standing of the HN community are unlikely to be recruiters and thus can be trusted to freely post jobs to the board. If it was open to anyone then it would be flooded with crap immediately.

Incase anyone reading this isn't convinced that recruiters really are the biggest problem with jobs boards you could check out Tobin Harris' write up of his experiences here http://wip.engineroomapps.com/post/3927805265/hiring-without...

For my part, recently I was in conversation with a friend who'd advertised a role themselves. They were getting calls from recruiters saying unless they took their candidates through them they would actively contact those candidates and tell them not to apply. They said they would tell the candidates that they'd already put them forward and not to bother applying. Jobs Boards without recruiters can I think benefit candidates and employers. The only people who wouldn't benefit would be the recruiters

One of the points of Tobin's writeup is the rampant copying/reposting of job descriptions by unscrupulous staffing firms. Had a related idea a while back, not sure of enforceability of copyright laws: 0) Charge for service that: 1) Takes a job description that is 'creative' enough or unique 2) registers copyright 3) includes verified link that denotes the posting is locked and unauthorized reproduction will be pursued with threat of copyright infringement lawsuit 4) Profit? Not sure if this is a real enough pain for employers to be a standalone product. Maybe an add-on to existing job boards as a differentiator.

We need a recruiter rating site -- some kind of effort to gather reviews of recruiters, name and shame the bad ones, and give an edge to the few who are genuinely adding value.

I find it hard to believe that every recruiter is an arsehole, but it must be difficult for the good ones to differentiate themselves from the bad.

http://ratemyrecruiter.com/ exists, but seems to have no useful content. Is there anything similar out there somewhere?

Soo... Instead of employers or recruiters posting jobs, employees (specifically hackers) would post the jobs on behalf of their companies?

Yes, but also employers. There are plenty of employers here (e.g. me) who are looking to hire people.


Can I just say that you've raised a genuine and valid question, and it's nice to have seen the answer, but your phrasing of the question makes it sound as if you're being really quite snarky about it. Is that the way you feel? Or have I read you wrongly?


I'm an abrupt person and things come out bluntly sometimes.

I haven't made up my mind if it's a good or bad idea, I'm just trying to figure out the reasoning behind it.

    I'm an abrupt person and things
    come out bluntly sometimes.
It came out as more than abrupt - it came out as positively agressive. At least to me it did. I just wanted to make sure you were aware of that, and chose either to "be yourself" or to try to be less, well, abrupt. Being honest and diplomatic can be hard work, but personally I've found it rewarding.

He said it, but I was thinking the same. Why exclusive? Up until very recently I was at a company that was going through the hiring process, and the people tasked with administering the entrance exams were positively dripping with disrespect for all applicants that came through the doors.

They joked about hazing them and returned from virtually all sessions with words like "moron", "idiot" and "numbnuts" on their lips. Prases like "how could he ever think he was good enough to work here... or anywhere?" weren't uncommon.

Regardless of any other aspects of an interviewee's performance on a series of arbitrary test questions (which we all know often don't measure what the administrators think they measuring), all interviewees deserve respect.

I'm not saying the original poster had this in mind in any way, but bad attitude in hiring is pervasive among developers.

I'll admit my reaction on reading it was probably a bit knee-jerk. When I see the hints of "we only hire the best" in my head I translate that into silly semi subtle hazing rituals that ignore the person and rely on arbitrary measures rather than examining the quality of the person themselves.

Think why PG always says 'we invest more in the people than the product'.

Anyways, no harm done. An HN community JobBoard is (IMO) a pretty good idea. I don't think the YC one is really worth looking at, but one that serves the wider community might be good.

Is there any point in building yet another job board if it doesn't imply some exclusivity?

I think there is a lot of value in the level of demographic targeting you get by simply calling yourself the HackerNews community jobs board.

It doesn't necessarily have to be exclusive (though eliminating recruiters would be my preference).

When I consider the jobs posted at http://meshjobs.com/ I find the targeting is incredibly valuable. Because the postings are for companies that I find far more interesting than I find via a general search for developer on more widely used job boards (workopolis, monster, indeed)

1 in 100 jobs on Monster are attractive to me, closer to 2 in 3 are of some interest (to me) on mesh.

I think It's the focus that has value, not necessarily exclusivity.

I didn't read him that way at all. I thought they were just good, pointed questions, asked straight out.

Obviously to benefit the early adopters. /sarcasm

Make sure that the name of the employer is a required field. There's so many job websites these days which are dominated by agency ads.

Make sure the name of the employer AND the location of the job is a required field.

Give it a try. Worse case scenario is loss of face.

Direct link to jgrahamc's job board: http://jobs.usethesource.com/

I'm planning on building the reverse soon. Hacker Resumes I guess. If you're looking for a job, you post info about yourself, location, links to all of your relevant info, and select from a few categories. Companies can then browse and see if anyone meets their needs.

You're aware that there's already careers.stackoverflow.com, right? That said, is anyone else disappointed by the lack of response there? I'm not actively looking, but in ~2 months on the site I've had "search hits: 8, employer views: 0". Kind of disappointing, considering all the hype.

Careers.stackoverflow is a good option, but the HN one keeps it within the HN community, which may not be as large, but is more close knit (at least from my experience). In addition, a HN Resumes would, in my mind, be a much simpler and straight-forward interface.

Now that's an idea. Good job. (Not that the other one is bad. This is just my preference)

I think it's a more efficient process for companies. Instead of getting 1000 resumes, of which only 100 may even be relevant, they can browse by specialty, experience, keywords, etc to filter through.

aside from the fact most of us will need to have a resume again, +1 for this idea.

I'd certainly register, look at it, and play with it a bit.

Unfortunately, I need to post a "me too" comment to let the OP know (I can't just upvote anymore!)

Yeah, I agree too.

> Would people use this?

I definitely would have when my company was looking for a programmer a month or so ago, and would use it the next time we want to hire someone.

And, additionally, if nobody uses it.. It's just the work of shutting it down. No big harm made.

In addition to length or karma, you can look at length and karma. Lower length on HN means it takes a higher average karma to post, but not necessarily 200 karma (which I barely have, due to a low posting volume and not being very interesting, despite being here for a long time).

The jobs threads are already incredibly active on the first of every month. If you want the community to get into this you might try to come up with a way to scrape that data.

Additionally! If you want people to actually remember this thing exists it needs to show up on the front page from time to time. I'd get with whoever is handling the automatic submission of job threads via the whoishiring account to see if you can get the link to your site added into the description field of the monthly threads.



I'd welcome such a job board. And it would be wonderful if it won't be just for permanent jobs, but also for contractor jobs.

How about some kind of "This is an agency!" button in case one somehow manages to get onto the system?

Nice idea, and given I've had success hiring through a HN who's Hiring thread in the past I'd very likely use it. I had been working on a job board project of my own (http://www.jobstractor.com) but have struggled with traction to date. I think there's definitely opportunities for better jobs boards and especially for cutting out recruiters from the process. If I can lend a hand let me know and I'll do what I can.

Danger: could encourage (more) karma gaming on HN, if such a board actually worked.

I comment pseudonymously so that I can speak my mind honestly. If this takes off, I would be somewhat tempted to create another account and write enough shallow, uncontroversial, professional, heavily self-censored comments to reach the threshold under my True Name.

HN karma would be a great metric for vetting experience and track-record. It's one of the trickiest things when trying to hire above-average talent. May I recommend using jobberBase (http://www.jobberbase.com) as a platform? Also open-source, with a great community around it.

Disclaimer: I've built jobberBase, so I'm biased :).

I would find this useful. Having a HN member in good standing submit the job sends a positive signal about the position.

(shameless plug: http://eupathdb.org/ is hiring a front-end developer, see http://bit.ly/kYH9zp for more information)

One simplification: try to parse e-mail addresses from the about: box, authenticate via e-mail. Obviously, ask for permission before sending e-mail - some people have employer-(provided/monitored) e-mail.

I think this is a great idea, and would use it very actively. What would be good is to get a shared GDOC going so you can capture the e-mails and cities of those interested?

E-mail to keep us all in the loop, and city to make local hiring easier?

I've been hanging around the site for a long time, but I haven't been here for over two years. Is it really necessary to have that long of an account to stop spam? I believe 1 year should at least be fine.

I'd definitely use this...

"Have at least 200 karma or have been an HN member for more than 2 years" this is too restrictive.

I think if anything, it's not restrictive enough. The idea is that HN acts as a community filter for membership, and 200 is really not much for an active member of the community.

You would need a threshold of course. But having that would also mean there would be a fringe demand for people who are above the threshold.

Thus, if this is done, there could be demand for a job board where non-threshold-meeting HN members can employ threshold-meeting HN members to post their job ads. Ok, partly kidding.

What value would you suggest?

If the main point is to filter out recruiters, then 100 or 2 years should be fine. There's no need to filter out less active posters.

For a brief moment there I thought you were suggesting that it should only be available to people who registered 100 or 2 years ago

Same as the downvoting threshold (500).

I think anything from 200 to 500 would work well. Anything at or over 1000 is problematic since to get that you need to be quite active on the site.

500+; the downvoting threshold should be enough.

To the extent that HN karma means anything, a 10 day-old account with 1 point just isn't a very strong signal.

Hey, I have exactly 0 StackOverflow karma (and no account, but that's easily fixed). I'm hardly surprised that they don't roll out the red carpet for me.

StackOverflow careers is current invite-only, with the caveat that if you have a nice GitHub account the company themselves will invite you. (I think there was another type of account that could get you access, but I didn't pay enough attention.)

Perhaps a way around the restriction would be to adopt a similar system. People with 200 karma or 2 years would be automatically accepted, but others would need an invite from an existing member.

Apparently if you ask them (and have decent credentials) you can get an invitation easily. I did.

When can you have it done by?

How's now?

That was quick!

Thank you. I've had very good results from HN contacts. I can't wait for this.

I'd definitely use this.

I'd use it.

Seems you really need better filtering tech to keep off the information that is offensive to you. Limiting the amount of information is good how?

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