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Show HN: Mighty Spring – Passive job search (mightyspring.com)
159 points by ultimatedelman on May 30, 2014 | hide | past | web | favorite | 54 comments

Looks potentially interesting, but the fees seem awfully high for an automated matching service compared to standard recruitment agencies. Which is to say, ones with actual recruiters doing search, vetting and so on. Yes, there is always the advertised "standard rate" that may be something crazy like 25-40% of starting salary, but the actual negotiated rate is always much, much lower than that. 15% generally gets you a very high standard of professional recruitment services, not something that is basically monster.com without the massive candidate-base.

The pay per interview rates seem much more sensible, but that's a model that might be seen as high-risk, particularly if there is no pre-vetting of candidates. That's not something the site mentions at all in either the employer or candidate FAQ, but is a pretty important part of the recruitment agency model.

Also, I'm in the UK and the site seems pretty US-centric with no information about which regions are targeted or even supported. It should really be stated pretty clearly up-front - is the focus just on Silicon Valley, or startups anywhere in the world?

Hey Robert, good points here, but we're actually not entirely automated. We still do some manual things (we're a small startup, after all), which keeps the quality of folks seen by our employers high.

All of this said, we hope to not be in the contingency recruiting business forever. We feel that there is a friendlier fee structure to implement (with better incentives for companies and candidates alike), which we will do as our marketplace grows.

RE: UK jobs, most of the companies who have signed up are in the Bay Area and NYC right now, but there are no strict limitations to prevent UK companies from participating. We do have candidates in the UK that have signed up, FYI.

Thanks for the reply. FWIW, you might want to consider focusing on key regions only during your early stages. I've seen problems with similar lack of geographic focus on sites before. While it's tempting to just say "we're open to everyone" it doesn't always work like that in practice.

If you are not getting enough traffic in a particular area, it can be worthwhile to close it down completely - preferably temporarily - and then come back to it with a targeted launch at some future time once the core regions are self-sustaining.

So for instance, you could organise some UK-centric marketing, with some PPC, etc., and maybe go speak at some UK events or something around the same time. This will hopefully get you a critical mass of interest in a short period of time, while in the meantime you get to focus on your core demographic.

Otherwise you can end up wasting a lot of time on stuff that isn't working for anyone - if you don't have enough candidates and recruiters in the same place at the same time, those people are potentially just going to go away with a bad impression of the service, so in the long run you actually lose potential clients.

If you can get that same number of people onto the site in a month instead of over the course of a year, it'll work out much better. If you leave it entirely to organic growth, that probably won't happen.

Picky point (but one I hope is helpful): phone number validation (on the employer page https://www.mightyspring.com/employers/) is too strict for UK phone numbers, which might typically read something like

+44 (0) 111 1111 111

I had to enter 1111111111 to get past the validation.

As part of this, it can be useful to be able to specify where one would be willing to relocate. In my specific case, I'm not interested to moving to the USA, but UK would be fine. It also helps to frame the target compensation, since $60k are very different in the EU if compared to the Bay Area.

Thanks for giving the GitHub "Connect public account" higher visibility! I still think it should be the default, though. I've got a stack of NDAs as high as my client list and if I accidentally clicked through and approved the "Connect full account" button, I'd be in a world of legal hurt.

I do trust your good intentions! I don't think your goal in business is to get full access to all of my clients' repos for nefarious purposes. Nonetheless, legally that's not a judgement call I'm allowed to make.

Awesome! Glad you saw and liked the change. We're trying to iterate quickly to address our users concerns, so keep the feedback coming — super helpful.

Holy shit, the UI is really impressive. Genuinely impressed with your front-end engineering! It was insanely fluid, I kept thinking how much better it is compared to most native iOS/Mac OS applications.

Thanks! Glad you like it :)

I have achieved burnout on "find a job" sites. One time I spent an hour registering and making a profile for a (different!) "find startups" site and got told, after all that, that I'd have to indicate a willingness to relocate to Boston, SF, or NYC if I wanted my profile to be searchable.

I'm sure their A/B metrics were better by waiting until the end for that distracting information.

Again, that was a different site. That's probably unfair for this site. It's just that I anticipate having my time wasted now.

EDIT I just tried to upload my .rtf resume and it said it wasn't an acceptable format. "Word, PDF, text, and HTML only."

Good catch! I just updated the file extension list and that's pushing up the pipe. Interestingly, I allowed it in the "accept" attribute on the file input, but forgot in my upload code :)

Thanks for the feedback!

Oh, wow. Full account access? If I checked that it would violate all the NDAs. I can't imagine how anybody that's ever signed an employment contract in the Bay Area could do that without violating their employment agreement. That's just a non-starter. Why do you need full access anyways?

I couldn't agree more. That's my only real complaint with what could otherwise be a great service.

It probably doesn't help that GitHub's OAuth scopes seem to be rather shotgun: https://developer.github.com/v3/oauth/#scopes . It seems you can't just ask for read-only access to, say, a list of commit hashes that would prove you've been working on a project without disclosing what you've actually been doing.

Still, I think that button's deserving of a red flashing "only click this if you're sure you won't be fired and sued into bankruptcy" banner.

GitHub accounts are a virtual pre-requisite for a developer at any startup nowadays. Many developers are working on things in private repos and maybe don't have a ton of public activity to display. We offer them the option to connect their full account so that we can parse their activities to show that they are, in fact, active and building things.

Note that we also offer the ability to connect to what is already publicly visible via GitHub if you don't want to grant us full access.

>GitHub accounts are a virtual pre-requisite for a developer at any startup nowadays.

I don't think this is true, and if it is, it shouldn't be. I certainly wouldn't care if a candidate didn't have anything to share on GitHub.

It's definitely not always true, for sure, but in our experience and with the companies we've worked with, almost unanimously their first comment was always, "Man, it'd be cool if I could see a breakdown of their GitHub data, too." (of course, before we implemented this feature). It's not for everyone and definitely is not the end-all-be-all of what makes a good developer, but many startups today like to see open-source contributions.

A GitHub focus on a job site attracts employers who rely on that. I've always deliberately avoided GitHub, so job sites that give it focus aren't for me, because the employers are looking at different metrics than what I have.

Your reasoning makes sense, and it's perfectly fine to do it the way you are. I think people like me are just pointing out that this makes us self-exclude ourselves from the site, in case you wanted us.

With a quick experiment (nice site btw) I see that it only seems to look back 3 days or so for commit totals to a private repo. If you are looking for anon aggregate data, to prove at least some activity then I was expecting longer?

Edit: As a follow-up, how do I remove a github reference once it was set up? I couldn't find it in the update options :)

We actually pull your most recent 30 actions, both public and private (if you connect a full account, public only obviously if you connect your public account), which is to say, we only hit the API for one page of activity data. All that means is that you've been particularly active :) There should be a timeframe there to give you context. The last 30 actions in the last three days indicates a lot more activity than the last 30 actions in the last 200 days, for instance.

As for removing GitHub, that's a good catch. We should provide a way for the user to _detach_ their accounts as well as indicate that they don't have said accounts.

Thanks for the feedback!

Hey guys; do you have any method of pointing out remote-only jobs?

It would be nice if the "Browse Companies" section mentioned whether the company considered remote or not.

I completely agree! I've been looking for remote work for a while now (kids are in the middle of High School), and it doesn't seem like there are a ton of places to look.

Mighty Spring backend dev here. The short answer is yes, but there are not many remote-only jobs right now (beta and what-have-you). That will hopefully soon change.

Candidate affordances let you indicate a willingness to work remotely, and a requirement for remote work only. If your skill set and desires don't overlap, we won't recommend you a remote-only job just because it is remote.

Excellent! I will definitely keep checking in. In the meantime, the interface is just gorgeous and very intuitive. Keep up the great work!

I like the UI - It doesn't look the same as everything else and it works really well. Maybe it's just the colours, but it reminds me quite a bit of New Relic.

The company browser could do with some work - it's very bare bones for now (But it looks like you're aware of this).

Also, I'll second robert_tweed - this appears very US centric. You should either state clearly that you are US only, for the time being, or you should make it a bit more international. Technically it's probably small changes, but right now it gives an unwelcoming impression for me.

I've been using the service for a few weeks now. It was interesting that you can set yourself as not actively seeking. It integrates smoothly with Git-HUb, Linked-in, and Stack Overflow. Very clean and responsive design. I wish that the whole app supported mobile as I tend to do most work on my career from my phone. Their team has been very helpful and friendly. I'm personally looking forward to seeing the results that I get.

Is there any way to delete an account? I can't find any link / setting to do that.

Send an email to info at mightyspring dot com and we'll take care of it for you. Right now there's no button, but we should probably put one in!

> You'll receive one (1) Bitcoin each time a friend you invite gets a job through Mighty Spring!


What is the search radius for jobs? I live two hours away from San Francisco, yet it matched me for a job there. Ummm, no thanks. I understand that there will be no jobs in my area, but recommending something two hours away seems a bit too much.

MS backend dev here. Are you referring to the Mighty Spring position?

We are automagically matching new signups to our own open positions to both dogfood our product and give users a sense of how the job match process works when they don't have good organic matches.

Sorry if this was confusing.

If your fee is $250 per interview or $15K per hire, does that mean you expect employers to need 60 interviews with MightySpring leads to find a good candidate? Or is there a reason for discounting the interview fees comparatively?

I like the idea of passive job searches, but what's this have to offer versus similar services? (Like LinkedIn, Monster, etc)

Much better control of incoming opportunities, dramatically improving signal/noise ratio seen on those sites.

Unlike those sites, your information is private on Mighty Spring, so as an employed person you can be more transparent about your search criteria.

Also, hopefully, a much more enjoyable UX :)

Thanks for sharing!

Mighty spring has pinged me for feedback a few times. They're extremely quick to fix things and will sometimes explain why something is a particular way at the moment. I happily went out of my way to put together images and detailed info for things I noticed because of how approachable they are.

Props, guys and gals.

Thanks for the kind words — and even more for your feedback. Couldn't have built what we have so far without feedback from folks like yourself. Keep it coming and we'll keep making the product better!

This is actually pretty cool - just signed up and everything worked as expected. No idea if it is effective past that but the interface makes sense and asks relevant questions

the UI is fantastic. What type of job seekers are you focused on? It looks like there's a technical focus to the listings and the "self" descriptions.

I tried this a few months ago and didn't have any luck at all with matches. Maybe I was doing something wrong.

The team however was friendly and very responsive to feedback.

I am honestly, honestly blown away by the user experience! Amazing walk through; at no point did I feel anything as a chore.

Very well executed indeed. Kudos to the team.

Incredible UI, I signed up even though I'm based in Spain and it seems targeted towards the US. Great fluid sign up experience!

Has anyone had success using MightySpring to find a job/find a candidate for a job?

Hey, Mighty Spring CEO here: yes, we're making placements with the platform and new people are interviewing every week.

While we're still early-stage and in beta, our candidate and employer base is growing significantly on a weekly basis as well. As a marketplace, this is obviously key to driving more interviews/hires.

I used it as one component of a job-search.

My impression is that it's fairly keyword-driven. You're told things like how you're 86% compatible for some job, and maybe you could bump that up to 88% by remembering that you have expertise in another couple technologies, etc.

I didn't end up closing a job through MightySpring, but I like their approach and wish them well.

Is MightySpring mostly geared toward helping technical job-seekers?

Are you planning on providing possibility to connect other accounts, e.g. Bitbucket?

I'm more interested in the tech-stack you're using - if willing to share!

On the backend we're using Python/Flask, MongoDB, Heroku, and AWS. We rolled our own ORM called WhiskeyNode (https://github.com/texuf/whiskeynode) and an event consumer called PyMonster (https://github.com/texuf/pymonster).

On the front end, I rolled my own custom framework. I use Handlebars for templating and various mini-libraries for some functionality (shout out to Modernizr, Isotope, and Bespoke :) in addition to jQuery. For CSS I use Compass/SASS. I actually wrote a blog post about it (http://blog.mightyspring.com/post/58803131171/purposefully-a...)

I think that covers it!

That's pretty cool! Figured about Python (saw gunicorn in HTTP headers). What blew me away, is the fact that you're using a custom framework for the user on-boarding complex/heavily-ajaxified UX... I'd be willing to get updated about how does that scale up!

To be honest, the onboarding experience is pretty silo'd in terms of scripting, although we're thinking about using the same functionality (guided walkthrough) for other parts of the experience, so I may refactor it for reuse elsewhere :)

Nice site and UI! Can you integrate with bitbucket?

It's definitely on the roadmap. Any site that helps a potential candidate present themselves to a prospective employer makes sense to connect with. Bitbucket is coming soon.

US only?

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