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What are the best sites to advertise jobs on if I want to hire the kind of people who read Lobsters? Where do you look, and where do you avoid?


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    the kind of people who read Lobsters

    Which kind – bloviating windbags? ML snobs? Lisp weenies? (I kid, I kid! y'all are great!)

    The startups I’ve worked with in the past have had the best success through word of mouth hiring. Their approach was to go to local entrepreneur and hacker events and just talk to people. They hired a few people that way, got a few solid references, and were on their way.

    That said, that’s what worked for startups in a midsize city with an anemic tech culture, so YMMV.

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      Yup, this exactly. My work mostly hires engineers that current employees recommend (helps that there’s a monetary incentive as well).

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      I don’t really care much about defining what defines a Lobster, but the truth is, it’s unlikely that anyone reading Lobsters is looking on job websites. These days, as a professional software engineer, it’s difficult to walk down a street without getting people throwing job offers at you.

      Personally, I receive between 10 - 15 recruiter emails a week. Most of those are “shotgun” emails from recruiters who found me on LinkedIn. One to three of them are from agencies working with early stage startups. About once a month I get contacted by one of the big companies (Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Amazon, etc.). About once a month I get contacted by a hedgefund (consultancy) - probably because I’m based in NYC.

      I say all of this, not to brag, but simply to highlight how competitive the job market is.

      I wish you the best of luck.

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        I don’t really care much about defining what defines a Lobster, but the truth is, it’s unlikely that anyone reading Lobsters is looking on job websites.

        From my experience with hiring: if you’ve gotten to the point where you are considering publicly listing a position, don’t.

        Instead, consider:

        • Why haven’t I managed to place a junior employee in this position? Does this indicate a failure of training and career advancement?
        • Why have my current employees not referred the company to other qualified applicants? Am I not paying enough/not providing enough benefits? Are my current employees not satisfied?
        • Why haven’t my internal recruitment efforts panned out? Does my company have a bad reputation – maybe as a company that has a toxic culture, or a company stuck in the past?

        And also consider that anyone that sees your position on a career development site is asking the same questions from the other side.

        Every job switch I’ve made - except for one - has been because someone I worked with in the past has recruited me. Every job switch I’ve made - except for one - has been good for me and for my employer.

        The market for computer programmers is ridiculously competitive right now. If you’re getting to the point that you need to list open positions, you’re not going to fill them with the best candidates.

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          If you’re getting to the point that you need to list open positions, you’re not going to fill them with the best candidates.

          This is mostly true, with at least two important caveats. The first is that people sometimes may lack a local network through no fault or deficiency of their own. I recently moved interstate (in the US), which separated me from my professional contacts and any jobs they could have referred me to. So I picked up a job on a regular ol' career site (not craigslist, but close enough). And yes, I very humbly consider myself one of the best candidates. =) If the world were as cynical as you suggest, I suppose I could leverage my current position to build a network and move up from there, but there’s no indication that I’m at a deficient company.

          The second caveat is that many junior engineers obviously won’t have professional networks yet. Some will build one in school through internships, but some will not (e.g. I did research instead of interning). And if you’re promoting juniors appropriately, you should be doing a lot of hiring of junior engineers.

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            Don’t know how I feel about these statements. All the interviews I got (and the current job I have) were via ads on stack overflow and linkedin. Our company recruits folks by advertising on these locii and hackernews (I think). I think the folks I work with are very, very good. I would not quite so strongly advise someone that they simply can’t get people who will be competent and get the job done by advertising for positions. I think it can be done. I’ve seen it being done repeatedly as we expand and I meet our new colleagues.

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              Absolutes are always dangerous. I didn’t mean that it is impossible, but it certainly is hard, and I think it gets harder all the time.

              One clear advantage that job boards have is that the people who use them are actively seeking employment.

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            What about those who are not yet a professional software engineer? I’m really struggling with finding a path that will take me from where I am now (finished with university) to some good work.

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              Applying directly to ,companies, and responding to the various job boards is a great way to get initial experience. The above comments were directed primarily to experienced engineers. I had success posting on job boards like dice.com and linkedin earlier in my career as well.

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            What shared, desirable characteristics do you think the people here have? It’s quite a small community; I’m not clear that there are any. But trying to enumerate them is a good start towards your answer.

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              A.) No experience with them, but StackExchange’s and GitHub’s job sites seem popular for those… types. B.) Post here? I have no idea what the Lobsters policy is on hiring posts, don’t take that advice naively.

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                I’m just speaking for myself here, but I’d rather not have Lobsters overrun by job offers. If there’s enough interest in having jobs posted here then perhaps we should have a separate section for jobs just so they don’t get in the way of the actual posts.

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                  That’s why the filter system exists. To allow you not to see entire categories you aren’t interested in.

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                    Oh right, thanks. I honestly don’t use any filters so I kind of forgot about that feature.

                    Nevermind then! :)

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                      Awesome! Ty for the tip.

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                      I would love to see lobste.rs used for the kind of job offers that are relevant to this community. i.e. ‘come work on this because it’s cool* and we need great people with X expert/niche skillset’. if this was used carefully and strictly not for/by recruiters, it sounds like a great resource.

                       * for our collective understanding of ‘cool’

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                        It seems like it might be difficult to come to an agreement on what’s cool. Some folks might think it’s cool to do functional programming for a games startup, some folks might like to work on something that they really like but not necessarily technology focused, people might want to do HFT algorithms work, and some people just want to build distributed systems for batch computing. It’s easy to imagine one person who likes one of those things thinking the others aren’t “cool”.

                        I think requiring that jobs posters have some small number of lobsters points might be a good way to avoid recruiters, as long as lobsters stays scrupulously technology-focused. I think that the jobs that lobsters folks publish will probably be sufficiently cool.

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                          On second thought, it’s probably simpler than that - just a case of us communally using the existing voting mechanism. I’d trust that I’d agree with 95% of people here on what a cool or uncool job posting is, and this would be a great way to collectively curate the job board.

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                    I had good results with the “Who’s hiring” thread on Hacker News, but that was three years ago. Lobsters didn’t exist then, and the HN community was smaller.