Finding a New Job for Fun and Profit
Your job determines what you spend your time doing and how much you get paid. The former is important in terms of personal fulfillment, intellectual curiosity, a feeling of making a difference, and things like that. The latter determines how quickly you can achieve early retirement. For all the talk about frugality, a good income helps improve your savings rate.
This means if you aren’t already financially independent you need a good job. If you already have one, maybe you should consider getting a better one: While the average raise in recent years was 3% (less than 1% after inflation), the average increase in salary for changing jobs is between 10%-20%; staying at the same company too long could make you earn 50% less over your lifetime. Changing jobs and getting a promotion in the process allows you to avoid “dues paying“. So embrace the Joy of Quitting and use the labor market as a laboratory to figure out what you enjoy.
Job hunting can be a pain: pounding the pavement, sending out emails, working with recruiters, and talking to people in HR departments. Is there a better way? The global marketplace facilitated by the Internet makes a lot of things possible and more fun. For example, if you have an extra bedroom, instead of posting a boring local ad for a roommate, you can put your room on Airbnb, get access to a global audience, and rent only when you want to. Can the right platform make looking for a job a better experience?
In the name of Blogging Science, I’m reporting on my experience finding a new job with Hired, a company that says they are on “a mission to get everyone a job they love” by creating “a marketplace that brings together highly qualified individuals with the companies who want to hire them” where you can ” compare new opportunities side by side” so that “the end result is an efficient, effective and enjoyable experience that’s far faster than traditional methods”.
Those are bold promises. How did they deliver? I was very impressed: The website and process were smooth and easy to use; a “talent advocate” was available to help and answer questions but stayed out of the way; I could clearly list my skills, type of role, and salary I was looking for; I had full information on the companies who contacted me; and the whole process was transparent to everyone involved.
Within a month I had interviewed with several interesting companies (mainly avoiding recruiters and HR people) and accepted a fun job with awesome people, and getting paid a $2000 bonus by Hired for using them to find a job (they treat you right). Read on if you are curious about the process.
Hired is starting with “in-demand tech and sales roles” looking particularly for “Engineers, Data Scientists, Designers and Product Managers”. You create a profile where you outline your skills, experience and the opportunities you are looking for. Then you list exactly how much you want to be paid, where you’d work, and the specific roles you would consider.
This was relatively straightforward with a lot being pulled directly from a resume I uploaded. In terms of answering questions, I went with the be honest and straightforward approach as you can see in my profile snippet. I’m sure you smart people can come up with something more professional sounding.
Ask For What You Want
Right at the beginning you list your salary expectation and it is visible to all employers looking at your profile. Some people may not like this, but it was refreshing. I figured why not be optimistic and put the number that would really get me to accept a job. Don’t undersell yourself, ask for what you want (or more). The talent advocate was helpful in this regard, as I was able to bounce my desired number off her and she confirmed that it was “aligned with market rates”. This is not the time to be shy, ask for the money.
The talent advocate was not a fawning suck-up either (like some recruitment experiences..), I had listed a type of position that was a stretch given my background and she flat out (but politely) informed me that I wouldn’t be contacted by anyone for that type of role given my lack of qualifications, so I removed that job type from the list I was looking for, simple as that.
You can select the specific jobs you are looking for, and what cities you would consider. If you have a case of wanderlust this can be a fun exercise, maybe a bit too much fun. My experience was that while I listed many locations I was willing to consider, I only ended up being contacted by companies in three large cities and in the end I accepted an offer with negotiated remote work. For Canadian readers (and wannabe Canadians), I’m informed that Hired is expanding to include the Toronto market, so do check them out if you are interested.
Now the fun part: Your profile is made live and available to employers on the marketplace for a fixed amount of time. Companies who want to interview you are required to provide a salary offer at the beginning. Every interview request, and salary offer, you get is visible to every employer who views your profile, so in a sense you are being bid on.
The interview requests were a bit overwhelming, but in a good way. Your profile is live to employers for only a fixed amount of time. Everyone sees that you have other interviews lined up, so it is in their interest to get you interviewed quickly and sell themselves. This means you may have to juggle a lot of phone calls and interviews within a short amount of time. This is great if you are serious about finding a job. Scheduling all that while maintaining an existing job can be tricky, so you have to be judicious about which inquiries you follow up on and be rigorous about responding and scheduling.
Hired does a decent job of telling you a bit about each company, including if free food is a perk. Speaking of nice things, where Hired impressed me was the little touches: in the midst of interviews, my talent advocate had a $20 gift certificate sent my way with the suggestion I use it for coffee to relieve the stress. I pocketed the cash, but it’s the thought that counts. When the history of the labor movement is updated next, I wonder if this will be recorded as the pivotal moment when spoiled software engineers started selecting jobs based on free food and being pampered during the process.
Overall I found the interview process with each company I was interested in refreshing. They knew about my background, they knew I was serious in looking for a job, and they knew that I had other offers. The interviews were to a point, direct, and a good use of time. With some of the larger companies on the platform, I found they were more likely to use internal recruiters as points of contact. Frankly this wasn’t as nice overall, and if I could provide feedback to Hired it would be to screen out companies that engage in this. Speaking directly to the hiring manager without an intermediary was a much better use of my time.
Summary: Final Offer and a Nice Bonus
Ten interview requests on the Hired website led to online and phone communication with about half the companies that I was interested in. That in turn led to in-person interviews with three companies, two of which I was seriously interested in. One rejected me, and I accepted a great offer from the other. Not bad for a bit less than a months work, and my experience seems slow compared to the timelines Hired advertises. What I liked best about the whole process was the total control, transparency and directness of everyone involved. It was a refreshing change from the usual job hunting experience.
True to the blurb at the beginning of this post, my new salary is more than 10% higher now and I was able to negotiate my working conditions (Life Pro Tip: Working from home is awesome). As a bonus, Hired paid me $2000 for accepting a job through their platform (Hired makes their money charging companies looking for talent) and sent me a nice gift. The point of this isn’t to gloat, but to say that it pays not to be complacent and to try finding a new job when the time is right. If you do decide to try, I recommend checking out Hired a try.
Now if you’ll all excuse me, I’ve got some bubbly to enjoy.