A couple of months ago I decided to try Hired.com. I was interviewing in San Francisco but it was very hit and miss. It was both hard to get time off to interview and sometimes those doing the interviewing were clearly unprepared. It felt like a huge waste of time.
I had some doubts about Hired.com. I’m starting a family and my career is very important to me. Could I trust that my interests would be represented? What pushed me over the edge was realizing my network in San Francisco was lacking. I realized that Hired.com was just like online dating — it could connect me to people that I might not meet.
So I signed up. I entered my profile and saw a message I would be in the next hiring round in a couple of days but could contact them to opt out. I was slightly uncomfortable but optimistic. One of the fields on the profile is your asking salary. I had already been thinking about my value on the market here — I chose to focus on a very specific area that is in high demand (although I think all areas of software development are in high demand in the SF Bay Area). So I entered what I thought I was worth to a project that could make full use of my skill set. I later learned this was on the high end of what Hired.com saw for developer positions.
The Monday my profile went live I was contacted by a number of companies. Each offer to interview came with compensation details. They were all from founders and outlined what their startup focused on. All contact was through the Hired.com web application which overall functioned as expected.
I waited a couple of days for more of the offers to come in. I rejected some at the low end and those that I had no interest in working on. One can choose to provide details if one wishes but again it was through the platform. Then I contacted 3–4 and went on with the hiring process. In total, 11 different startups contacted me.
The typical process was a phone conversation with one of the founders. If that went well and there was interest from both sides, we went on to a remote technical screen or an onsite interview. It was a bit overwhelming — going from interviewing maybe once every two weeks to having to juggle 3–4 potential interviews within a week or so was overwhelming. But it was also wonderful to feel that my interests and the interests of my potential employers were more in balance than the typical interview process.
What surprised me the most was that I had a number of wonderful conversations about software developer versus a more product-focused developer with one founder. It helped to clarify my thoughts and it was great to get validation that the way I liked to work was in demand.
I ended up going onsite to four startups. Each had compelling work and great teams. Of the four, one wasn’t a good match so I was left deciding between three. The last startup I interviewed with ended up having what I thought was the best fit for me. I discussed it with my wife and had a weekend to think about it and then accepted the position after some minor negotiation on equity.
I can’t recommend Hired.com enough. There is so much going on in San Francisco that nobody is going to have a perfect social network. There was no pressure to commit to only going with Hired.com opportunities. There was an awesome person at Hired.com who walked me through the process and was there to answer any question I had. I felt that I had someone on my side and it really helped to talk to another person who knew exactly what I was going through. I ended up with great job at a company I hadn’t heard of and I wouldn’t be where I am now without Hired.com.
I am not comfortable revealing my full compensation (see #TalkPay) but I will say that I ended up getting exactly what I asked for. Now it is on me to deliver that value to the startup I joined and I am extremely happy to do it knowing that I am being fairly compensated.