No Secret: the Demand For Mobile Engineers is Absurdly High

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I have a secret. Well, not for long. I’ve been using the awesome new app about sharing anonymously with friends called Secret. It lets you post messages to friends without revealing who you are.

Because I’m building YesGraph, a referral recruiting tool, I naturally thought about what kinds of conversations would happen on the platform related to talent and HR. I’ve seen people post their salaries and net worth, which are obviously private.

Then I tried a different experiment. I claimed I was a iOS engineer and designer looking to leave my startup. A half dozen people posted contact info to get in touch. Continue reading

How YC Companies Found Employee #1

When YesGraph’s founder, Ivan Kirigin, was looking to make the first hire, he asked YC founders on how they did it. The responses were diverse and fascinating. We pulled some quotes, but they aren’t attributed.

Hiring doesn’t happen overnight

y-combinatorThere’s a strong chance that the person you want to to hire is not actively looking, which means it will take time and significant effort to convince them to join you. Expect to meet with them on numerous occasions, and seek to understand what they would look for in a career move. Even if they aren’t interested, you may be able to assist them with their next career move.

I have spent a lot of time looking for a first hire and it took a while to find him. When I did he was working for another company nearby and we did a little “dating” – meeting up for lunch, “bumping into each other” at events and really got on. When I felt my company was in the right spot and that he was in a receptive place I then “asked him out formally” and proposed that he joined me.

So, I know that you’re seasoned and have heard all the same advice I have a million times but from my own experience: believe the wisdom around hiring extremely carefully and slowly. Give your potential hires significant and real projects and see how they do. And most of all, stay objective. Don’t get excited that you found someone good and excuse them for not being as great as you really need that first hire to be. Continue reading

Meet the YesGraph Team: Vincent Driessen

This is the second post in our “Meet the YesGraph Team” series where we highlight the people that build YesGraph.

Vincent DriessenVincent Driessen
Deventer, The Netherlands

What do you do at YesGraph?

I hack away furiously in my code editor to create the YesGraph experience. I work on almost anything engineering related, as all the other engineers at YesGraph do, meaning I do front-end design, hack on the front-end logic, back-end, metrics, data analytics, operations, and architecture. This is what I love so much about small startups. Continue reading

Meet the YesGraph Team: Luke Thomas

We thought it would be a fun idea to introduce members of the team, and give recognition to the people that help build YesGraph. Here’s the first post in our “meet the team” series.

Luke ThomasLuke thomas
Somerville, MA

What do you do at YesGraph?

My goal is to help grow the company. That typically entails finding and testing various marketing channels, working on outreach, content marketing, and sales. Continue reading

Announcing YesGraph: Referral Recruiting Built To Scale

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We’re really excited to announce YesGraph, the best way to do referral recruiting. Our early users have really helped us with great feedback and support, so thanks to you all! We’re also announcing the details of $1.3M seed financing we closed. But first, a story.

An Excellent (Manual) Recruiting Process

The idea from YesGraph came from my time working at Facebook and Dropbox. Both companies are full of incredibly talented people, and they knew that they needed to hire the best people to keep growing. Over the long term, a good cultural fit matters just as much as talent. Continue reading

Exploding Job Offers Are Bullshit

A friend recently asked me for help in choosing among a few job offers. This is always a fun challenge, but a detail stuck out. He said, “this offer expires tomorrow, so I need to decide quickly”.

This tactic in recruiting is bullshit, and it’s time for candidates to stop obeying so willingly. Continue reading

Why Your Job Description Should Read More Like a Tweet.

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Since joining Yesgraph as a designer, I’ve talked to a lot of companies about their hiring practices. I’m going to start sharing some of the insights gained from my design research here on the YesGraph blog.

The biggest problems I have seen with job descriptions is the context that they are written in. Too often, they are created in the process of opening the position filling out a form addressed to HR. This form, called a Req Form in most companies, ask the hiring manager to fill out a list of requirements to fill that job along with other administrative data like position, pay range, starting date. The content of this form is what eventually makes it into the job description. Continue reading

Searchlight Meetings: a secret hiring process used at Facebook and Dropbox

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Getting the attention and time of engineers and other employees is a challenge for recruiters. One best practice is to have a meeting where you get a few people together to help by giving referrals. There are lots of names for this: a blitz, a sourcing session, a searchlight meeting, etc.

It is a lot easier to just send an email to your team to ask for referrals, but putting in a bit more effort should yield far better results. Here are some things you can do to make sure your searchlight meetings are more successful. Continue reading

What Design at a Startup Actually Looks Like

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We recently recorded a design review at YesGraph. We share these discussions internally with the team to help build shared context for a project. The result is an interesting snapshot of what design actually looks like at a startup. We decided to share an example, and if people enjoy it, we can continue to openly share how we build YesGraph. Continue reading