All posts by Mallory Rowan

8 Places to Find the Best Candidates

8 Places to Find the Best Candidates

It’s not easy to find the right people. Sometimes it can take months or even years to get it right.

But knowing the right places to look is half the battle. Below are eight ways to find the best startup talent through LinkedIn, universities, personal networks, and external services.

LinkedIn

Advanced Search Functionality
LinkedIn provides advanced search functions to help you narrow in on exactly what it is you’re looking for. This is a great way to weed out candidates, review their resumes before even reaching out, and get a feel for them based on their own words and their colleagues’ recommendations.

You can filter by 1st, 2nd, or 3rd connections, keywords, locations, current & past companies, industries, languages, interests, and schools with the free version. If you want to be crafty, start by looking up the employees of a competitor that you know is struggling, boring, or can’t offer the same perks as your startup. Connect and reach out on the platform to start the recruiting process.

If you upgrade to a Sales or Hiring plan, you can unlock additional filters like job function and years of experience.

Targeting Groups
Joining groups on LinkedIn is a popular way to stay up-to-date with industry trends and discuss challenges with peers in the same field. Monitoring these groups is also a great place to find talented new hires for your startup.

Join groups focused on finding employment in certain fields or general industry groups that dive into specific topics. These groups require a bit more digging as not all will be looking for work or the type of candidate you need, but it’s a great way to find hidden superstars passionate about what they do.
Try to stick with local groups if you need someone who can work from an office. If you’re open to remote workers, try .Net Developers or Designers Talk.

Post-Secondary Programs

Joint Work Programs
Co-op programs are a classic startup go-to for finding talent and, let’s be frank—cheap labour. These programs are more affordable than hiring because the school helps compensate the students, and you get employees who are learning up-to-date material. You can connect with universities, colleges, and even high schools to coordinate co-op students for your startup.

Some universities also offer a work placement system, which is similar to co-ops but structurally different. Usually, the school agrees to help fund their pay if you teach them specific skills that they may not be learning in their program. For example, employers would agree to teach students two new coding languages while at the startup. In these programs, employees often continue working for you after their co-op period is done, making them a more permanent hiring solution.

Internships
Similar to co-op programs, internships connect you with fresh talent. They open up the door to students who may not be part of a formal co-op program as well as new graduates or self-taught, talented individuals who chose not to pursue post-secondary education. Internships can be more difficult because they lack financial support from a third-party, but they can find you the best talent in town before competitors are even aware of their existence. Consider paying interns for the work they put in or you may burn bridges with irreplaceable individuals.

Networking

Personal
Keeping work and personal lives entirely separate is no longer a necessity. Turning to your personal network can be the best way to find the talent you need for a startup. Posting on your Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter can be a great way to find informal recommendations from friends or to even discover that your connections have the skills you’re hunting for. Everyone has at least one talented friend looking for work, so don’t be shy about reaching out.

Employee
If you have a strong team you believe in, chances are you can trust their recommendations. Ask your current employees to put out some feelers within their own communities. If they’re currently in school, recently graduated, or active in the industry, there’s a higher chance of them finding the relevant talent you need. You can also offer incentives for employees depending on your budget: some companies like to offer a $1,000 bonus if an employee finds the next new hire, while others may just treat them to a beer or Starbucks gift card for helping out.

Hiring Services

Recruiters
While there’s not much originality to this route, it can often turn out results. Working with recruiters allows you to focus on the work at hand while they push through the new hire research for you. Instead of starting from scratch, you only meet with the best candidates.

The downfall? Recruiters will never know your startup as well as you do. You can let them know what you’re looking for, but they may skip on someone with potential because they won’t have the same gut feeling you can provide in the job search.

Job Boards
Job boards are a great way to get your open positions out into the world. Websites like Indeed will get you lots of applications, but putting resources into a paid job board can step up the quality of the applicants and make your search less stressful.

Different job boards offer different opportunities. Remote OK is exclusive to remote jobs, Unicorn Hunt specializes in UK startups, while Authentic Jobs (that’s us!) supports the full gambit of web creator jobs in remote and traditional environments.

Test and combine approaches for the best results

There’s always going to be trial and error in the job search. After hiring a few employees, you’ll quickly figure out which channels work best for you. It’s normal to find that certain roles do better with one method of hiring, so don’t hesitate to try out different approaches to see what sticks.

Hiring can be a daunting, time intensive process. But taking the time to build the right team for your startup will be invaluable down the road.


Try Authentic Jobs your next hire.

Nobody Applied to Your Job Posting: What Do You Do Now?

Nobody Applied to Your Job Posting: What Do You Do Now?

Sometimes you put a job description on your website and take it down the next day because you’ve already found the perfect fit. Other times, it’s not so easy. It can be weeks, months, and sometimes even more than a year without finding someone that fits the bill.

If you’ve gone through the motions but haven’t found the right fit, try these 8 tips to reignite the posting.

Dive into your organization

1. Take advantage of skilled individuals
Having a single person running multiple jobs isn’t ideal, but it’s a very realistic side of startup culture. Explore your employees’ skillsets to see if there’s a way you can fill your gap internally, if even temporarily. This will help buy you time to continue your search for the right fit, and not just the fastest hire.

2. Offer training to existing employees
While you may be lucky enough to have an employee who’s fully stacked for two roles, some may be familiar with the role but need some help along the way. Offering training for existing employees that have an interest in the role or some starting skills is one way to fill the gap either temporarily or permanently.

3. Shift roles to open up an “easier-to-hire” role
If you’re looking for a senior product manager, re-evaluate your existing product managers and consider promoting from within. You can still look to hire, but you’d be aiming to fill a more junior position, which can open up the applicants and help you find someone who fits your company with less experience.

If you have a front-end developer that excels at back-end (which you’re hiring for), shift them into the role instead and try to hire a front-end developer to get a fresh batch of potential candidates. Have a developer who can design? Switch your search from a designer to a developer and see how your luck changes.

Broaden your search

4. Re-evaluate your job posting
It’s tempting to really narrow in on what it is you’re looking for in an applicant, but sometimes getting too specific can ruin your chances of finding the right person. If you’re not getting any leads, re-evaluate your job posting. See if you can be more lenient on years of experience, reduce the number of specific applications you’ve listed, or expand the geographic region of your search. You can also try adding key information like salary or benefits to attract more candidates.

5. Consider remote talent
Having someone in office certainly has its benefits, but it’s not the only way to go. Opening up your search to include remote workers means you can now search on a global level. You can start by sticking to a similar time zone to avoid future challenges, but explore the option of a worker who can work from home and call in when needed. This opens up the quantity of applicants you’ll find, and often the quality you can consider as well.

6. Blast your network
If you haven’t done so already, get your job posting in front of anyone and everyone you can. Go old school and use word of mouth to find friends of friends who are looking for work. Explore your connections at similar companies to see if anyone is unhappy and looking for a switch. Get your employees to spread the word to their network and you’ll be reaching more candidates in no time. Don’t be afraid to use all your social networks and reach out to specific friends who tend to be well connected.

Look into third-party services

7. Job boards
Listing your job posting on your website isn’t going to cut it, so most turn to free general posting services. These are great for a high volume of candidates, but it may leave you with no real leads. Try exploring paid job boards to find more serious applicants targeted towards your industry or role.

8. Recruiters
Recruiters can feel like a frivolous expense, but they can be a great option if the well seems to have run dry. Recruiters are connected to several different networks and can take care of some of the dirty work for you to narrow your candidates and find the best leads. You can find recruiters with experience specific to the role you need or ones who take a wider approach to present you with a bigger pool of options.

Keep your head up

Running out of strong candidates can be discouraging, but it doesn’t mean you’ll never find your perfect match. Try revisiting these places to find talent and the tips in this article, and you’ll be surprised by the changes in applicants.


Start you candidate search with Authentic Jobs.

LinkedIn Level Up: 7 Ways to Improve Your Social Presence

LinkedIn Level Up: 7 Ways to Improve Your Social Presence

Over the past decade, it’s become a natural part of the hiring process to look up candidates on LinkedIn. For developers, having a weak or untouched LinkedIn profile can be worse than not being on the platform at all.

Want to make sure you shine when a recruiter or hiring manager lands on your profile? Follow these six steps.

Create a top-notch profile summary

Your profile summary is the first piece of content people see when they visit your profile. Take the time to fill it out properly with all of the information someone needs to know about you on first glance.

When writing your summary, think of the common hiring request, “Tell me a bit about yourself.” In an interview scenario, you would probably touch on your past jobs, specific skillsets, applications used, languages spoken, and career goals. It’s also a good practice to inject a bit of personality to give people an idea of who you are outside of work.

Quantify your job descriptions

Lots of developers make the mistake of providing company names and employment periods and nothing else. You should see this section as an opportunity to share everything that’s already on your resume plus anything that couldn’t fit.

Keep a focus on what you actually accomplished while working at each place, and quantify if whenever possible. Make it explicitly clear what the result of the work was, not just a description of the task. This means replacing bullet points like “Rewrote front-end code” with “Served as lead for code overhaul of website, leading to 75% faster page load.” These metrics prove that you influenced the company’s success instead of clocking in and out each day.

Ask for recommendations

When you’re moving on from a project or workplace, it’s quite common for a manager to offer a letter of recommendation. By the time you end up needing it, it’s usually awkward to reach out since it’s been too long since you worked with them or they’ve also moved on from the company.

Instead, ask for a recommendation on LinkedIn before you move on. These endorsements appear on your public profile, showing future employers that past managers liked you enough to recommend you to others. If possible, ask people to focus on soft skills, which are harder to describe through resumes and job descriptions.

LinkedIn has a handy guide on requesting recommendations. And, don’t feel limited to just managers. Ask team members for kind words as well.

Link to portfolio projects

If your work is available live on websites, link directly to these under your accomplishments section. If you’ve completed projects that aren’t easily linkable, create your own portfolio website or use a platform like Slideshare to showcase your work. This is also a great place to include hackathon and personal projects, if you have any of those.

Including samples of your work on your profile is a great way to attract the right contacts based on your capabilities. It can weed out offers from industries you’re not interested in or help narrow in on the ones you are.

Be sure to ask permission from past employers to avoid posting anything confidential.

Don’t underestimate volunteer work

As a developer, you probably have friends and family asking for favors all the time. While it’s nice to be able to say ‘no’, consider using these opportunities as a way to build the volunteer section of your LinkedIn profile.

You don’t have to be doing development work for charities to volunteer your time. Revamping your friend’s business website or contributing to an open source project are just a few examples of work that can fall into this volunteer category without long-term commitments.

Splurge for a professional photo

If you’re a developer, chances are you know someone who has a DSLR handy. Utilize your connections or do a quick online search and find someone who can give you a headshot that captures your personality in a professional way. Whether it’s a conscious decision or not, seeing a high-quality photo gives the impression that you’re more professional, experienced, and even qualified for a particular job.

Better yet, use your profile photo as an opportunity to showcase your ability by creating a cartoon version of yourself or showing off web design trends in a smart way. Get creative and use it as another opportunity for your profile to shine.

Optimize for search engines

Using keywords wisely throughout your LinkedIn profile can help you be easily found through Google and internal search. Terms like “Austin front-end developer” or “javascript web developer” are two examples of keywords that narrow in on a tactical level.

Keep these in mind as you build your profile. Mention them in your biography, past jobs, volunteer section, skills, hobbies, and anywhere else you can squeeze them in. Once you feel you’ve completed your LinkedIn makeover, revisit all text and evaluate your keyword inclusion.

Also, get your connections to endorse you for skills relevant to these keywords by endorsing them first. This sends a notification suggesting they reciprocate the nicety. The more endorsements you get, the more chances you have of ranking for those skills.

Your profile is never “complete”

Taking these steps to improve your LinkedIn profile is a great way to step up your game, but it doesn’t mean you’ve crossed a finish line.

You should be jumping on LinkedIn at least three times a week to connect with familiar faces and engage in industry groups. Take the time once a month to revisit your profile and see if anything needs updating or if any links need replacing.

Consider your profile a work in progress, and always tweak it whether you’re looking for work or not. This guarantees that recruiters and future managers stumbling on your profile will be impressed with what they find.


What will your next opportunity be? Find it on Authentic Jobs.

Your Guide to Non-Awkward Networking

Your Guide to Non-Awkward Networking

Everyone dreads them: the cringe-worthy networking events. You’re never quite in the mood for it, and it’s always (unfortunately) just what you expected.

But networking is critical to the job search—a recent survey showed 85% of jobs are filled by networking efforts.

Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to network without attending events that make you want to crawl under the table. Below are six options for designers and developers to grow their communities.

Engage with your peers

The more you engage with your peers, the more your network grows. This can include current co-workers, casual acquaintances from university, or new friends you make in the industry. Connect with them on different channels to make it easier to re-engage regularly. Follow them on Twitter, add them on AngelList, and connect with them on LinkedIn. And don’t be afraid to ask for their personal contact information to stay in touch.

Spending time with peers is a win-win. You can extend your network, and they get a chance to expand theirs. And who knows – your peer may come across a contact or a job opening that may not be right for them, but they’d be willing to put in a good word to get your foot in the door.

Connect regularly with mentors

We’re all familiar with the expression “time flies”, and there’s certainly truth behind it. It can feel like just yesterday you went for lunch with a mentor, but in reality, you’re long overdue to reconnect.

If you’re thinking of changing jobs, now is a good time to reach out. Mentors are often well-connected in a different way, and they can act as the bridge between you and your dream job by introducing you to their connections or recommending different skills to level up.

Every time you see your mentor, show them how eager you are to learn and the steps you’ve taken to grow since last speaking. Growing this relationship and a solid reputation will go a long way when their CEO buddies are looking to hire.

Not sure where to find a mentor? The best way is to let the relationship develop naturally. Try reaching out to a teacher you really enjoyed or someone in a career position you’d like to have one day.

Attend industry events

No, not awkward networking events. Keep your eye out for local happenings that relate to your industry. Meetup and Startup Grind are a great place to start. Poke around Twitter, agency websites, or coworking spaces to make sure you’re not stuck hearing about events after they happen.

Participating in conferences, hackathons, and workshops are another great way to meet a targeted group of individuals without the uncomfortable atmosphere of “we’re supposed to be networking right now.” You’ll get to know leaders and peers in your industry, discover new roles you never knew existed, and even learn a thing or two.

Make sure you take the time to trade contact information, so you can connect on different platforms once the event ends. The great thing about industry events is it’s not limited to new graduates or interns. You’ll find yourself connecting with designers, developers, managers, or even executives who can help you get a seat at the table.

Join online communities

Joining online communities allows you to connect with influencers on a global level, and discover new opportunities you didn’t know existed. As a designer or developer, the world of freelance and remote working provides endless options for employment.

Finding industry groups on LinkedIn, Reddit, Slack, Facebook, or other online forums is a way to engage with potential employers and peers on a daily basis. Explore Dribbble, Hacker News, and Twitter for new opportunities to shine. Don’t be afraid to engage in the group; you never know who’s watching and willing to hire.

Reach out for a one-on-one

Networking events can be intimidating with so many people to meet and so little time. Instead, try browsing through industry contacts online and narrow in on a few key people to connect with. Reach out to them with a personalized, thoughtful message and see if they’d be open to meeting for coffee or lunch. Taking the time to reach out on a more personal level can catch their attention more than a handshake in a room full of noise.

Don’t limit yourself to those who are hiring in the community. Connect with anyone who’s of interest: someone who has taken a career path you envy, a fellow graduate who landed a huge opportunity right out of school, or a team manager at the company you admire. Getting one on one develops a more personal relationship and allows you to connect on a deeper level. You can understand their role, what skills they value, and what steps they think you should be taking.

Build your personal brand

Building your personal brand in a visual field is an important element. Pick the social networks that you think you can excel at, and create a personal brand more than a personal profile. Showcase your portfolio work, connect with others in the industry, and let your personality shine through. By having an active online presence, you open up doors without realizing it.

Note that creating a personal brand isn’t a free pass to leave behind other networking opportunities, but it shows future employers your past work, your dedication, and your willingness to put in work. The more you grow your channels, the more you’ll have opportunities knocking.

Getting out there

You could argue one method over another all day long, but when it comes down to it, it’s all about putting yourself out there.

Find ways that feel comfortable for you, and do your best to use them to your advantage. If you’re introverted in a group setting but excel one-on-one, don’t try to force huge events that will make you crumble. Alternatively, if you in front of a large group, try to find industry events that give you those opportunities.

Regardless, networking comes down to connecting with other like-minded individuals. Always be yourself, and you’ll find what works best for you.


Start your job hunt with Authentic Jobs.

Acing Salary Negotiations as a Remote Worker

Acing Salary Negotiations as a Remote Worker

You’ve made it this far. You’ve gotten through the HR screening, the interviews, and the reference checks. The offer is on the table (or coming shortly), and you know this could be a mutually beneficial relationship if you move forward.

Before making any decisions, make sure you’re prepared for proper negotiations with these simple steps.

Know the market rate by location

Conduct your own research to have a strong understanding of the market rate in both your city and your employer’s city. This is important to do so you can come into negotiations balancing your skillsets and the current market rate. If you’re working with a company outside of your country, stick to local currencies and consider how the cost of living differs.

Knowing the market rate in your city gives you an idea of what you would make if you accepted a full-time position locally, while looking into the employer’s city provides the rate they would be paying non-remote workers in the same role.

There are a lot of online resources that allow you to search specific job titles, years of experience, company size, and set regions. Check out Indeed Salary Search, Glassdoor, and Salary.com to get started. For an employer’s perspective, read Buffer’s Medium post on how it calculates remote worker salaries.

If you have time to prepare, it’s beneficial to explore other location rates before going into negotiations. As a remote worker, prospective offers could come from anywhere. Your employer needs to understand a better offer could come around next month if they’re not meeting a global standard—and maybe you would rather hold out for that offer and the higher compensation

Restate your value from a new perspective

At this point, the company has read through your resume and spoken to your references. Ultimately, the recruiter is sold, but the negotiation process is an opportunity to “re-sell” yourself from a new perspective.

Now is a good time to remind both yourself and your potential employer of the value you offer.

Don’t focus on what you’ve achieved in the past because that’s what brought you to the table. Focus on your unique value and how you see yourself impacting the company’s long-term growth. Be confident you can make a difference and show enthusiasm about the opportunity to join the team. Remind them of the guaranteed return on investment of your employment, and your negotiations will start off with a respectful offer.

Provide a strategic range

Do you hit them with a cold, hard number or propose an open range? It’s the ultimate salary negotiation question.
Some candidates prefer a range with their desired salary in the middle, hoping for the offer to “meet them halfway”. Some employment specialists lean towards providing a single number, because potential employers take advantage of the lower end of the range you offer.

But why not let them?

The trick here is how you set your salary range.

When hoping for a $75,000 salary, it’s natural to spit out a range of $70,000 to $80,000. Instead, try setting the bottom of your range to what you actually want. In this example, we would offer a range of $75,000-95,000. By doing this, your employer feels like they’re getting a deal at $75,000, and you walk away with what you wanted. If they meet you halfway, you score some extra cash on top or alternatively, they may offer additional benefits to balance your request.

As long as you keep the “low” number reasonable based off your research and the value you provide, employers rarely come back with a refusal to meet you somewhere within your provided range.

Look at the whole package

Once you’ve conducted research and put your numbers on the table, it’s easy to forget about perks that aren’t reflected in the salary. Keep these in mind throughout your negotiations.

Some questions you can ask yourself include:

  • Is there an opportunity to travel like you’ve always wanted to?
  • Does the company offer flexible hours that fit into your early riser schedule?
  • Does it allow you to manage an incredible team of skilled individuals?
  • Can you work on your own projects on the side, if desired?
  • How will this position help you progress in your career, learn new skills, or gain important experience?

While negotiations focus on financial compromise, keep these other components in mind. When evaluating two options, Company A may provide 20% more compensation but Company B might be the best choice because it fits your lifestyle and makes you excited to work.

Making your decision solely based off the numbers could mean finding yourself searching for something new in no time.

Be willing to walk away

There’s nothing more valuable than knowing your worth.

Negotiations are an opportunity for give and take, but ask yourself whether you’re giving too much, what value exists beyond salary, and if the job is the right step in your career.

These questions are what’s going to help you decide if a company’s final offer is the right decision for you. Sometimes you may just land your dream job, but other times you may be clouded with compliments before realizing someone is taking advantage of you.

See how their offer compares to what you feel you’re worth. If it’s not adding up, speak up, but accept that you may have to walk away.


Want to find a dream remote job? See open opportunities and subscribe to job alerts on Authentic Jobs.