Sourcing techies through referrals


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Pedro — Co-founder @
Just wanted to drop a small update on Since we first launched our platform, back in March 2014, this is what we've learned:

1- Initially, we launched our platform as a referral-based (only) marketplace for tech jobs. Basically, it worked one-way. People referred someone, that person applied, if that person got hired, the referrer got rewarded. It was simple yet insufficient.

2- We soon realised this was very counter-productive process and clearly not enough. So, we implemented the “apply now” option and gave the referral a different meaning and... This was a key moment!

3- Instead of handling referrals as a talent-spotting function only, we gave them a trust factor. So, when someone applied for a job offer, he/she had to identify 1-3 people they trusted and that could refer them.

4- We kept the “old way” functionality which still got some traction but clearly the “apply now” started building up.

5- Allowing people to apply with referrals allowed us to supply our employers with quality applications only. It worked as if the referrals were kind of a natural filter. We actually tested several regular job boards and the results were daunting: the amount of “crappy” applications we got was just disturbing.

6- This is how Talkdesk hired roughly 30% of their tech team through or how found a couple of great UX specialists and relocated them to Amsterdam.

7- Our own communication is shifting from a referrer-oriented to candidate-oriented one. We just realised that referrers didn’t have a pain and candidate’s were actually clueless when making career decisions.

8- Our product roadmap is directed towards building a platform that tech candidates feel they love to be a part of. We’re not focusing on employers (even though they’re the ones paying the bills) or referrers (even though they play an important role during the hiring process).

Follow our evolution on
Kartik Mandaville — Founder - SpringRole
@pcbo Very interesting. So what happens to candidate who don't have any referrers?
Pedro — Co-founder @
@kar2905 @pcbo every single application is verified - to keep quality standards :)
Diogo Teles — Product Lead
I've earned some money while fixing up an amazing job for a friend of mine using Jobbox, i think they deserve attention and love and for that nothing better than Product Hunt.
@jongold — AI design tools
This is really interesting. When brainstorming revenue models for Hire My Friend we spent a lot of time thinking about referral fees - I really wanted to disrupt the recruitment industry and give the fat cheques that asshole recruiters get back to the candidates & their friends.

Something that people pointed out before we ever implemented it was that we'd built basically an altruistic social network; people were helping their friends out of love rather than money and changing that would really alter the dynamic of the service.

*That said*, this looks great and I'm a bit skint this month - referring a bunch of people now :)

Does anyone know the founders / can we get them in on this thread?
Diogo Teles — Product Lead
@jongold Hi, i think the founder is @pcbo . Lets hope PH to bring him on board so we can continue the discussion.
Eddie Wharton — Data Scientist, Dinner Lab
@jongold Interesting point.

Always fascinating to see how introducing money changes people's incentives when they used to something for another reason. Illustrative study here:
Pedro — Co-founder @
@eriktorenberg didn't realised it before and already followed-up w/ @jongold via twitter :p
Definitely a tool worth-trying. Recruiting on a Startup can be like being on hell - and I'm on hell right now, so I really might request Jobbox help to help me find the right guy.

Portuguese startups will conquer the world. Get ready! :)
Pedro — Co-founder @
@smackingg Thanks André, you're very welcome to give it a try :)
Jaime Jorge — CEO Founder of @Codacy
I know these guys personally and I really like their product. It's proving really useful too.
My experience with it was also pretty smooth, so this is something to bear in mind next time you're hiring talent.
Great people from Portugal too!
Pedro — Co-founder @
@jaimefjorge thanks! Neighbour love feels awesome.
Chase Perkins — CEO, Thoughtly
Definitely an underrated approach to securing solid candidates. @jongold The two aren't always mutually exclusive! It's altruism with bonus points. :-D
Pedro — Co-founder @
@ChaseTheTruth we always mention to our users that what's really important is helping out their friends. But, you should get rewarded for doing it, specially because your referral brings up the application's trust level.

As Joker once said: "If you're good at something, never do it for free".

Employers working w/ us never get shitty or out-of-context applications, referrals act as a natural filter :)
Tom Masiero — GM of LaunchBit
Kind of twist of @YesGraph. @ikirigin similar?
Pedro — Co-founder @
@BlendahTom bit different but around the same topic: extended-network (or crowd) referrals.
Ivan Kirigin — CEO, YesGraph
@BlendahTom We don't focus on monetary rewards. Top Prospect did something like this system. The majority of referrals were self-referrals and an astoundingly low number of referrals were made. @YesGraph focuses on a team of people coming together to make referrals.
Pedro — Co-founder @
@ikirigin YesGraph is a really cool concept! Goes a bit further comparing to the employee referral system. Keep it up.

Self-referrals haven't been the issue so far aka very low % of self-referrals. Our users realise it doesn't really make sense... Lying about your application (by referring yourself) isn't the way to go if you're looking to grab your new position + there's a 1-month guarantee period.

We're really trying to focus on the fact that referrals are important because they act as natural filters + bring trust to the application. For instance, one guy got hired mainly because the referrer is a well-know UX designer and that level of trust + the fact that he did a great referral is what really matters. Plus, he followed up on his friend's application and was 100% available for reference checking. I believe that someone who puts this effort into a referral, should get rewarded.

The reward is important but still not the main drive. We're working on that: our homepage + site copy is going to get a small revamp in the next couple of months.

Quoting Joker: "If you're good at something, never do it for free." :p
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