Using StackOverflow for recruitment


Open Data Services are recruiting - I’ll post about the jobs separately, but I’d be interested to hear if anyone else in the network has used StackOverflow for recruitment. As a regular StackOverflow user, I’m always impressed with how targeted the adverts are, and especially when recruiting developers, it seems to make sense to advertise where working devs are to be found.

Their model is more of a partnership model than a simple advert model, which I’m finding very expensive from the perspective of looking for two developers. If anyone else has used them, it’d be good to hear your thoughts on cost/benefit of using them.

If others are in the same boat as me wrt: feeling it’s too expensive, I’d be happy to have a conversation about if there’d be an opportunity for a CoTech/Stack relationship that’d be mutually beneficial.

Aptivate is also hiring and it’s been slow going. We’ve also recently
decided to move forward with using StackOverflow. As far as I know,
we’ve been offered a few hundred quid discount. It’s damn expensive. I
am definitely on board for exploring cotech discounts at large. Let’s do

Interesting, thanks @decentral1se . @timdavies reckons that Harry (can’t @ tag him as I’m a new user!) is the man to point at Stack for negotiating purposes - if Outlandish would be interested in going in on this?

@decentral1se @robredpath we found all advertising a bit weak - one of the reasons we helped start CoTech - to get a bigger target area for nice people to find out about what we’re up to. We’ve not tried Stack Overflow though, partly because of the expense.

Have you considered outsourcing some of the work to the network? Outlandish has some spare capacity coming up and we work with a bunch of nice freelancers who also have some availability. Obviously, some work is only suitable for internal people and that.

Broadly, if we can all outsource our peaks to the network rather than recruiting to meet peak demand then we should be able to reduce the feast/famine business cycle.

Can I ask what’s preventing you outsourcing work currently?

@robredpath - great surname!

Thanks @harry !

We do routinely consider whether the work that we have on can be outsourced to the network, and as a result we’re currently talking to Mateus at Outlandish about taking on some design work - it’s both a peak that we can’t meet internally, and a skill set that we don’t have internally. We’re hoping to develop that into a long-term relationship for when that kind of work comes along, and as more of it does, we’re keen to share it beyond just Outlandish.

The reason we’re hiring in these cases is that the work that these people will do doesn’t have a peak-and-trough shape, it’s a long pipeline of regular work for clients. They’re also roles that will benefit from learning a lot about the sector that we work in; open data tooling looks a quite different from other web app development. I come from a commercial software dev background and it took me far longer than I was expecting to get my head around the difference, so I’m keen to hire and onboard people into the world of open data as well as our co-op.

Right, Harry, that makes a lot of sense to me.

I think Aptivate has mainly been thinking in terms of a full-time role with a new person getting involved and taking on the responsibility of the general membership. We also work with friendly freelancers when we have some bits and bots that need doing.

Nothing is really stopping us putting this into the network but no one from the network has really come forward to apply for any of the positions. I’ve definitely posted here and sent PMs to people on the ‘looking for jobs’ thread.

There’s no doubt about it - if you need a new member, you need a new member. You can’t outsource the core elements of the business.

RE: hiring from the network - I think posting here is pretty much all you can do here for now.

I was thinking more of outsourcing project roles or elements of projects - we’ve been on both sides of that equation now with various co-ops and it seems to work pretty well.

Maybe we could open up this conversation a little wider

  • Where else do you all advertise your tech/dev roles?
  • and what about freelancers?

I was chatting with Duane Fairsay/ECF about this question, which he raised on their email list after i posted our vacancy there, which I’ll happily feed back to you all about

  • I’m particularly interested in ideas of how to to attract more applications from women and BAME candidates

Cheers all!

I’m particularly interested in ideas of how to to attract more applications from women and BAME candidates

The company culture and wording of the application is more important than where you advertise. Make sure your workplace is inclusive and your job application reflects that. Then advertise in popular places.

Hi everyone!

I spoke to StackOverflow this week about the possibility of joining as CoTech and sharing the account between a number of organisations. The deal is basically that your £5k per year gets you a slot on the metaphorical noticeboard, and access to their candidate database (which is opt-in, and links to people’s StackOverflow profiles). You can create as many company pages as you like, and just rewire the job ad to point to different company pages as the jobs change. Part of the offer is that they’ll help people write their company pages and tweak their job ads, so it’s not just a jobs board.

If others are interested, then this could be a way that it works:

  • Any co-op in the network signs up for a certain number of months’ access, at £416 (+VAT) per month.
  • If we can get to 12 and the timing works out for people, then we go ahead and sign up for a year
  • Given that I doubt any of us know what our recruitment needs in a year are, we’d all go into this with the expectation that months will be swapped around between co-ops to meet individual needs and/or ‘sold’ to co-ops that didn’t go in initially.

How does that sound?

Solid @robredpath!

Here at Aptivate we were feeling a bit under pressure so we just forget on with paying 2.5k for the 6 months but now thinking this would be way better - however, it is not clear if this is an exceptional deal from Stack Overflow? If I understand it right, we get one advertisement slot and then we get unlimited CoTech coop pages and then just point links in the one ad to those pages?

If we can clear this up, we’d definitely be up for trying to back out of our deal (just setup yesterday) and put money into this. Hope that’s clear!

@decentral1se Apologies for not getting back to you on this! We’ve now closed our current round of recruitment but it’s very likely that we’ll be looking again in the next few months. When we do, I’d be very happy to look at paying Aptivate for a month’s use of your spot on the jobs board, if it’s working for you and you’re not using it at the time!

I got the feeling from talking to Stack that it wasn’t an exceptional thing at all - they said they work with companies that have multiple brands all the time, and they were happy for us to arrange things among ourselves. From their point of view, if they can sell extra time to us (collectively), they’d rather do that than not at all.

I wonder if any of the other co-ops who have developers might be interested in taking some of the excess time off Aptivate? I’m assuming in all of this that Aptivate doesn’t need/want to use their one slot on the notice board for the entire 6 months.