Ate my own dog food, and it wasn’t half bad.

Featured photo

Screenshot of the Authentic Jobs listing for Front-End Developer

I started Authentic Jobs six years ago with the intent of connecting companies and creative professionals to make a better web. Little did I realize the company proper, Authentic Jobs Inc., would be one of those who – not once but several times over – made the connection with creative professionals.

Myles, easily the most pleasant and skilled engineer I’ve ever worked with, was found through a freelance listing I posted to the site. He’s stuck with me for nearly five years now in a part-time role.

Ben, who deftly architected the advanced HTML5/CSS3/jQuery stuff found under the hood of our site, was snatched a couple years ago through another freelance listing. His business partner, Marc, later joined the fray. A few other contractors, also found through freelance listings, have come and gone since.

And I’ve met countless people through email or at conferences who have made connections both ways, as well.

Foodie Feast

Recently I posted a listing for a Front-End Developer (archived copy here). If successful, this will be the company’s first full-time hire. Nerves and all that for me, for sure.

Here are the results from my listing:

  • 71 people applied
  • 27 of those applicants (or 38%) were archived in a folder titled “Not Qualified” due to lack of experience, time zone, etc.
  • 5 (7%) were archived in a folder titled “Contractors”. They were seeking contract or freelance work, rather than full-time work.
  • 31 (44%) were moved to a folder called “Qualified”. Their skills and experience, at the very least, seemed to match what I was looking for.
  • 8 (11%) were placed in a folder called “Shortlist”. These are the candidates I’ve begun following up with.

I was quite pleasantly suprised — very surpised, in fact — at the volume of qualified candidates who applied. Authentic Jobs has always been focused on quality over quantity, and so 71 applications for a single listing is pretty atypical.

I’ll say that again: It’s unlikely you’ll receive as many applications as I did if you post a listing to Authentic Jobs. However, it’s 100% likely you’ll have access to the same great pool of candidates. Whether or not they apply is, of course, another story.

Why They Applied

In retrospect, here’s why I think so many applied: I didn’t restrict myself to local candidates. This easily accounted for the majority of the volume. Only about a dozen of the applicants were here in Florida.

The location for this position was listed as “East Coast, Florida even better”. I don’t have much choice, as Sarasota (and Florida in general) isn’t exactly a hotbed for web talent. But having worked with several remote contractors over the years and having spent some time in the role of remote contractor myself, telecommuting is second nature to me. In fact, it really deserves to be second nature to any company doing business on the web.

Note, however, that I wasn’t looking for anyone in any time zone. Having done the contractor thing for some time now, I’m familiar with trying to schedule calls and coordinate development over multiple time zones. It’s not easy, especially when urgent needs arise. For that reason, I was open to candidates only in the same time zone as myself.

Additionally, I think we’ve got a great product. It’s a product, a brand, an app that people believe in and can rally behind. And it’s one that works well for its customers. Several candidates mentioned having previously gotten jobs or freelance projects from Authentic Jobs.

Takeout

So, what are the takeaways here? Obvious, I’m sure. You’re likely to see a greater number of qualified candidates if you’re willing to consider applications beyond your commuting boundaries. Of course, it isn’t mandatory for finding great candidates through Authentic Jobs or similar services (two of the candidates on my shortlist are here in Florida). But it’s certainly helpful.

Equally important is having a product, a brand, an app that those of us who invest our careers in can be proud of. Ours is not an industry begging for work. There’s no shortage of it right now, and that means we have the fortunate privilege of being a little picky and choosy when it comes to jobs and freelance projects.

Final takeaway? I sure wish I could have used Authentic Crew during my search, as it would have greatly aided in the process of acquiring, filtering, reviewing, and messaging candidates. Soon, Cameron. Soon.

–Cameron Moll, Founder

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