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Recruiting For Success: The Right Questions & Job Req

A handful of recruiting-related blog posts were published over the weekend; and whether you are hiring or interviewing, these are important reads.

First, in "Recruiting High Impact Employees", Peter Flint of Polaris Ventures gives a list of questions to ask when hiring. Before joining Polaris, Peter spent several years at Ramsey Beirne Associates and is an expert in building senior management teams for early stage venture backed companies. Peter provides a detailed check list of important questions (attention job seekers: prepare for these!). Here are a few: - Strengths and Weaknesses analysis: Delve deep and follow up any generalized comments by asking for examples. Also get specific examples of failures and successes. Everyone wants to give you just the strengths. - If the candidate is being considered for a more senior role than he has played before, what challenges will he/she face? - Ability to hire well: Get examples. full list here

From a job seekers' and perspective, both Jason Antman and provide advice on crafting job reqs to specifically attract engineers. The two most interesting takeaways:

1. Engineers should write the technical specs... and be very specific about critical skills and nice-to-haves. 2. Pay as much attention to the non-technical specs as the technical. Describe the job, the team and work environment, etc.

According to both bloggers, the majority of engineering ads fail these two bullets.

Great Web 2.0 Jobs: Widgetbox is Hiring Developers & Thought Leaders

Some of my most commented / read blog posts are about finding great start up jobs. The direct responses I've received through Facebook, LinkedIn and email have been really eye-opening: - Landing a great start up job - Hiring Moves Web 2.0

I have a selfish update to add on the start-up hiring front: Widgetbox is hiring... and we have some very exciting, big roles! We are looking for a few things - but most importantly smart, web-savvy thought leaders:

JAVA and DMBS developers Leaders in web technologies used in social networking and web 2.0 sites. Experts in Java, Servlets, and XML.

A young, web 2.0 whiz Someone who lives on the web, is a big thinker and understands how users interact on social networks, blogs, and widgets.

Widgetbox network overview - 70,000 unique widgets in our widget gallery - Those widgets sit on over 850,000 unique websites - Touching ~40,000,000 monthly unique users

Collectively, these stats make us the web's largest widget gallery and Quantcast's 41st largest network... giving you an opportunity to touch millions of users each day through thousands of sites, widgets and brands.

If you are interested in learning more about Widgetbox or joining the team, you can contact me directly (rspoon at or visiting Widgetbox's Jobs page. The best way to impress is by designing a widget, loading it onto Widgetbox and sending the URL along with your resume!

Landing a Great Start Up Job: The Best Job Resources

A great thread has been growing on Hacker News about the best place to find start up jobs. I've include the mentioned websites at the bottom of the post - but wanted to first give a couple higher level comments:

1. Read and participate on blogs. Fred Wilson commonly posts about openings in his portfolio and did so again yesterday. Reading his blog (and others) can inform you of opportunities - participating on his blog (comments, linkbacks, etc) can help you build credibilty. Secondly, most bloggers make their contact information available. My email is on the left side of every post and I, for instance, have job opportunities available. Read and be aggressive.

2. Most major blogs (like TechCrunch, GigaOm, etc) have job boards and have company indexes. Browse each. If a company is particularly attractive, visit their site and their job board.

3. Classifieds sites work - particularly if you live in the Bay Area. Craigslist and Kijiji have tons of listings. Search regularly and set up rss alerts. You can also be more proactive and post your resume.

4. Job search engines / aggregators work. Try,,, and so on.

5. Network. Network. Network. Upcoming and other sites list start up events and conferences. Attend, engage and carry business cards.

6. Don't be deterred because a company has no job openings. If you're smart and are a great fit, they'll take you. You can never have an excess of excellent people (at least that's my view).

Best resources to find start up jobs (from Hacker News):

- TechCrunch's CrunchbBoard - CrunchBase - Hacker News Jobs - Sequoia Portfolio Jobs - KPCB Portfolio Jobs - HotStartupJobs - - - Go Big Network - - -