Product reviews - recruiting websites

September 05, 2018reflections

It is not often we do product reviews on the HosPortal blog. Avid readers of the blog will recall our 18 June post that noted we were looking for a React developer so we can rebuild our leading rostering software to make it even better. We tested out a range of recruiting options, including proactive headhunting and a myriad of websites.

For various reasons we had cause to use Seek, LinkedIn, Indeed, JobsActive and AngelList. The websites ranged from pretty good to totally woeful. Here is our reflection on using them.

Where are the best candidates?

In deciding where to advertise, some of the more analytical members of the team here wanted to do a detailed review of perceptions by various techy-types, and read a bunch of reviews. But as a recruiter, the metrics are pretty easy: which one has the most jobs posted? More jobs attracts more candidates to trawl the site. Simple. Seek wins hands down.


AngelList ('where the world meets startups') is for start-up tech types and you would expect the UX standard to be the best, but it is actually the worst: the login process, the navigation, the data entry, the reporting...maybe it is created by a bunch of AngelList interns? What it has going for it is a wide variety of international candidates wanting project and part-time work. Unfortunately, our needs are very much Sydney-based full-timers.


Because it is too easy to leave the 'I am interested in work opportunities' option to be switched on, many people here are not actually in the market. So as soon as they get a call or an email their price goes up. We had one good candidate ask for a salary, when we know that they ultimately got a job elsewhere at 30% less. We ended up hiring a better candidate at about half his asking rate.

Jobs Active

A great initiative set up by the Australian Federal Government to improve job searching ( Need we say any more about its value to find dynamic developers?

Indeed and Seek

Both of these are not bad. But there is a contrast between what might work for attracting candidates with a cool user interface (which they are OK at), and making it easy for employers to manage candidate lists (less so).

Neither of them have great or easy ways of communicating with candidates. And the process of declining candidates assumes that they are 'unsuitable'. In fact, most of our declined candidates were actually pretty good, just not the one we employed. It would be preferable to have an automated process to say 'thanks for all the time you spent meeting with us and answering our questions. We think you are well qualified and were a good fit (etc.) but we chose someone else.'

The punchline

How did we fill our role? In the end, it was all and none of these. It became well known (through these recruiting sites, our blog, our friends and family) that we had a role to fill. After running the campaign for 6-7 weeks (and, coincidentally, after we'd offered the role to another great candidate) we got approached directly by someone who loved what we were doing. And we hired him. More in later blog posts.

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