Using bounties as part of our recruitment process

recruiting

#1

[Context: We’re looking at ways to refresh/update our methods of recruiting]

Opinion: Using only interviews as a method of assessing core contributors limits our ability to really understand the effectiveness and ability of potential candidates (especially in a non-traditional organisation like Status). We should have a more varied method of assessment that includes interviews, work samples, presentations (where appropriate), etc.

Proposal: Utilise bounties more as part of our recruiting process. Where possible, make the first stage of a recruiting proposal be “fulfil a bounty”. This would give us a real understanding of the candidate’s domain expertise in a remote setting, whilst also providing some small financial compensation to the candidate for the time spent. As such, the initial bounty would replace the traditional first interview. Based on the quality of work submitted, the person would be invited to continue.

A hiring process could look like this:

  1. Candidate applies for job.
  2. Candidates are pre-filtered by recruiting team (based on suitability), and successful candidates sent a link to our open bounties.
  3. Candidates submit proposals/fulfil bounties.
  4. The strongest submissions are then invited to meet members of the team for interviews, more assessment.
  5. Hiring decisions are made based on the information gathered from bounties, interviews, other assessments, etc.

Open question - feedback needed:

  • For your role/team, would this have worked when you were hired?
  • As a candidate, would you have liked this type of process?
  • Is it possible to create a bounty for every type of work that Core Contributors do at Status?
  • What are the limitations/challenges of bounties that may prevent this from working?

#2

We have always been doing that for Clojure developers. Did you see that it significantly improves things over other contributors recruitment process?


#3

I believe that contributions on GitHub (or any other platform) are the best way to get involved and also to get a feeling for the vibe when it comes to collaborating with other people.

Using bounties is certainly a good incentive and great for candidates as they at least get compensated. For me as someone who works in open source, I’m really mostly interested in how open minded the person is and how the overall collaborative process goes.

Having that in mind:

  • For your role/team, would this have worked when you were hired?

I believe yes. As a matter of fact, this is what made me getting to the next stage in another interview process I’ve been too. While my technical interview sucked (because my brain froze for unknown reasons), they let me into the next round because of the way I’ve contributed on GitHub to their project. To me this was a sign that they valued the right things.

  • As a candidate, would you have liked this type of process?

As I’ve been in a similar situation - yes.

  • Is it possible to create a bounty for every type of work that Core Contributors do at Status?

Can’t speak for every one here, but at Embark, we have several issues on GitHub already labelled by certain characteristics, like whether they are rather easy or sophisticated. Having “first-timer” issues for that can help as well. Again, I wouldn’t care too much about what the issue itself is about, but more about the collaborative process and how it is to interact with the contributing person.

  • What are the limitations/challenges of bounties that may prevent this from working?

I think in this scenario there’s no real limitation or challenge. It’d compensation vs. no compensation. If someone is truly interested in contributing to the project and maybe even aims for getting a job, that person will very likely do it without any bounty incentive as well (I personally prefer those the most).


#4

@Kingkang has been handling that - Harry can you share your thoughts on whether using bounties has improved the process?


#5

100% agree this helps, not just from a point of view of how well they code but also a good way for candidates to download the app and begin engaging with the community. We’ve noticed that some candidates are good but need a lot of hand holding through this process, small things like this also. Only time it shouldn’t be used is when you have headhunted a known rockstar. They still should download the app but worded very differently. @j12b @julien