Update: I’ve changed my tune and am sold on the 37 Signals board.
Last month, we needed to hire some good Ruby developers. In the past, we’ve listed our job postings free on Craigslist and Rubynow, and we’ve always gotten dozens of responses. Moreover, we’ve hired really great people that way. But Rubynow began charging $100 per ad a few months ago ($200 for premium listings), which led me to start looking around at other job posting sites, to make sure we’re getting the best exposure for our investment.
There are about nine sites that seem to hover in the collective conscious of the Ruby community as Good Places to Look for Jobs. I could spend upwards of $1,500 posting on each of these sites, hoping that my dream developer will read one of them.
The trouble is, I don’t want to spend $1,500. That’s outrageous. I want to post on one board, pay a reasonable sum, and get a bunch of applications from people I like.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to know which board that would be.
With most of the boards, there’s literally no “Why you should post here” intro text. Most of them give you a field for your credit card number and your job posting and that’s it. There’s no way to know how many people are reading any of these boards. They could be getting 10 pageviews a day, for all I know. Even the ones that do try to sell themselves just offer fuzzy marketing concepts like “we only attract the best of the best,” or “because we charge money for our postings, yours won’t get lost in noise.” Whatevs.
This is an easy problem to solve: job boards, tell me how many people look at your ads each month. I want numbers. Who gets the most traffic? Github? 37Signals? Rubynow? Whoever gets the most eyeballs, that’s where I want to put my ad.
So what did I do?
Well, at first, I looked at it from the job seeker’s point of view. I prefer the design and layout of the Github board, and I feel like their search is better designed than the others. So I paid $300 to post there. I used the same ad copy I’ve used in the past, because it’s always yielded fantastic results.
It was pretty dismal. In the end, I think I got fewer than 10 responses from the Github posting. The ad was viewed about 500 times over a month.
Does that seem like it’s worth $300? Not to me. Especially because none of the responses yielded someone I want to hire.
(Note: I contacted the Github job boards and told them I was unhappy with the results and they promptly and courteously refunded my money.)
After the Github ad languished in a dusty corner of the internet for a week, I decided to try my old friend, jobs.rubynow.com. I paid $200, entered my trusty job description, and promptly got deluged with applicants. They weren’t all high quality, but enough of them were, and we found who we were looking for in short order.
Anyone else have advice about the best place to post Ruby jobs?
Update: A customer development dude at Rubynow contacted me about my experience with them. I told him his product rocked and that they ought to tout hard numbers in their marketing materials. He told me they agree and plan to make that change soon.