The following is a blog post from Paul Allen, CEO, FamilyLink.com, Inc.
We have several open positions at FamilyLink.com, and I’ve decided to blog about them in hopes that it will increase our pool of potential candidates and educate potential candidates on our hiring process–particularly our use of trust networks to vet candidates. If you are interested, or know someone who is, please refer them to our job listings at our corporate web site, or email paul AT familylink.com.
As background, FamilyLink.com is the developer of We’re Related, a top 5 Facebook application, with 37 million users. We also run web sites including WorldVitalRecords.com, WorldHistory.com, and will be launching GenSeek.com and FamilyLink.com in the coming weeks. We also run AdMazing.com, a niche advertising network with a family history focus. And our first iPhone applications will soon be approved for the App Store. We rank in the top 150 of all web properties in overall traffic according to Quantcast, are venture and angel-backed and cash-flow positive. We have nearly 50 employees and full-time contractors, including many that work in our Provo, Utah headquarters, and many that work remotely (California, Colorado, Seattle, overseas.)
For all key positions we try to use our LinkedIn networks. We reach out to 50-200 colleagues we trust and ask, “who do you know that is the best [job title here] you have ever worked with?” Then we actively try to recruit the top candidates that are referred to by our trusted sources. Internally, we like to ask, “Would Google hire this person?” (I mean, if the economy was good) because we are really looking for world-class talent. Like Google, we want to find smart people who get things done.If we don’t get the right referral for a position by pro-actively querying our trust network, then we do accept applications via our corporate site, or through email. But in this case, our policy is to take a “try before you buy” approach — meaning, we will hire the top candidate as a contractor for a short-term project, to see how well they perform and how well they work with our existing team. We think this helps both parties determine if the fit is a good one.We have a number of key positions that we are trying to fill right now, including an HR manager / recruiter, that will increase our ability to hire the rest of the positions more quickly. We already have some good candidates for some of these positions, and are working through the interviewing process, but none of these spots have been filled yet (and some haven’t even been posted to our web site.)
- HR Manager / Recruiter
- Usability Manager
- QA Manager (listed as Software Test Manager on corporate web site)
- Front end / HTML developers
- Product Manager for genealogy properties
- ControllerChief Genealogy Officer
- Content Licensing Managers (4-5 open positions)
- Project Manager / assistant to Chief Social Officer
- Twitter Interns (4-5 full time or part time summer openings)
- Outbound sales consultants
- Business Development / Marketing manager
In the coming weeks, we may be adding these positions to our corporate site, but if the right candidate emerges sooner rather than later, we will definitely jump:
- VP of Online Advertising Sales (should probably be located in NYC or west coast)
- Product managers for social applications/features
- Localization manager (for apps and web sites)
- Online Advertising Sales Managers
- Mobile developers (iPhone, Google Android, other platforms)
- Mobile product manager
- Product manager, WorldHistory.com
- Lead developer for genealogy properties
- Market research / internal survey manager
- User Interface Designer (reporting to current lead designer)
- Affiliate marketing manager (for WorldVitalRecords)
- Content Digitization Manager
If you want to apply for any of these positions, please make sure you have enough endorsements in LinkedIn that we know you are qualified and experienced in the position you are applying for.Treat applying to work at FamilyLink.com the way entrepreneurs are told to treat approaching a venture capitalist. Almost all VCs exclusively look at deals that are recommended to them by people they already trust, including existing portfolio companies. VCs don’t have time to look at thousands of business plans that might be submitted “over the transom.” Likewise, it is so important for us to build a world class team, that we often don’t have time to look at the dozens or hundreds of applicants that we might be able to find from posting job advertisements everywhere or scouring resume databases. What we need is for our trust network to tell us that you are a top candidate for a particular position. If someone we trust vouches for you, then we will put you through a series of interviews, where usually 5 or more of our existing employees meet with you to determine the fit. We have an energetic, fast-paced, innovative culture, and we are on the cutting edge of application development on social networks and mobile platforms. We believe in investing in our people, including providing them with great equipment and sending them to many conferences and industry events for ongoing training and networking.We hope to build a company that becomes one of the great places to work in Utah, with offices and remote employees in other locations as needed. For example, I’m trying to convince one or more of our developers to move to Silicon Valley so we can be closer to our friends at Facebook. I’d like to hire a VP of Ad Sales in New York City or possible San Francisco. We would consider hiring some of our genealogy team members to work in Washington, DC, and possible in 1-2 international locations — yet to be determined.
If you are interested in joining our fast-growing company, please help us find you by tapping into our trust networks and giving us sufficient social proof that you are right for us, that it makes the hiring decision easy. Or if you are an independent contractor or work for a company that could provide some of the services we need through outsourcing rather than hiring, please give us similar social proof from people we trust that we ought to hire your firm rather than fill some of these employee spots. We look forward to hearing from you.