This post is 4 years old — please take it with a pinch of salt!
Today we’re really excited to share our latest product with you — HireMyFriend. You can check it out right now, but first I’d like to tell you a little about why we’ve made it.
A couple of months ago a friend came to me with a problem. The startup she worked at was imploding—as they do—and she needed to find a new job. She is a respected designer with a whole bunch of Twitter followers and LinkedIn connections that she could usually reach out to for leads, but in this case couldn’t.
When you’re in a full-time job and need to find new work, it’s really difficult to reach out for help.
“Hey guys, I’m looking for work as a visual designer. I’m London based and can start from Monday”
If you tweeted that you’d get fired! You have to have some tact; unfortunately this usually just means silence. Sneakily emailing your confidants is risky and time consuming; even updating your LinkedIn profile looks suspicious. That network you can usually rely on for favours in a time of need? Gone.
Over the next few months I noticed this recurring trend. My friends who work as freelancers would blissfully tweet out their availability—which I’m more than happy to pass around—whilst my friends in full-time jobs tip-toed around and only revealed their career intentions in hushed whispers.
There would be occasional private messages: “Hey, do you know anyone hiring? Please don’t tweet about it!”, and public tweets saying “My friend is looking for work”, but that seems like a slow & disjointed way of finding opportunities.
The web is revolutionising the way we look for work—and as employers, the way we find talented people to work with—but lots of people are left out of this process.
We want everyone to find a job they love and we want to avoid awkward situations in the job search process. We want to give full-time employees the same freedom to move around that freelancers enjoy. And we want to make job searches social.
At Makeshift, we started prototyping tools to make this a thing of the past, which brings us to today.
Here’s how it works:
Create a profile. It can be as vague or descriptive as you want. We’ll blur out your name and face!
It’s totally anonymous.
Ask some friends for a helping hand. They’ll give you an endorsement and—if you ask nicely—share your profile for you.
You know your friend who just wrote a book that everyone is talking about? Ask her. Or your friend who has a zillion Twitter followers? Ask him! Get people talking!
Recommendations from the right people will get employers excited.
Employers get in touch. This is where you can drop your veil. We’ll filter out the sketchy recruitment agencies, and you can choose who finds out your true identity.
Did your current boss coincidentally get in touch? It’s a small world, but we’ve got you covered — just reject the message and she’ll be none the wiser.
I’m really excited about HireMyFriend. It has already helped place people in great companies, and I’d love for you to try it out.
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Jon Gold is a technologist, musician, and attention activist researching the long-term future of computation at Airbnb, focusing on the intersection of Artificial Intelligence & the creative process. Contact