Ready for some totally new startup advice you’ve never heard before?
It’s brand new. Hot off the presses. Elon Musk, Peter Thiel, Steve Jobs… they’ve never thought of this before.
Ready for it?
Listen to your users.
But as with much of the boring advice of the world, it turns out to be really solid.
Which brings us to the point of this article. Find My Flock is listening, and we’re pivoting our model to fit the desires of our core users: People of underrepresented genders in tech.
What we’ve heard you’re looking for.
1.) An inclusive working environment.
We knew this from the start. The lack thereof is what inspired myself and two friends (who do other stuff now, but who we still love) to launch Find My Flock in the first place.
According to NCWIT, an unsupportive work environment is the #1 reason that women leave tech. According to the Kapor Center, unfairness is the #1 reason underrepresented technologists leave in general.
For those who were unfamiliar, this core belief was the cornerstone of Find My Flock V1. We had a recruiting-company business model. We worked with developers of all genders, but we ONLY worked with companies who were ahead of the curve on diversity and inclusion. Our goal was that every developer we placed felt like they hit a home run in terms of workplace culture.
And it worked! We helped about 15 developers find new jobs at great companies, and had rave reviews.
2.) Human to human support.
We support the heck out of every developer who we submit to an open role, and we do it because we’re humans and they’re humans and every human deserves a cheerleader in this harsh reality we call the tech industry and/or life.
We had no idea at the start how critical this would be in our success.
We did a round of UX feedback sessions in late 2017, and this was consistently repeated as the main enchilada from our fans.
People LOVED that they could talk to us. That our first question was not some kind of, “Why are you justified to exist in this industry?” deal, but “What is your dream job?”. And then we did our darndest to get them that. They loved that we were developers ourselves. That we helped them prepare for interviews. That we could answer big important questions about maternity leave or trans-inclusive healthcare in a private and supportive environment. And ESPECIALLY the confidence coaching to go for a role they felt underqualified for or intimidated by.
Unfortunately, we struggled to scale. Individual support takes time (and rightly so). How to keep up the one-on-one love while also reaching our goal of helping 1,000,000 developers lead better lives by 2027?
We decided to automate all the things that go into finding you a job OTHER than direct human-to-human support.
3.) Transparency about salary and benefits.
In January of 2018, I sent a survey out to our network of developers (1,700 strong, 80% women-identifying). We asked: What did they like about their favorite job-finding services? What did they hate? What mattered to them? What would make the biggest difference?
The number one requested feature, by a long shot, was simple: Transparency about salary and benefits.
Some people want to maximize cash. Some people want to maximize flexibility. Some people need maternity leave, trans-inclusive health care, or visa sponsorship.
And they’re sick of being thrown out of the hiring pipeline for daring to ask about these things.
4.) Reclaiming your time.
The second most requested feature of a job-finding service was filters. Lots of them.
We work every day with women in tech. We hear a lot of stories. They have full-time jobs where many tell us they feel like they have to accomplish 2x as much to get ½ the credit. Most are the primary caregiver in their households. On top of that, they’re trying to maintain a pretty GitHub, win hackathons, complete 6 side projects and do it all on 4 hours of sleep. They’re exhausted.
People of all genders in tech are exhausted.
No one has the energy to open every job ad, parse through an alphabet soup of 18 programming languages, and try and read through the lines about whether the company lets people take vacations.
What are you doing with all this information, and who’s involved?
Armed with these revelations, I decided it was time to revamp my coding skills and build this ability. I went back to a Ruby on Rails coding bootcamp through Le Wagon.
Sonia Montero and I met at the bootcamp. Luckily for us, she’s a former marketer turned talented front-end developer with an eye for style. We decided to work together for our bootcamp final project, an MVP that asked developers to share more information upfront, but then allowed them to quickly filter for jobs by salary, values, and skills.
After getting the MVP online, we brought Jamie D’Andrea, a talented Boulder-local UX researcher and designer who shared our passion for diversifying the industry.
We did 5 in-depth user interviews with senior developers, all underrepresented. Memorable quotes include, “This drop-down search is exhausting,” and “Where is this information going? I don’t want people seeing I searched for this!”
So… it wasn’t great. And we realized that to fix it, we’d need some more senior guidance. So we roped back in our old coding bootcamp instructor, Luca Spagnolo, to help us relaunch with greater security and settings personalization. He brought Guido Caldara and Diana Sotak along from his team for the journey.
What and when is the product launching?
In one sentence our mission remains the same: To land ALL developers their dream jobs.
In one sentence the product will be: A tech dream-job-landing engine, using the easiest and most empowering blend of algorithms, human-to-human support, and genuine love for developers and developer culture.
A more detailed feature list incoming with the next blog!
We’ll do a soft-launch to our network in late June. Sign up here if you want an early invite!
We’re going to let companies post for free to kick us off! If your company would be interested, all they have to do is fill out this 2-minute form.
We’re rebuilding our interface. We’re adjusting our model. But we’re not changing our mission.
You deserve the job of your dreams. You. You do. If you are unhappy at work, let us help you! We got your back and we’ll find you something better.
Love and solidarity,
Kate Catlin, Find My Flock Founder
- *If you like Find My Flock and believe in company transparency, please do 👏 and share it with your friends. Remember, you can clap up to 50 times — it really makes a big difference for our team.***