Accidental recruiting on Medium

How I found our newest engineer on an airplane.

I was flying back to NYC from our semiannual tech summit where one of the hot topics was resourcing and, in particular, our need for talented front-end engineers. At the same time, I was wracking my brain on a project, trying to identify all the potential states for one of our Web apps.

I decided to take a break and catch up on some reading when I came across a piece on Medium titled The Nine States of Design. Thoughtful, relevant, and written with a dash of humor—that’s how I’d describe it. Bonus: it helped me think through the aforementioned challenge, and it showed great respect for the user (be still, my beating heart).

When I discovered the author, Vince Speelman, was a front-end engineer with UX chops, my heart beat a little quicker. I did some online stalking—I still marvel at surfing in the clouds—and the results were promising. I shot him an email asking if he was interested in the possibilty of joining TED. He responded a few minutes later, and before my plane touched down at JFK, we’d arranged a phone call.

I didn’t get the sense that Vince posted his piece in order to land a gig, but the quailty of his insights and willingness to share them freely is why I connected with him. Everything fell into place after that initial phone call, and I’m thrilled that Vince will be joining our Tech Team as a front-end engineer in March.


Lessons

Be generous with your knowledge. Good things can happen. And if you’re hiring, don’t just look for good profiles—look for good thinking.