Does anything like a "resume book" exist in EA?

post by jlemien · 2022-01-11T13:34:42.808Z · EA · GW · 3 comments

This is a question post.

I've noticed several posts on the EA forum about how hard it can be to get a job. Has anyone created some type of "resume book" for EA? When I do hiring it is much easer to find candidates if I have a 'bench' of potential hires to review rather than sourcing/seeking out new candidates.

This a is a VERY rough idea. A minimum viable product could be a Google Sheet with distinct columns for name, email, interest/cause areas, special skills, geographical restrictions, and link to resume in PDF format. A more advanced version could:

 • be an actual database with a frontend so that anyone at an EA organization with access to this could use it to search for candidates

 • allow hiring managers to select one or more options from a list of keywords (operations, grant writing, python, etc.) and allowing job seekers to tag their resume with said keywords

 • perhaps have type of aging/retiring/culling system so that resumes are have to be actively renewed by the job seeker after a period of time or be automatically retired

 • include a recommender system so that hiring managers receive a notice of any new resumes that match roles at their organization

 • grab data from EA job listings (such as the 80,000 Hours Job Board) and recommend openings to job seekers

Answers

answer by Ines · 2022-01-11T20:02:48.893Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

There is the EA Hub profiles directory, where you can search for people by location, cause area, expertise, and whether they're open to job offers

answer by Aaron Gertler · 2022-01-12T08:51:14.390Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Some organizations maintain lists of people who have either applied to roles there or who might be good candidates for future roles. They often share these lists around when other orgs in their space are hiring. (I only know directly of CEA's list, but when I was recently looking to hire a content person, I got ideas for candidates from staff at many other orgs, often with quick turnaround that made me think they had those names on hand already.)

Typing at the speed of thought, not very confident in any of the below:

This project seems reasonable for someone to try. Obstacles that might come up (none of which seem like compelling reasons not to try):

  1. The usual "this will take a long time" obstacle that goes with any big technical project. Building this well will take hundreds of hours of someone's time, and job seekers will spend hundreds of hours of additional time adding their information to the system (if it ends up large enough to be broadly useful). Maybe the system will help to save even more time for hiring managers, but it seems like it would have to be quite successful to do so.
  2. The categories you've listed don't track the most important thing — someone's actual skill. When candidates are referred from one org to another, it's often in the context of "this person applied for our role and almost made it" or "this person we worked with was impressive, and you should hire them because we don't have a role for them". That's a lot more evidence for reaching out to them than a tag on their resume.
  3. This doesn't seem like it actually makes it easier to get hired. It could make hiring managers' jobs easier (which is valuable), but if anything, it seems like this would increase the # of applicants per position (if orgs find it much easier to source lots of candidates). This is good for the orgs (and the world), but makes each application process more challenging for each applicant.
    1. Put another way, someone whose struggle was "I applied to ten jobs and got no interviews" would now experience "I added my resume to the system and no one ever reached out", which seems even more frustrating.
    2. On the other hand, someone who applied to four jobs and got four interviews might get a lot more reach-outs this way (from jobs they hadn't considered or known about), so this platform's core function might just be "matching the best candidates to jobs more easily", which is a different sort of thing but still good.

I also wonder if there's a way to do this through a platform like LinkedIn that people already update regularly. I'm not familiar with that platform's search capabilities, but if there were some way for people to join an "EA group" on LinkedIn, maybe hiring managers could just filter for people in that group (and then take advantage of all the other LinkedIn filters)?

Another way to get a bunch of info added would be for several orgs to agree to handle their hiring through it — that is, rather than having their own resume collection systems, they'd ask candidates to add their information to the centralized system.

comment by jlemien · 2022-01-12T23:14:52.243Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Regarding using something like an "EA group" on LinkedIn, I like that concept. I think that might be a better idea for a MVP than a Google Sheet. Thanks for mentioning it. I'll let the idea percolate for a while.

Regarding several orgs to agreeing to handle their hiring through a single system, my first thought about hiring was actually somewhat related: having a centralized hiring/recruiting team for multiple large EA orgs. This way, rather than organization A, B, C, and D all employing a recruiter, getting a subscription to a applicant sourcing service, learning/training how to write job descriptions and do interviews, a "shared services" team (part of a traditional HR model) could do these tasks for all member organizations. I'm not highly confident that it would be a net positive, but I am intrigued by the idea and it seems worth exploring. Of course, that would require changes/agreement from multiple large/central orgs to get started, which would be another challenge.

Regarding not making it easier to get hired, my thought is that this would be something that would be "background active." If there are 10 openings a job seeker is interested in, she has to spend effort to seek out (generally reviewing far more than 10) and apply to each one. If she submits information to a system like this (if I have relevant skills) then multiple hiring managers would see the info over the coming weeks with no additional effort from the job seeker. The hiring managers might not contact her if she is not a good fit, so this system might not do any good for job seeker moral. But my hunch (totally untested and unproved) is that there would be more job openings that she would be considered for. (I suspect that part of the source for my hunch is that I personally applied to a role at one organization a while back, and about a month later I got an email from a different organization saying that they had been passed my info and would like to consider me for a role; thus I'm fairly confident that an informal network already exists.)

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