Everyone is hiring Javascript devs, no one wants a strategist

What do profile tags and saved searches on Hire my Friend tell us about startup hiring?

Last week we passed some important vanity metric milestones on Hire my Friend - over 1000 companies have applied for access, and we now have over 12,000 candidate profiles.

We thought this would be a good time to have a look over our data, and see where we are doing a good job of matching potential job seekers with amazing companies, and where the gaps are. 

We’re using these insights to help improve our targeting of new candidates, and our customer experience for existing candidates and companies.

In doing so, we realised we’d created some interesting data, that it would be fun to share with everyone else. 

Below we’ve pulled out some of the high level insights around what our startup companies are looking for, and what our candidates can do. We’d love your feedback on this - tweet us @hiremyfriend

Methodology - Comparing company saved searches and candidate profile tags

Matching potential candidates with companies is our core competence at Hire my Friend. There are many different ways we try to make those matches occur, (and we have lots more coming!) but at the heart of the experience is a company performing a search, and if they are performing it regularly, saving that search in their account.

Above: the saved search interface

On the candidate side, we have a simple ‘tags’ field, where we encourage candidates to add three (or more) tags that they think describe their skills.

Above: tags on a profile - hire this person here!

One simple way to explore how well balanced our marketplace is would be to compare these two types of data. There are some important caveats to this approach outlined below, but before we get to that, to give you a sense of the data set, these are the raw numbers we’re dealing with: 

  • Total candidates - 12,399
  • Total companies - 1034 applied, 304 approved
  • Total tags - 22,120
  • Total unique tags - 5,536
  • Total saved searches - 4,447
  • Total unique saved searches - 824

Disclaimer - this is imperfect data

  • saved searches is a proxy for what companies are actually looking for, as not all companies use saved searches
  • Our search actually covers all fields in the candidate profiles, so tags are a subset - for example if you say ‘I am a designer’ you’ll appear in a search for ‘designer’ even if you don’t have that as a tag
  • Tags are a bit unstructured right now. There are many overlapping terms that we need to work harder at reducing, and some people use tags in a crazy way 
  • Our analysis looks only at tags where there are more than 9 instances of that tag in order to cut out the long tail

The results!

At a high level, some conclusions we can infer are:

  • Core web stack development skills are in high demand - HTML, CSS, Ruby, Python
  • Javascript devs are in very high demand, especially Angular.js devs
  • Our startup companies are mostly hiring technical and design talent
  • Our candidate pool is slightly too skewed to designers and marketers
  • Our companies aren’t interested in more traditional design and marketing skills

Below we’ve pulled out four interesting ‘top ten’ reports looking at this matching issue from different perspectives. We’ve included links to the actual data that we’ve pulled out of our application database using our analysis tool Wrangler


Top ten saved searches on Hire my Friend

  1. Javascript
  2. PHP
  3. CSS
  4. Ruby
  5. Design
  6. UX
  7. iOS
  8. HTML
  9. HTML5
  10. Python

A special mention for ‘Marketing’ which squeaks in at number 12!

See the actual data in this report

Analysis: we have companies that are generally hiring developers with web skills, and some designers. The core web stack is in high demand, along with iOS. Interestingly, although there are a high volume of companies looking for iOS devs, Android is one of the most undersubcribed terms (see below). PHP is also very much in demand, although it is not favoured by candidates (see below).


Top ten candidate profile tags on Hire my Friend

  1. UX
  2. Javascript
  3. Design
  4. CSS
  5. HTML
  6. Marketing
  7. PHP
  8. UI
  9. Ruby
  10. Strategy

See the actual data in this report

Analysis - our candidates broadly match our companies needs, although we are over indexed on design and marketing / business people. Strategy is the stand out tag here that doesn’t appear, or doesn’t have a proxy, in what companies are looking for. Startups don’t do strategy!


Top ten most oversubscribed skills that companies aren’t interested in on Hire my Friend

  1. Startup
  2. Editing
  3. Print
  4. Photography
  5. Adobe
  6. Technology
  7. Socialmedia
  8. Art
  9. Operations
  10. Branding

See the actual data in this report

Analysis - we have too many traditional designers, specialising in print techniques. Also, ‘startup’ is not a skill. This may be a failure on our part to communicate what the tags are for, as candidates may be adding this because they want to work in a startup. 


Top ten most undersubscribed skills that companies would like to hire for on Hire my Friend

  1. Angular
  2. Angular.js
  3. Grunt
  4. Android
  5. BDD
  6. Developer
  7. Backend
  8. Backbone
  9. Django
  10. Designer

See the actual data in this report

Analysis - javascript (angular, grunt, backbone) and back end (backend, django) devs are in high demand, especially Angular.js devs.  Interesting that ‘designer’ and ‘developer’ are in here too, but that’s probably an anomaly, as we do ask candidates to indicate if they are a designer, developer etc in a separate field, which is indexed by the search.  


What’s next?

These top ten lists are a crude analysis tool, we realise. 

Going forward we’ll be working on our analysis methodology and creating a more rigorous framework for spotting the gaps in our candidate pool. 

Beyond that, we’ll be looking at ways to act on this data, and get more of the right matches happening between our amazing candidates and companies. 


If you are looking for your next gig at a a startup, and you have some of the in demand skills listed here, we really recommend you create a profile on Hire my Friend! And if you are hiring these skills, you should apply for access for your company.