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Alex Hillman

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A Better Job Board

23 Nov 2010
by Alex Hillman

There’s a handful of great creative industry job boards that aren’t specific to Philadelphia, and the ones that are here tend to be relatively underused or mis-populated. At the same time, Indy Hall has been decidedly pinned as a “source for talent”, while we actively avoid putting ourselves in the middle of the recruiting pipeline and encourage those hiring to come participate in Indy Hall to find the talented folks themselves.

This isn’t scalable or maintainable, so I wanted to share our goals for “something better”.

The primary consideration in the solution we’d use and support is putting the people at the center, not the jobs. That’s core to our mission, and so it is important that it’s core to everything we do.

What that turns into is that the “job board” needs to work in a way where it facilitates job exchange, not just passive job listing and grabbing. It needs to become a place where people, ideally members instead of administrators of the board, play an active part in helping share job opportunities & talent availability.

Having run a coworking space for 3+ years and being a member of this community for many more, I’ve seen where jobs really come from: relationships. Indy Hall is fundamentally designed to allow for the creation of relationships – even lightweight casual ones – in the workplace. This is uniquely attractive to people because they don’t have to try to make friends WHILE working…instead you end up with a higher chance of working with friends (or at least helping your friends work). It’s an inverted workplace construct that truly increases the quality of life during any given project or term of employment, and therefore creates longer lasting and more valuable working engagements.

Those who’ve built or observed many new job boards notice a “chicken and egg” problem of charging for a job board that isn’t well populated. I actually think that is the much less interesting problem with almost ALL job boards, and how I’m motivated to help build a better one with lessons learned observing and participating in work exchange at Indy Hall.

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Alex Hillman I am always thinking about the intersection of people, relationships, trust and business. I founded Indy Hall in 2006, making us one of oldest fully independent coworking communities in the world. This site is packed with the lessons and examples I’ve learned along the way. You can find me on Twitter, too! 🐦 Say hi.