How Not to Recruit
Friday, Sep 23, 2011
Shortly after leaving Facebook last year, I got approached by a number of companies looking for a director of product or user experience. Joining up with another outfit right away was the last thing on my mind but this startup was being led by an old co-worker of mine, was well-funded, and was working on something I was interested in. Moreover, they'd been looking for the right design lead for a long time, and one of the founders confided in me:
We've spent almost a full year sitting around here asking ourselves "what can we do to attract someone like Kevin Fox?" Seriously.
I told them I was very flattered, but wasn't looking for a new gig, but would be happy to come in to the office and give them feedback on what they've got. Their product was ambitious (and in much need of UX help), but I had my own ideas of what I wanted to be doing and this wasn't something I was interested in jumping in to. They explained that they had a very generous referral program and they asked me if there was anyone else I knew who would be a strong candidate. I gave them two names of people who I knew were happy with their current jobs but who's skill sets and design sensibilities would be a good fit for the project. I didn't think much more about the company until about 6 weeks later when one of the people I referred, let's call them 'John Smith', IMs me:
So I've been talking with [startup]. They told me they've spent several months sitting around asking themselves, "What can we do to attract someone like [John Smith]. Seriously." It was really flattering.
Who knows how many times they used the line, and maybe they meant it every time, but suddenly I felt like the company was a sharp well-dressed guy hitting on everyone in the bar, telling each person in sequence how they're the prettiest girl in the room. Ick.
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Hi, I'm Kevin Fox.
I've been blogging at since 1998.
I can be reached at .

I also have a resume.


I'm co-founder in
a fantastic startup fulfilling the promise of the Internet of Things.

The Imp is a computer and wi-fi connection smaller and cheaper than a memory card.

Find out more.

We're also hiring.


I post most frequently on Twitter as @kfury and on Google Plus.


I've led design at Mozilla Labs, designed Gmail 1.0, Google Reader 2.0, FriendFeed, and a few special projects at Facebook.

©2012 Kevin Fox