Last week, we launched Rooftop Slushie 2.0 on Product Hunt with the addition of our newest referral feature. (For those who don't know, Product Hunt is basically the billboard for tech products).
And guess what.. we landed at #3 Product of the Day! 🙊
We are thrilled at the milestone; but also realized that despite referrals being a major feature of our product, no detailed explanation is provided on the site. So we've put together this post to explain what it does, how it works, and how it all started in the first place - from our own customers.
What is Rooftop Slushie?
Rooftop Slushie is a platform where verified tech employees at top companies such as Google, Amazon and Facebook give career advice. Recently, we released a referral feature. You can now get employee referrals to tech companies from the employees who works there. Or as our co-founder at Blind, Kyum Kim, puts it more elaborately:
“Rooftop Slushie is an open job referrals platform built to extend the access of referrals that only used to happen within closed professional networks. It also enables each employee to act as a recruiting channel for the companies, scaling the reach dramatically.”
How The Referral Works
- Mention your background & job ID
- Upload your resume
- Make a small payment to referrer
- Wait for confirmation email from desired company*
*Google Example: Users receive an email with a link through which you can apply upto three positions on the Google job portal. In most cases, the application will be reviewed by a recruiter in a couple of weeks.
(Please note certain companies such as Airbnb do not send confirmation emails; our team plans to release a ‘proof-of-referral’ feature soon).
How It Started
Rooftop Slushie was originally designed to have credible sources (verified tech employees) give advice on interview prep, resume, and offer evaluation. We also had a ‘Miscellaneous’ category, where users could ask questions that did not quite fit in the aforementioned categories.
What's interesting is that users started using this ‘Miscellaneous’ category to ask people for referrals. This was something we had not anticipated: they were using our product to solve problems other than what we’d planned for.
Problem in Tech Recruiting
One fundamental flaw in today’s tech hiring process is that many recruiters are not technical. Recruiters lack the skills to accurately judge whether a candidate is interesting from a technical background, and they look for prestigious schools and companies in a resume instead:
—> Link to the full answer over here
This sentiment seems to resonate on a survey we ran last week on Blind, the anonymous workplace community with 3.2 million professionals.
Out of the 1,870 tech employees polled, only 4.3% think recruiters are the best at assessing an employee’s ability.
According to TechRepublic, “Some companies are still placing pedigree over aptitude, which is unconducive to today's hiring market.” This New Yorker article also talks about how the broken hiring process exacerbates Silicon Valley’s diversity problem.
We decided to leverage employees at large tech companies to facilitate the screening process.
- Refer candidates with great technical skill
Software engineers recognize good software engineers. Product managers recognize good product managers.
- Compensate employees to keep it sustainable
You may notice most of these referrals happen on our site for $20~50. This is a relatively a small sum for referees who earn six-figure salaries at their day job - people are pretty much doing this out of good will.
- If you didn't get a referral, it didn't happen
We offer a full refund in the case a referree does not offer a referral. Please reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your inquiry!
- How can you refer someone you don't know?
We found out that your relationship with referrer does not matter for large tech companies.
Since the new 'referral' launch in January 2020, we have:
- Facilitated 1000+ referrals
- Increased chance of interviews
We ran a survey to all users who have used the referral feature. 94% responded they got referrals, 37% said this led to interviews (compared with the 2% without referrals).
- Received encouraging mails from our customers
We are constantly looking for ways to improve - for example, we plan to release a 'proof of referral' verification process soon to ensure a stronger product.
Please do note that referrals do not guarantee jobs. We'd be happy to conveniently connect job seekers to tech employees and get your foot in the door. However, at the end of the day, companies need to lead the change to make the interview process efficient for everyone.