We’re hiring! Join the Recurse Center as a Career Facilitator

James J. Porter

Update: As of August 30th, 2021, we have hired one Career Facilitator, but are still hiring another person for this role! Read on and apply if you think you would be a good fit.

We’re hiring a Career Facilitator to help run our recruiting business. This involves supporting members of our community in their careers and cultivating relationships with partner companies, with lots of room to help rethink and improve how we approach our work. This role offers a chance to help grow a unique company, fulfilling work, a supportive environment with collaborative colleagues, and good work-life balance and benefits.

Read on to learn more about RC and this job, and to find out how to apply. If you’re not sure whether you’re qualified, please do apply or email us at ops@recurse.com to ask. We’re a small team seeking a good fit, and we think qualities like good judgment and emotional intelligence are more important than the titles of your past jobs. We would much rather hear from you than not!

A unique business and community

RC is a unique institution. We run a free and self-directed programming retreat, a community of over 2,000 alums, and a recruiting agency, all of which are integrated and support each other. Our revenue comes from recruiting fees paid by our partner companies when they hire alumni we refer to them.

Until 2020, we ran our retreats in our space in Brooklyn, New York, and we started operating online when the pandemic struck. Once it’s safe to re-open our space, we plan to try a hybrid model, in which Recursers can choose to attend online or in-person. Like many things about RC, this is an experiment—we don’t know what the best approach is, or if it will succeed, but we’re excited to try it out and learn along the way.

Our views on education are unorthodox. We reject the overt and subtle coercion of school and believe people should get to decide what they learn and why and how they learn it. We don’t have grades, teachers, or any kind of curriculum. Instead, we provide time, space, resources, and a supportive community in which to grow.

Our approach to recruiting is similarly unconventional. While many recruiting agencies operate on a “quantity over quality” basis by referring any candidate they can find to as many jobs as possible, RC is different. We work hard to understand what Recursers and our partner companies are looking for, and only make introductions where we think it genuinely makes sense for both parties, after confirming mutual interest. We also stick with companies and Recursers throughout the interview process, checking in and offering support.

We’re in this for the long haul. We’ve been running RC for ten years, iterating and improving on everything we do, and we’re still far from having it all figured out. As part of a small team, you’ll play an important role in helping us improve further.

Fulfilling work

By helping to run, improve, and grow RC, you can have a huge impact on our small but steadily growing community. Your work at RC may not change the world, but it will change individual people’s lives.

People genuinely love RC. Alums routinely tell us RC was one of or even the most impactful, meaningful, productive, or transformative period of their lives. We’ve helped people find their first programming jobs, meet lifelong friends and colleagues, and discover what they really want out of their lives and careers. Alums have told us RC changed their approach to programming, their beliefs about education, and even how they think about themselves and relate to other people.

Our community loves RC so much that they collectively donated over $300,000 to help us make it through the pandemic. When our business did better than expected and it turned out we didn’t need the money for operational expenses, we used it to restart our grants program, through which we’ve given out $1.7 million since launching it in 2012. All of this money has gone directly to Recursers who are women, trans, nonbinary, Black, Latinx, and/or Native American to pay for living expenses during their time at RC.

As a Career Facilitator, you’ll primarily be focused on our recruiting business, including:

  • Helping Recursers with all aspects of their job searches, whether they just finished their batch or came to RC years ago. This involves meeting with them to learn more about their goals and backgrounds, editing their resumes and professional communications, introducing them to our partner companies, helping them move through interviews and negotiate offers, and giving them feedback and moral support.
  • Supporting Recursers with their careers more generally. You’ll help them figure out their goals, make their jobs work better for them, negotiate for promotions and raises, and resolve conflicts at work.
  • Building and maintaining relationships with our partner companies. This involves learning about their hiring needs, finding Recursers for their open roles, organizing hiring events, on-boarding new companies, and soliciting and integrating feedback about how RC could better meet their needs.
  • Improving our process for doing all of the above. We have well-developed processes and software for doing recruiting work, but they’re far from perfect. After onboarding (we wouldn’t expect anyone to be able to do this from day one!), you’ll help us interrogate why we do things the way we do, then come up with and implement improvements.

Although the primary focus of this job is recruiting, we view RC as an integrated whole, and all of us sometimes jump in and help with other parts of our business. Working at RC requires being adaptable and willing to wear different hats as our organizational needs change.

For example, Sydney joined RC as a Career Facilitator three years ago and now splits her time between recruiting and product research for RC Together, the virtual space software we built to run RC online during the pandemic.

A collaborative environment with supportive colleagues

We work hard to foster a culture that’s collaborative, trusting, and thoughtful. Here are some things you’ll find working at RC:

  • Clear company-wide goals and the reasoning behind them. You’ll have an understanding of what we’re trying to accomplish together and why.
  • Our belief in self-direction isn’t only for Recursers, it also influences how we approach our own work. At RC, you’ll have the freedom and the responsibility to decide how to structure your time and your projects (with plenty of support).
  • Weekly one-on-ones to give and receive regular feedback and help you work through frustrations or challenges with your work.
  • Complete organizational transparency. You will have access to whatever information about RC you want, up to and including all employee and founder salaries and how much money we have in our bank account.
  • A culture of direct, but kind and constructive feedback. This helps us quickly resolve disagreements and work together more effectively.
  • A writing review stream in our private chat and an accompanying culture of review. We copyedit and review all our writing, from blog posts to tweets.

Good work-life balance and benefits

All of us at RC work hard and care deeply about what we do. At the same time, all of us have lives and loved ones outside of work, and we know you do, too.

We strive to have a culture that supports our employees to do their best work in a sustainable way, so that all of us can contribute effectively over the long run. Here are some of the things you’ll find here to help with this:

  • Full health, vision, and dental insurance. RC covers 100% of the premium for the standard plans for all employees, as well as their partners and families. RC also pays the full premium for basic life insurance.
  • A 401k, with a 3% non-elective contribution from RC. The company contributes 3% on top of your salary to a 401k for you regardless of how much or even if you choose to contribute yourself. RC also covers the annual administration fees.
  • Three months of paid parental leave, which you can take within a year of having or adopting a child.
  • 15 days of vacation (we effectively have unlimited vacation, but we have a number to make sure people actually take it), a 10-day winter holiday (Dec 23 to Jan 1), and nine additional holidays. We also have five days for personal development, which you can use for anything that supports your personal and professional goals and growth.

Many companies have stated policies that aren’t followed in practice, but that’s not the case at RC. For example, RC’s CEO Nick took two months of parental leave when his son was born in 2019, and planned to take the third later in 2020 before the pandemic disrupted his plans.

Downsides and other things to know

No job is perfect, and this one is no exception. Here’s what we think the biggest downsides are:

  • Some of the work is emotionally draining.
  • Some of the work is unglamorous or tedious (we’re a seven-person company, so we all have to do some amount of mopping up, figuratively and sometimes literally).
  • This role also occasionally requires taking calls or responding to emails in the evenings or during weekends. We try to avoid this, but we sometimes need to help Recursers in time-sensitive situations (like negotiating offers with deadlines). Once we re-open our Brooklyn space, we plan to restart hosting regular events for our community in the evenings, and this role requires attending a few of these each month.

A few other things to know, which might be upsides or downsides depending on your perspective:

  • This is a full-time role, and you will eventually need to be able to work on-site at our office in Brooklyn, NYC. For now, some of us work from home and some of us work from the office, but we don’t plan to support remote work indefinitely. If you don’t currently live in New York, you will need to relocate here.
  • RC is a dynamic place — some might say chaotic. You need to be comfortable with some amount of uncertainty to be happy working here.
  • Relatedly, we are small and our success is far from certain. This is exciting or stressful (or both) depending on your perspective.
  • The salary range for this role is $100,000 to $115,000.

What we’re looking for in candidates

  • You’re a clear, effective communicator in writing and verbally, online or in-person.
  • You enjoy interacting with people: you’re empathetic, have a high emotional intelligence (“EQ”), and can handle occasional difficult interactions.
  • You’re intellectually curious.
  • You’re self-directed and collaborative.
  • You’re good at giving and receiving direct feedback.
  • You’re adaptable, and able to go from a goal to a plan for achieving it, then execute on that plan.
  • You’re conscientious and have good judgment: you keep your commitments, do what you say you’re going to, and do it well.
  • You share our core beliefs about education and our business. Dissent and skepticism are great, but if we don’t all agree on enough of the big things we’ll never get anything done.
  • You have career goals we can support. For example, this is not a great job for someone who wants to eventually be managing a team of ten, because RC is unlikely to grow that much anytime soon.

Lastly, there are some things you might think are required for this role but aren’t. You don’t need to have a specific degree (or any degree at all), you don’t need to have worked at a “name brand” company, and you don’t need an existing connection with RC to be a strong candidate.

What to expect from our interview process

Our interview process has three parts: an email, a phone call, and a day of interviews conducted online using Zoom.

Email us

The first step is to email ops@recurse.com with your resume or publicly accessible LinkedIn profile. Please include short answers to the following questions:

  1. What’s the most fascinating thing you’ve learned recently?
  2. What are your career goals for the next few years?
  3. What’s your biggest concern about RC or this job?

None of these are trick questions. Instead, like every part of our process, they’re meant to help us assess how you meet the requirements listed above. Please don’t write more than a few sentences for each answer. Please do use thoughtful, conversational English and proof-read what you write.

Phone screen

We’ll let you know within one week of when you apply whether or not we’d like to proceed with a phone screen, which is the second step of our process. Our phone screens are between 45 and 90 minutes long. This is an opportunity not just for us to learn about you, but for you to learn more about RC and to suss out if this role might be a good fit for you. As such, up to half of our time on the call will be reserved for you to ask us questions.

Interviews

The third and final step of our process is a day of online interviews. These interviews are meant to be as representative as possible of the work you would do at RC. Throughout the course of your interviews you’ll get a chance to meet with every RC employee, as well as a few Recursers, and ask lots of questions.

A few extra things to know

  • If you’re considering applying, you should spend some time reading our about page, blog, and User’s Manual to get a sense of our company and your potential coworkers.
  • Most of the company starts work between 9 and 10am, and leaves between 5 and 6pm.
  • We are happy to sponsor visas when possible. We cannot sponsor H-1Bs, since the soonest someone could start work on a new H-1B is October 2022, which is not feasible for us. We may be able to transfer existing H-1Bs.