Recurse Center

We’re hiring an operations person

Update 6/30/14: We’ve hired someone for this job. You can read more in our blog post “Welcome Rachel!

We want to hire an operations person. Up until now, everyone we’ve hired has been a programmer and a Hacker School alum. We’ve done many hundreds of programming interviews, but we haven’t interviewed for non-technical roles before, so this is uncharted territory for us. It’s also incredibly important: Whomever we hire for this role will be essential to our continued growth and success.

In much the same way that we think grades and exams are poor proxies for learning, we think many interviews are poor proxies for how people actually work and what companies are actually like. We want our interview process to give you a sense of what it’s like to work with us, and vice versa. Our goal is to have a process that accurately reflects our company.

We also want to clearly explain the expectations for this job and the details of our interview process ahead of time, so there aren’t surprises.

The job

We’re looking for someone to take charge of operations, accounting, and event coordination at Hacker School. This job will entail everything from managing our office space to handling inbound email to planning group alumni events to working with our lawyers and accountants. It will also entail working closely with the entire company (all eight of us!). Since we are a small team, everyone has significant responsibility and helps define and determine our future growth and success.

Who we’re looking for

We’re looking for someone who writes well, exercises good judgement, is extremely effective, and is energized by being around other people.

What we offer

  • Meaningful work, with a huge effect on people’s lives. To brag briefly: We’ve lost track of the number of alumni who have told us we changed their lives.
  • A friendly and intellectual atmosphere, and a tight-knit and supportive team of eight coworkers.
  • A warm and welcoming office in SoHo (Broadway and Grand — we’re near lots of good food and transit).
  • Potential for growth: If things go well, you will be COO.
  • A great health insurance plan. We have UnitedHealthCare Oxford Freedom and Hacker School pays 100% of the premium.
  • 15 days of vacation (we effectively have unlimited vacation, but we have a number to make sure people actually take it).
  • Complete organizational transparency: If we give you an offer, we will share all employee and founder salaries, how much cash we have, projected revenue, and the many risks we face. We will answer any questions you have about our company and prospects honestly and directly.
  • Speaking of transparency, we can pay between $50,000 and $60,000 a year, and we will give you stock options (~0.25%).

A few extra things to know

What to expect from our interview process

The first step is to email your resume or LinkedIn (just make sure it’s public) to, along with a paragraph or two about why you’re interested in the job. Please use thoughtful, conversational English.

Next, we’ll set up a phone call with one of the founders (Nick, Dave, or Sonali). This will be a short call to learn more about your background and interests, to share more about the job and Hacker School, and to answer any initial questions you have.

If that goes well, we’ll send you a short writing task, which will be representative of some of the work the job requires.

Lastly, we’ll schedule a half or full day of in-person interviews. This will be a series of interviews each with one or two Hacker School employees, as well as a lunch with several of us (we want you to get a chance to meet everyone in the company). We will do our best to make individual interviews representative of the actual work the job entails. For instance, we’ll tell you about a real challenge we’re facing, and you and the interviewer will work together to solve it. We’ll also give you lots of opportunities to ask us questions.

We think it’s rude when companies go silent and stop responding to people they’re interviewing. We promise not to do this, and will follow up with everyone who makes it to the phone round promptly with whether or not we’re interested in moving to the next round. Since we don’t know how much inbound interest we’ll get, we can’t promise to send personal responses to everyone who applies, but we will reply with a quick thank you and acknowledgement that we got your message.

We’ll do our best to give you an offer (or a no) within one week of your in-person interviews. We do not give exploding offers.