Developer Auction Begins Offering Free Intern Placement, Tests Expanding To Designers As It Pushes To Change Recruiting

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Developer Auction, the startup that flips recruiting on its head by allowing engineers to put themselves up for bidding from companies in need of talent, is expanding its service to intern placement, as well as experimenting with auctions for designers.

The platform is fairly simple. Startups can bid on engineers and engineers get to see the company’s offer before accepting or declining an interview; companies must honor their highest offer to a particular candidate, and engineers are not bound to accept the highest offer (or any offer).

Co-founder Matt Mickiewicz tells me the company has seen “tremendous demand from students at Stanford, UC Berkley, MIT and other top CS schools to get real-world practical experience at smaller startups — and not just the ones that can do on-campus recruiting.”

Mickiewicz says the company, which recently raised $2.7 million in funding, will now charge no fee on intern placements. This could be a huge area of opportunity for Developer Auction; during my time at Stanford, droves of talented engineers and designers have gone unemployed or underemployed during the summer — especially after their freshmen and sophomore years.

Likewise, this could be a major opportunity for smaller startups to compete early in students’ careers for talent. So much of college recruiting — for internships and full-time positions — is still decentralized, heavily based on personal connections and word-of-mouth opportunities, and filled with uncertainty for the candidates. Developer Auction is now working with more than 600 companies, from big names like Twitter and Amazon, to less-traditional startups like Rap Genius, and could leverage that broad array of opportunities to create the best place for top-flight engineers and designers to look for internships and first jobs.

Mickiewicz says Developer Auction has also seen “tremendous demand” from UX and UI designers and will hold a one-off auction of designers on June 15. He adds that the company now runs two auctions every month, double the previous schedule, and that May has been “another record month for placements.”

To help manage this growth, Crosslink Capital EIR Mehul Patel will join the small team as COO; Mickiewicz tells me Patel will primarily focus on helping the company scale to meet huge demand. Mickiewicz says Sujay Tyle, who was hired in January as the company’s COO, has left the team.