DeveloperAuction, an online marketplace that lets startups submit salary bids to talented engineers, has expanded to allow teams of coders and designers to put themselves up for auction as a group.
“As a general trend around the Series A crunch, we’ve seen a huge influx of talent on our marketplace in the last two months who are on there because their current company has been unable to secure further funding or has had recent rounds of layoffs,” says co-founder Matt Mickiewicz.
DeveloperAuction flips the recruiting model on its head by having startups make offers to developers before an interview; if the company likes the engineer after the interview, they have to honor their offer amount.
Mickiewicz and his team were approached by a group of three mobile developers whose startup was closing its doors at the end of the month; the group had worked together for over two years and wanted to stay together, so DeveloperAuction made them a team profile. Companies will have to bid on, interview, and eventually hire all three of the engineers if they want to hire one of them.
Mickiewicz says he thinks a lot more teams will put themselves up for auction on the platform, as it works well for both the employees, who can stay together with colleagues they like, and the companies, who can bring on people who have already shipped code and worked well together.
As more and more developers put themselves on the platform — June was another record month for DeveloperAuctions’ number of confirmed interviews — Mickiewicz says he’s excited about facilitating this “reallocation of talent.” The company now runs two two-week auctions per month, with around 100 developers in any given auction.
As much as DeveloperAuction is moving talent from startup to startup, it’s also bringing people in their own doors as they grow. The company will be up to 20 full-time employees by the end of July. Mickiewicz says it’s already on a multi-million dollar annual run rate.
“I don’t want to speculate on profitability,” he tells me. “It’s always a question of how aggressively we want to push for growth and invest ahead of the growth curve.”
In June, the company had its first designer auction, with three user experience and user interface designers accepting positions from the interviews. Mickiewicz says he sees opportunities to hold auctions for “the entire stack of jobs at venture-funded companies,” including data scientists, salespeople and product managers.
The most interesting statistic the company has, though? Developers aren’t merely using the platform to pimp themselves out to the highest bidder. Even with the current insanity that is the San Francisco housing market, 87 percent of developers took jobs with a company that did not make them the highest offer on DeveloperAuction. Mickiewicz says they are “primarily motivated by the opportunity for personal growth rather than money.”