EnergySavvy offers $10,000 bounty for its next hire
Know a Seattle area programmer who wants to work for a growing home-energy software startup? He or she could be a very valuable contact.
EnergySavvy is offering $10,000 to the person who finds them the next developer hire – for the next 10 days only.
From the company blog post:
"We’ve been aggressively recruiting for the past few months for software developers, primarily “front-end” web developers. We’re going through all channels (job boards, personal networks, recruiters, etc) and having a brutal time finding candidates that meet our, admittedly picky, hiring bar."
Is this for real? Yes, says chief executive Aaron Goldfeder.
For really real?
“It’s for real,” he said in a phone conversation. “The company’s growing very, very quickly.”
EnergySavvy closed a $1.1 million series-A round last December, led by the Northwest Energy Angels. Goldfeder says he wants to double the current staff of 10 by mid-year.
The company offers a simple online survey that helps homeowners estimate the energy efficiency of their dwelling in about two minutes. It then recommends the steps that make the most economic sense to do first (say, adding attic insulation) and provides information on local contractors who can do the work.
“Historically, tools for measuring home efficiency have been pretty geeky,” Goldfeder says. “They’re designed for people in the industry.”
This tool is for the average person, he says. It was designed by veterans of Microsoft, Amazon, Redfin and other web companies with a heavy focus on user experience.
The company claims that more than 80 percent of people who begin the survey complete it, and that they are more than five times more likely than others to request a contractor for home-energy improvements. Those figures caught the interest of utilities, energy non-profits, and state and city partnerships that are all too familiar with the difficulty of getting homeowners to weatherize their homes.
Goldfeder initially expected to be working directly with consumers, but now he says utilities and public-private partnerships are the ones contacting EnergySavvy, which sells them custom survey programs to embed on their sites. The other part of its business model are the local contractors who pay to be listed on the site. It signed its first two deals last year with the nonprofits Utah Home Performance and the Energy Trust of Oregon.
That’s spurred hiring. Goldfeder says there are plenty of talented applicants in the area – he hears from 10 to 20 a day. The trick for a tiny startup, he says, is finding people with lots of independent drive who are comfortable with ambiguity and rapid changes. Those are different qualities than what the established tech giants prize.
Hence the need for a $10,000 “bounty.” Here’s the fine print on that: Candidates who apply directly don’t get the bonus. Anyone else is eligible, including current employees. The hire has to stick around for at least three months. The offer is good for 10 days only, ending at midnight Feb. 28.
Aaron Fairchild, an advisor to EnergySavvy and founder of another home-efficiency startup, Green Canopy Homes, was amused by the gambit.
“That’s indicative of the big raise they just did,” he says. “Clearly they raised more than we did.”