We're all agile at work. Agile agile agile. So I'm going to give you a user story. Here it is:

Suppose we have a user called Dave. Dave knows the answer to every javascript question is no longer jQuery and is in fact now node.js. Anyway, he's pretty good. He gets an invite from his friend, let's call him Brian, to join StackOverflow Careers 2.0. Ecstatic with joy, he fills out his profile, links his github account and all that, and two weeks later gets a job offer.

After being asked if he can remember a time when he dealt with adversity, and how many different trips up to a datacenter in new york you'd need to deliver fuel to generators to keep your servers up, Dave gets the job! Ace! Careers strikes again!

However, two years' later node.js is no longer cool. Instead, everyone is writing CappuchinoScript which does something funky involving Lua and LLVM IR, or whatever's cool. Anyway, he wants to move jobs, so remembering that awesome success he has had with Careers, he gives his profile a little added juice, ticks the "actively looking for work" and sets off merrily.

Now, this is all good, but Dave has a boss. Let's call him Mr Pointy. Mr Pointy is looking to hire developers and his first port of call is Careers 2.0. He goes off searching and finds his existing employee Brian looking for work.

Consequently, after a somewhat awkward conversation over the water cooler, Dave is assigned the task of designing a programming language that looks like VBScript, but with Lambdas, and can compile to PHP by Mr Pointy.

The long and the short of this essay is that:

  • Mr Pointy didn't go through the careers process of marking Brian as hired; Brian remains visible to Mr Pointy as a consequence.
  • Dave has no way to add Mr Pointy's "Haired Boss Ltd" company to his "have been hired by" or "Block list" on Careers 2.0, thereby avoiding awkward watercooler conversations.

So I believe this can be resolved by adding a feature allowing candidates to indicate they are employed by a given company.

If this is already a feature of Careers and I'm just not using it correctly, please make this a and the question: how do I achieve the above on my profile?

  • 2
    The one problem I see with this is that it's difficult to suppress particular companies automatically. Does Mr Pointy work for ABC Group, ABC Careers Group or it's parent company XYZ ABC? The only way to safely do this is to allow Dave to somehow see every company, which means giving away the client list... Jul 3, 2013 at 11:34
  • 3
    @benisuǝqbackwards I agree, and there's no perfect solution for that I do not think (and actually, Dave might want to be hired by the MoreInterestingDivision of ABC Group) but to hide yourself from the account that hired you might fix the issue.
    – user227255
    Jul 3, 2013 at 11:36
  • And then Mr. Pointy finds out about this restriction, and registers a second account just so he can see what he is missing.
    – tripleee
    Jul 3, 2013 at 12:47
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    @tripleee the employer accounts cost money, though.
    – Pekka
    Jul 3, 2013 at 12:47
  • 1
    @Pëkka not only that, that sort of deceptive behavior should be disallowed by the Careers 2.0 Terms of Service.
    – user163250
    Mar 7, 2014 at 0:22

1 Answer 1


This has too many flaws to ever be feasible IMO

I guess this makes sense in the exact scenario you describe: you were hired through the careers system, and you are actively looking for new work through the same system.

However, it should be an opt-in setting because it can fail, and there is a lot of potential for misunderstandings.

  • Candidate ads may be distributed through other channels in the future (like in sidebar ads, just as they already display job offers). It may be impossible to prevent such ads from showing up then Mr. Pointy is logged in because they are distributed over an ad server.

  • Imagine the watercooler conversation when Mr. Surly, a fellow graduate and frat brother of Mr. Pointy's who works at the company across the road, calls Mr. Pointy and asks him why that Vennard fellow is showing up in his Careers search (but not in Mr. Pointy's). Does he not work for you guys anymore?

With this in mind, having this as an option might really help keep the peace at work while looking for a new employer.

  • 1
    In this instance, Dave has been hired by Mr Pointy through Mr Pointy's account (they contacted each other through Careers). I might have got a bit carried away with my question and omitted that fact... anyway, I agree, there are several "accidental find" scenarios and they're almost impossible to avoid, but this one is, I think.
    – user227255
    Jul 3, 2013 at 11:38
  • Sort of snap... Jul 3, 2013 at 11:38
  • 4
    Just because a solution isn't 100% fool proof doesn't mean you should just accept the problem (i.e 0% fool proof) Jul 3, 2013 at 11:40
  • @Richard I'm not advocating accepting the problem - but it needs a fundamentally different approach. For example, automatically reminding the employee to set their status from "actively looking" to "passive candidate" when they get hired through the system.
    – Pekka
    Jul 3, 2013 at 11:42
  • 3
    @Pekka웃 But thats not the problem, the problem is when they are actively looking Jul 3, 2013 at 11:44
  • @Richard mmm, true. OK, I can see how it would make sense in the exact scenario the OP describes - you were hired through the system, and you are looking for something new.
    – Pekka
    Jul 3, 2013 at 11:46
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    WhiteTruffle hides employees from their current employer (from their Candidate FAQ: "You are never matched with your current employer". I think hiding Actively Searching candidates from their current employer is an important feature (even if it doesn't insure 100% anonymity, e.g. employeer's friend finds you in search results). Why should an employee pretend to be passively looking when they're actually *actively looking, just to hide from his/her current "Pointy Haired" boss?
    – user163250
    Mar 7, 2014 at 0:31
  • 2
    Protecting candidates makes it easier for them to find better jobs, which forces employers to become more competitive in terms of offering better salaries and benefits. I see that as a big win for every little guy/gal/underdog over The Man. Listing yourself as Actively Searching is a big risk to current employees, who may be discouraged from listing themselves as such.
    – user163250
    Mar 7, 2014 at 0:33

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