Fish Where There Are Fish

Fish Where There Are Fish” is an expression I came across while reading Scaling Up. While this term is often used in marketing, Scaling Up used it in reference to recruiting. Meaning, when you’re recruiting for a job, get that job posting in front of the people who you’d like to have apply for the job.

The first company I found who does this is Zapier.


Zapier is a workflow automation service which will connect two (or more) services together. If you’d like to receive a text message every time a Stripe payment is successful, Zapier can do that for you. While Zapier makes this easy for non-techies, all of the behind-the-scenes processing is done thanks to programmers and that’s who Zapier is looking to hire.

One common action of programmers is to make a request and look at the headers that come back. When you look at the headers from Zapier, you’ll see:

curl -I ""
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Content-Length: 33453
Content-Type: text/html; charset=utf-8
Date: Mon, 03 Jul 2017 12:41:26 GMT
Response-Id: cQrwfLoSqeUjoos8
Server: nginx
Set-Cookie: zapforeversession=g4384jnstx4bo6ez85lld19bg7ku0u5e; expires=Tue, 03-Jul-2018 12:41:26 GMT; Max-Age=31536000; Path=/; secure
Strict-Transport-Security: max-age=31536000; includeSubDomains; preload
Vary: X-Session-Key
X-Content-Type-Options: nosniff
X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN
X-Session-Key: anonymous
X-XSS-Protection: 1; mode=block
X-Zapier-Jobs: Woooo, a command line hacker like yourself should consider working at Zapier!

Connection: keep-alive

Right there in the headers, where programmers are looking, Zapier is advertising for their open jobs.

X-Zapier-Jobs: Woooo, a command line hacker like yourself should consider working at Zapier!

Data Entry

I had to hire for some open Data Entry jobs lately and thought about this concept, “Fish where there are fish.” Where are Data Entry candidates now, and how can I get my open job in front of them?

Amazon’s Mechanical Turk has thousands of individuals handling data entry tasks every day, so I wanted to put my job opening right in front of them. Asking for them to apply to the job is against the MTurk TOS so I had to get creative.

Once the job was posted, I came up with a series of questions about the job such as “How many hours per week does this job demand?” and “What is the hourly pay?” The MTurk worker had to read the job description and even click on the Apply button to get all of the answers. I agreed to pay $0.86 per HIT.

Fishing where there are fish worked as over the weekend, MTurk workers completed the questions about my job posting and, since they were good fits for the job, also applied to the job. We were getting applications from existing Data Entry people, for a Data Entry job – a perfect match.

The next time you have an open job to fill, think about where your fish are and go fishing there.

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