Finding and hiring people is hard. As my role changes here at Cozy from Developer to Engineering Manager, it’s become much clearer how hard it is. I hate to use the word, but part of my job description is now recruiting (I can hear the groans now).

Almost every engineer I know has at least one bad recruiter story. I have a few myself. It’s my worst fear that I will end up as one of those bad recruiter stories. Luckily for me, all those stories give me a great “what not to do” list as we reach out to someone about joining our team.

We also want to make it really easy to apply to Cozy: just e-mail us and tell us about yourself, why you want to work with us, along with some relevant links. We take that e-mail and pass it around internally, get feedback and figure out if we should follow up. Most of our team is involved at some level in finding people and making sure they’re the right fit.

But we’re learning it doesn’t scale. E-mail chains and spreadsheets are scattered everywhere and it’s hard to keep track of everything. At the same time, I didn’t want to push applicants to fill out massive forms, or have to enter their entire resume (even if they already attached it) - but we definitely needed some sort of tool to help us get better at finding people.

So what’s an engineer to do? Build something to solve the problem, of course!

I built the Cozy Dossier over the course of a couple of weekends, about 16 hours in total. It’s a really simple web app that helps us track folks we’re talking to about working with Cozy. It's built on Sinatra and DataMapper, backed by Postgres, and our current favorite tools for frontend development: require.js and knockout.js. You can still e-mail us like before, but now it’s automatically added to Dossier, so our team can have one place to review and talk about our next potential Web App Developer, Product Designer or Operations Engineer.

We use Slack as our team communication tool, and we were easily able to integrate Dossier into our #recruiting channel. Every time a new applicant is added, or a Cozy person makes a comment or changes a candidate’s status, Dossier posts to our channel via the Slack API so the rest of the team doesn’t miss it. Beats getting spammed with e-mail or remembering to visit the app directly.

Being on the other side of the recruiting process has humbled me, and I’m trying to not make the same mistakes I typically see when trying to hire great people. We built Dossier to help us be better about interacting at a human level. So if you happen to see an open position on our jobs page and want to learn more, or get an e-mail from us out of the blue, know that it’s Cozy as a team you’re interacting with, and not someone trying to make quota.


We're looking for extraordinary people to work with in San Francisco, CA and Portland, OR. If you have what it takes, we'd love to hear from you.