Kayak.com Plans To Double Its Team Without Job Boards

Travel site Kayak.com hires a bit different.

It doesn’t use job boards. It doesn’t have a careers page. It doesn’t have an HR person or recruiter, since cofounder and chief technology officer Paul English likes to do all the hiring himself.

It’s a little unconventional, but it seems to be working for the $171 million company which is preparing for an IPO.

Says the Boston Globe:
“English is like a baseball scout with an incredible network of tipsters, willing to fly anywhere at a moment’s notice to see a hot prospect. ‘The difference between an A player and an A-plus player,” he has said, “is the difference between a million in revenue and a billion in revenue.'” He’ll call candidates himself, shoot emails to prospects, and basically take whatever tack necessary to convince them to join Kayak.

Example: English found a freelance iPhone app developer who he liked, but who didn’t want to give up the self-employed lifestyle. So English gave him a two month contract project. At the end of the project, English talked the developer out of accepting a job with Apple (“Just promise me one thing: Don’t accept while you’re there,” he begged) and it worked: Mike Bernardo joined Kayak last November.

Needless to say, without a careers page or even a phone number to contact HQ, the approach is a “don’t call us, we’ll call you” one to the extreme.

So why tell this to you?

Because we love their candidate experience mantra: “The interviewers convene on the same day of a candidate’s visit to decide the next step; that prevents the process from dragging out…Candidates are offered a beverage as soon as they arrive, and never left cooling their heels on a couch. During interviews, Kayak employees never take phone calls or duck out to handle something more important.”

A company that believes there isn’t anything more important than hiring? Hey Paul, feel free to drop us a line.