We (DuckDuckGo) are actively looking to expand our full-time staff! We are headquartered in Paoli, Pennsylvania, USA, though remote work is in our DNA. Most of our team works remotely around the world (including Canada, Ireland, Switzerland, Slovakia, Italy, and the Netherlands as well as PA, NY, CA, IL, CO and MA in the US).
We have a unique hiring process in that we look for DuckDuckGo users who are passionate about what we're trying to accomplish: delivering a world-class search engine with great results, great privacy, and with open-source instant answers at its core.
Exceptional candidates tend to:
- Think from a product perspective (vs pure engineering, ops, design, etc.). We're
a mass-market consumer product company, and making a simple, elegant and useful product is at the center of everything we do.
- Manage projects effectively. People at DuckDuckGo have a lot of individual autonomy over how they go about executing their own projects, which means that in order to be successful, people need to exercise good judgment on what they should be working on, which we refer to as staying on critical path.
- Be passionate about DuckDuckGo.We are a mission-driven company, and are therefore naturally attracted to people that share our vision, which is often evident in knowledge about what we're trying to accomplish in DuckDuckHack, our privacy initiatives, and general search experience.
Being effective in a startup environment in general and in our unique remote work environment in particular is hard to determine from interviews alone. As such, we like to work with people for a period of time to see if there is a good fit on both sides. The progression usually looks like:
Reach out --> Paid, part-time evaluation project (5-20 hr) --> Meet more of the team (video) --> Paid, part-time or full-time contracting on internal projects (1-3 months) --> Full-time staff
To give you some background as what to expect, most people that reach out to us don't know a lot about us and are honestly opportunistically looking for employment. We totally get that, but that's not what we're looking for. It's pretty easy to stand out there by conveying your knowledge and interest in DuckDuckGo. We especially react well to product/process criticism, which quickly shows you've really thought about what we're trying to do here.
The paid, part-time evaluation project varies per position and is designed to quickly determine if you are a good fit for the particular position we're trying to fill. We've been doing our best to keep these projects to a minimum. The way to stand out here is to ask questions as they come up, and communicate effectively. Quite simply, most candidates unfortunately do neither.
If the evaluation project goes well, we introduce you to a few members of the team (over video, or in person if you're close by to someone and want to meet up). Hardly anyone gets filtered at this step. Instead, this is a way to start getting to know the team before we bring you on our internal systems, which can take a few days to set up.
We only contract with people more deeply and internally if we think we want to hire them full-time, and the majority of people we bring on internally get hired, though sometimes it doesn't work out.
We recognize that this process is very different from the regular resume/phone screen/interview hiring process. As such, we've found that our process isn't always good fit for those who are seeking immediate long-term employment.
If you're a passionate DuckDuckGo user and you'd like to be considered for hire, please introduce yourself!
Send us email at firstname.lastname@example.org answering:
- If you can remember, how did you first hear about DuckDuckGo?
- Approximately how long have you been a DuckDuckGo user (it's OK if you just found out about us -- we know we have work to do there!)?
- How did you come across our hiring page?
- What position are you interested in (it's OK if none is listed as we're always looking for people everywhere)?
- What product feedback do you have for us (emphasis on criticism)?
- What do you consider your specialty or specialties?
- Where can we find more about you?
- What do you think we should work on next and why?
- What would you personally like to see on DuckDuckGo?
If you have any questions for us, please feel free to include them in your email. Once you reach out, we'll review everything you send us and answer any questions you have. We'll also probably ask a few more of our own and assess whether there's a fit for a paid, evaluation project or other next steps.
When in doubt, reach out! We're looking forward to hearing from you.