Houston, TX

Houston Digital Jobs group with 8.7k members (and counting) impacts local job search and hiring efforts

Christy Leos

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Four women and one man sitting at a table.(Christina Morillo/Pexels)

(HOUSTON, Texas) -- Job hunting no longer requires hitting the pavement, dropping off resumes in person, or sending applications into the void of major job sites. Instead, tech-savvy job searchers can simply pull out their laptops or smartphones and scroll through Facebook groups to discover word-of-mouth work opportunities.

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Screenshot of the Houston Digital Jobs Facebook group.(Christy Leos)

Local Facebook group Houston Digital Jobs (HDJ) approved two multiple-choice polls on July 29th, which measured the group’s impact on its members' job and hiring searches.

A resource for job seekers

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Pie chart of job seeker poll.(Christy Leos)

Of the 44 votes cast as of August 5th, 11.4% indicated being hired as an employee and 6.8% as a freelancer. While 56.8% of responses pointed to little or no impact on their job search, 9.1% received an interview, 2.3% connected with a hiring representative, and 13.6% made a connection. Note: group members could pick more than one option. Individual participants may be represented in multiple sections of both charts.

With the impact indicated in the poll results, job seekers may find HDJ a valuable resource in their search.

A resource for hiring

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Pie chart of hiring poll.(Christy Leos)

Of the 19 votes cast, 5.3% indicated hiring an employee, and 21.1% hired a freelancer. While 52.6% of responses pointed to little or no impact on their hiring search, 5.3% interviewed one or more people in the group, and 15.8% made a connection.

How it started

Javid Jamae, Postman’s Head of Engineering for Growth, and Marc Nathan, Vice President of Client Strategy at Egan Nelson LLP, started HDJ together almost ten years ago in 2012.

“It was a direct response to the Austin Digital Jobs group founded by the incomparable Lani Rosales, and HDJ was founded with her express permission,” says Nathan. “The idea behind HDJ is to be an online hub for tech jobs and digital-focused careers in the Houston area.”

While Nathan no longer resides in Houston, he had this to say when asked about HDJ’s impact on the local community. “I believe it’s our duty as startup community members to share and promote tech-related and startup jobs. . . . we have an enormous network of professionals who work in the kinds of roles at startups, established companies, and service agencies that can help others find jobs in the Innovation Economy.”

How it’s going

Erik Ibarra, HDJ administrator and Founder of HTX Talent, tells anyone hiring or looking for a job to visit the group.

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Preview of HTX Talent’s new homepage.(Erik Ibarra/HTX Talent)

In addition to his duties as a group administrator, Ibarra co-runs HTX Talent. This community lead initiative allows companies and job seekers to connect over job opportunities in tech from a curated and up-to-date list of tech jobs in Houston.

Why platforms like HDJ and HTX Talent matter

According to HTX Talent’s Public Roadmap, Houston tech companies have difficulty finding and engaging with talented job seekers, which has caused tech companies to leave Houston for tech hubs like Austin and Silicon Valley. Job seekers find themselves on the flip side of this issue and leaving for greener pastures as well.

“As an entrepreneur, I’ve hired tech talent for 20 years, but I struggled to find a single source committed to raising the awareness and visibility of the tech talent pool in Houston,” Ibarra says. “My hope is that HDJ and HTX Talent will continue to be a way for people to connect quickly on job opportunities.”

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Covering overlooked, excluded, and misfit stories and communities in the Greater Houston area. Work featured on LatinaMedia.Co, ABC13, Southern Laced, and InspirationalBlogs.com. Have a tip or idea for a story? Contact me at draftingchristy.com/contact.

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