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This is an alternate account for Charles He.


Yes! Exactly, these are great points! 

In application forms, include a request for permission to share the candidate's application with people who are hiring for similar roles.

Yes! Just to add some color/texture to the comment and also the premise of the post to supporting the common application:

  • Several major EA organizations, whose recruiter or directors the writer/"founder"  spoke to directly, passes candidates like this, exactly like you say. Some only do it within certain circles, or is ad hoc, and this can't be efficient.
  • Maybe because this wasn't efficient, one or more of the recruiters or executive directors of the major EA organizations was directly trying to share/develop this very common application or lent their support. This is a very "live" proposal someone should do!


Execution and buy in of orgs is critical, and initial conditions are important. 

One key strategy is to start from the largest, best talent pools and flow down. Beginning to execute this, the writer/"founder" reached out to very respected EA orgs, who expressed interest. Their talent pools (separate and additional to the the funder mentioned in the document) would be incredibly valuable and their interest shows this strategy could work well.


Search for recently closed hiring rounds for similar roles and ask the hiring managers if they have permission to share any strong applications with you (or if they could share your ad with the strong applicants they didn't hire).

Yes, yes! This is a great idea! 

Note that the link brings one to an Airtable with thousands of rows. 

Exactly as you say, this is a huge opportunity. At the same time, there's both a huge task and a lot of institutional knowledge, relationship building, and key strategies that could make this much easier and bring candidates and organizations together. 

This suggests why you want a full time, multiple FTE organization, and sophisticated execution. 

There's so much here and the value only grows as EA grows.

Thanks, this is extremely useful feedback and if you have any more comments like this, please share!

I edited the relevant line:

A version of the common application was almost funded by a major EA grantmaker this spring, but the founder left the project for reasons specific to themselves

What I think happened: The specific grant did not proceed because of reasons related to the would be "founder", but my understanding is that funding was prepared and approved. 

The reasons why the would-be "founder" left is a complicated and important topic itself, but is out of scope and unrelated to the viability of the common application.

In my opinion, based on what I know, this gives an unusually positive signal for funding interest in the project, because at least one version made it to the stage before funding was released, and it only ended because of the founder leaving.

This is extremely useful feedback and if you have any more comments like this, please share!

I think this is a case where the explanation of the common application is unclear or incomplete and this is causing confusion.

There's several visions or patterns of how a common application could work and be effective. None of the problematic activities in the FTC link are involved in any version. 


Note that in all visions of the common application that I think are viable, the original EA orgs control hiring and salary. Also, at least in a technical sense, candidates do not have to use the common application (although by design, it's intended to be optimal to do so). 

A lot of the value of the common application involves carefully designed sharing of candidate information. This occurs right now, constantly, across most major EA organizations in an informal way. 

Technically, many of the activities in the common application is an extension of this (although it would be far more systematic).


Note that I think that anti trust requires a legal theory of harm, like deliberate suppression of salaries or career progress for the benefit of a cartel. If an institution tries to (weakly) improve everyone's outcomes, that is not the same legal theory.

There's probably many other legal issues and potential snags with a large common application and a lot of attention to these is important.