NotchUp: Get Paid to Interview For Jobs

You read it correctly, a new site called NotchUp is trying to replace pricey headhunters by actually paying people hundreds of dollars to interview. The twist is that they are actually looking for people who are already happily employed! From this article at NetworkWorld:

You say you wouldn’t interview with Company X if they paid you?

A startup called NotchUp is betting that’s a bluff.

Debuting this morning at Network World’s DEMO 08 in Palm Desert, Calif., NotchUp founders Jim Ambras and Rob Ellis tell me that 15,000 people a day are signing up for their new eBay-like employment service – based solely on word of mouth. The founders are convinced employers will pay hundreds of dollars directly to people they would like to interview — especially those not actively in the job market — because it will bring them better candidates faster.

So how does it work?

To get started, simply register, create a profile (which is similar to an online resume), and set an interview price. Your interview price is the price at which you’ll talk to prospective employers. Once you’ve created your profile, companies will search it and make you paid offers to interview if you have the skills and experience they’re looking for. Accept the offers you’re interested in, go to the interviews, and we’ll collect the money and transfer it to you.

It’s free to join, and you can even estimate how much you should ask for an interview with their calculator. For the type of professionals that they are targeting, I would actually say the price is about right. You’d still have to be careful about your current employer though, don’t want to ruffle any feathers. It’d be cool if this company merged with LinkedIn or something. Thanks to Stephen for the tip.


  1. I don’t know, lots of people look for jobs while employed. But no, I didn’t see that article before. I guess they thought it before I did, although they managed to piss off LinkedIn instead. 🙂

    I don’t understand how they got access to all those e-mails via LinkedIn, you’d think they’d have a away to prevent that from happening.

  2. Sounds like another one of those unsustainable models. Who would want to hire an employee that will go around looking for work while working for you? Maybe this is ok for manual laboring jobs but certainly not acceptable for professional.

    Also, have you seen this article?

  3. I got an invite to join it, but I was not interested in doing it…with other networking sites, it’s just to network…with this one the intent is to look for a new job. I’m really happy at my current job, so it seems weird to have a profile there…

  4. I actually once got paid for being interviewed to fill in a position in the Federal Reserve Bank in Saint Louis. I traveled around 200 miles to get there, and then 200 more to get back in the town where i lived at. The fun part was that they asked me to submit an application for reimbursement for travel expenses. I did that, and two weeks later I received a nice check for about $160-180 or so dollars. I didn’t actually go with my own car, but rather with a friend of mine, who gave me a ride and i gave them $10 for gas. On my way back i took the train, which didn’t cost more than $40.

  5. MinnesotaSaver says:

    Pimping for the highest bid to supplement your income. Add that to the savings strategies list.

  6. How will you feel when your current employer finds your profile while perusing the site?
    Do they allow any sort of initial anonimity?

  7. Moneyandpf says:

    Interesting. I did the calculator and my suggested interview price was $200. But I’ve only been working full time for 6 months. This might be something to consider for those who are stuck in a company and want to get out but are to scared to follow through. If another company was going to pay me $500 I’d go even if I knew I wouldn’t switch over because I was happy with where I was. If you employer finds out about it then if your a good enough employee they will make sure you stay.

  8. By and large, there is no loyalty anymore in the workplace, in either direction. Employers have made sure of that over the years.
    This company is a logical conclusion of that. Where there is no loyalty, there is nothing wrong with shopping around for a job while you are employed. That’s why it’s called “at will employment”.

  9. Actually, now that I’m working in the professional finance world, this type of thing is exactly what professionals are doing all the time. Nowadays it is considered perfectly normal to always be doing a low level job search even if you have no intentions of leaving your current position. Of course, you don’t go spreading this around the office, but oftentimes potential offers from other companies can be used as leverage with your current employer. Also, sometimes the only way to advance in a business career is to move to another company, where you come in at a higher level.

  10. One annoying thing about NotchUp is that they stole their website design from GrandCentral, who was recently bought by Google.


    As a former web developer this is a huge no-no in my book.

  11. Do you only get paid if you accept the job? Seems like it’d have to be that way or people are just going to sign up, go on a bunch of interviews for money, but stay at their current job

  12. I believe there is a reputation/rating system so that employers can rate your professionalism and legitimacy.

  13. There’s a comment in the link from the first poster above that warns people to read NotchUp’s Terms of Service: there seems to be a clause which allows them to resell your info to “third parties”.

    Seems like a gateway to Spam to me…

    As for how the addresses came from LinkedIn, you can download your contacts list from LinkedIn, which contains all your contacts’ email addresses onto your local system, which you could then spam yourself directly without involving LinkedIn. What I’d want to know is if users got banned from LinkedIn for doing this kind of thing.

  14. Moneyandpf says:


    From looking at the FAQs on their website as long as your on time, don’t lie, and take it seriously (ie Be a professional) you will get paid.

  15. K, I doubt it — seems like it would be hard for LinkedIn to track, especially for those with larger networks.

  16. Wow…what a cool service!

  17. Option Stratagery: Who would want to hire an employee that will go around looking for work while working for you?

    Who would want to hire a professional employee that doesn’t have a job?

    Companies don’t let go of their top performers unless they go under completely. The best workers develop contacts in the field, they impress clients, they make bosses look good. So even when a company does go under, the best workers have tons of leads on new work: they talk to ex-clients, they get hired on by their “old new” boss, they run down their outlook list and find a job with someone they met at the last conference.

    The best professional workers basically never go without a job unless they want some time off. So how the heck do you attract these people?

    Most recruiters are useless b/c they don’t have any real contacts in the field, they just know the people who are posting jobs with them. Heck, most IT recruiters are nothing but human text parsers. They ask stupid questions and try to fill in their “buzzword bingo” cards. Then they spam the potential employer with a bunch of unqualified candidates and the employer still has to run through the resumes anyways.

    But really, anyone who knows enough to be a really good IT recruiter is working in the field making more money b/c they know what they are doing. So you can see the big vicious circle.

    And why do employers want top performers? B/c top performers are capable of doing 2x, 5x, even 10x the work for only 1.5x-3x the pay. The best performers function are at a level where the stuff they do simply can’t be done by lesser performers. (I’m not making this stuff up, reference here)

    So now, why wouldn’t you want to pay money to interview the best? To interview the people who never even apply for jobs b/c they don’t need to? This makes so much sense it’s amazing that this wasn’t out two or three years ago, b/c it’s so darn simple.

    So the short answer to your question: Smart employers looking for top workers who are ready to leave their underperforming business. And really, what’s the worst thing that can happen if your boss does find your resume while hunting through the database? Fire you? He doesn’t need a reason to fire you thanks to this crazy “at-will” employment. And why would he want to fire you if you’re making him good money?

    If your boss approaches you for being on NotchUp, you that person in the eye and say “It’s OK, why would you have anything to worry about, you’re already paying me what I’m worth.

  18. GatesVp,
    I agree with you completely.
    I tried to click your link ‘reference here’. It is not working. (not clickable). Could you please post the link again?

  19. I registered 2 weeks ago at NotchUp. Suggested price for my interview was over $500. I made it $200. In 2 weeks not a single invitation. I don’t think they have a lot of employers looking for employees.

    Thank you
    New York


  1. […] Tip of the hat to MyMoneyBlog, the best personal finance site on the web, for informing me of this. […]

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