AngelList Has a Minimum Wage Problem

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In this day and age, job listing sites are a dime a dozen. From Monster to Indeed, LinkedIn to Reed, the internet is filled with places where would be job hunters can apply for the role of their dreams.

Another one of these examples is Angel.co. It’s a bit different from your typical job hunting site, since its a startup focused one that tries to put startup founders in contact with both employees and venture capitalists. It’s a huge deal in Silicon Valley, and one which is often posted about on Hacker News.

But the site also has a dark side, and it’s one that does a real disservice to its users. One which allows or even encourages companies to exploit them with impunity.

And that’s accepting job listings which pay far below what’s reasonable for the area or field.

For instance, in London you see jobs listed which pay less than £20,000 a year. Or just above it, at around £21–25,000 a year.

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Of course, the USA side and the use of the euro symbol shows another issue, namely no attempt to verify the job is actually in the location the listing says it is

That’s ridiculous. It’s basically impossible to live on that kind of wage in that city, and it means anyone unlucky enough to be working for it is going to need to either share a flat with 20 others or be independently wealthy outside of work.

And it’s a situation that’s virtually endemic across all writing and social media related categories. Every writing and social media job I’ve seen on the site is either underpaid to the point of embarassing, or flat out below the minimum wage for the area.

In fact, some of them are so bad that people would literally need a trust fund to survive on them. Like this one, which offers a job for $10–25K a year in San Francisco:

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Yeah, you read that right. San Francisco. As in, that place near Silicon Valley where housing prices are so ridiculous that workers are sleeping in their cars or traveling from miles around.

Where Google’s insane software engineer wages aren’t enough to buy a house with.

Dude, your Wholefoods Market bill for the year would probably cost more than that. Your daily coffee from Starbucks would use up your total salary at that level.

So who the hell do you think’s going to apply for this job?

A millionaire’s kid supported by the bank of mum and dad? Donald Trump’s family? Someone who worked at Google for two decades and randomly decided to do this for their retirement?

Oh, and don’t say it makes more sense in Melbourne either. Have you even been to Australia in recent years? Like, at all?

Because if you have, you’ll realise they have some of the highest wages in the world. You’ve got people working in shops and bars that make more money than you’re offering them.

This one’s pretty bad too:

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It’s in Cardiff, and it’s offering less than £20,000 a year.

What an appalling salary for a marketing role, let alone anything remotely technical.

In fact, it’s so bad that it’s literally lower than the average wage for the area overall. As in, low enough that McDonalds might struggle to justify it, let alone a tech company or growing startup.

Yet none of these are as bad as the next job listing I found on the site. Why? Well, I’ll let you see for yourself:

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This is not edited. No, the equity wouldn’t make up for it

Did you get that?

$1–6K per year, full time, for a job in New York City.

Wow. Just wow.

That’s just disgusting. You’re offering a yearly salary so bad that it’s less than a month’s wages at Walmart, for a role that clearly requires a decent amount of expertise to do well in.

Who in the world would ever accept this?

Sure it’s remote. That makes it a tiny bit better than it’d be if you actually asked people to come in a central office for that much.

But even then, there’s nowhere in the country where that’s a survivable wage, let alone a remotely reasonable one. Heck, I don’t think there’s anywhere in the first or second world where that’s a reasonable wage.

So why are you offering it? Who in god’s name do you imagine is going to apply for this?

And why is Angel.co allowing these offers to be posted at all? All it does is encourage people to apply for jobs/wages they won’t be able to live on, and give the impression that you’re okay with letting companies exploit their workers in the process.

Take ’em down, and put ban wages that no one can possibly live on in the area the role is based.

Otherwise you’re doing a disservice to job seekers, companies and the world as a whole.

Written by

Gamer, writer and journalist working on Gaming Reinvented.

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