FanGraphs is Hiring! Seeking Site Contributors

Update: The submission deadline for applications has been extended to Friday, February 8.

As the 2019 season approaches, I’m pleased to announce that FanGraphs is now accepting applications to join our staff as a contributing writer.

Contributors typically write three times a week. Familiarity and comfort with the data here on FanGraphs is a requirement, but just as importantly, we’re looking for writers who can generate their own ideas and questions while providing interesting analysis or commentary on the game of baseball. From free agent signings to statistical analysis, teams’ top prospects to in-game strategy, we endeavor to cover it all, highlights to lowlights. Sometimes we do that with a bit of silliness; other times, we’re more serious. But what all of our work has in common is a commitment to asking interesting questions and using rigor, creativity, and the latest analytical tools to find the answers for our readers.

This is a part-time, paid position. Prior writing experience is strongly preferred, though the bulk of that experience doesn’t necessarily have to be of the baseball variety. We know baseball analysis is more interesting and complete when diverse perspectives and voices are brought to bear on the questions and trends in today’s game, and encourage writers of all backgrounds and identities to apply. When applying, please include samples or links to work you’ve published previously, or some new, original content you feel best demonstrates your writing abilities and interests. You may also include a resume, but it is not required for the initial application. Please send us an email at wanted@fangraphs.com with your application materials, using the subject line “FanGraphs Writer Application – 2019.” The subject line is important, as it helps us keep all of the applications organized and ensures that yours does not slip through the cracks.

If for some reason you are unable to submit your application using the wanted@fangraphs.com e-mail address, simply fill out a contact form with the same subject (“FanGraphs Writer Application – 2019”), and you will be provided an alternate e-mail address for submission.

However you send us your application, please do so by Friday, February 8.

If you feel like you’d be a good fit as a contributing writer for FanGraphs, please drop us a line. We cannot promise to respond to every application we receive, but we’ll make sure every applicant receives serious consideration.

We look forward to hearing from you.

We hoped you liked reading FanGraphs is Hiring! Seeking Site Contributors by Meg Rowley!

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Meg is the managing editor of FanGraphs and the host of FanGraphs Audio. Her work has appeared at Baseball Prospectus, Lookout Landing and Just A Bit Outside.

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Shauncore
Member
Shauncore

At the risk of having my account removed and given the contemporary concern employers need to have when hiring (particularly when it comes to digital writers of today), I want to give my experience of the prior round of hiring FanGraphs did.

Last time there was an open call for applications, after some angst on whether or not I should, I ended up applying. I spent about an hour or so sifting through what I thought was my best work, making sure my resume was right, and writing the application email. I was impressed that there was a promise that every application would be considered and responded to. They kept their word and I heard back fairly quickly that they were impressed with my work and wanted me to answer several questions. These weren’t just biographical or short answer. These were longer-winded questions that required more than just ten seconds of thought. Questions about what my schedule was like, my interest, how FanGraphs could be better, how I write, how I include media, etc… This took me about two hours so go over, formalize my thoughts, and type them up over a weekend.

To my surprise, I was moved on to the next round where it was a phone interview. After a quick introduction with Dave, I was surprisingly joined into a conference call that had several other site writers, unbeknownst that was going to happen. While I enjoyed the time on the phone with them, it was very off putting to be expecting a 1×1 call and then without any notice being patched into a 5×1 call. After about twenty minutes of discussion the call concluded and I was told I’d hear back within a few days.

Five days later: nothing
Ten days later: nothing
22 days later I sent a follow-up email: no response
Ten days after that I sent another email: no response
9 months later: still no response

I had spent several hours of my time (and a perhaps immeasurable amount of personal angst) during the application process all to be “ghosted” in the end. The level of unprofessionalism from a site I love, from writers and analysts I consider my saber heros was crushing. While the entire time I thought “there is no way they would actually hire me…”, I didn’t expect to be let down as heavily as to hear nothing back. Not a courtesy call or email or even Twitter direct message saying thanks but no thanks.

So I type all of this as a hopeful message to the hiring team this time around to please not waste the applicants time and to be courteous of the considerable amount of time and effort (and personal strength it might take) to apply. Please do better this time around.

David Appelman
Admin
Member

I do apologize if you didn’t hear anything back, last year I thought I had personally responded to all 800 some applicants which is something we had not done before, but felt was the correct thing to do. It seems I may have inadvertently missed some. I will try to do better this time around.

Shauncore
Member
Shauncore

Thanks David.

I will note (and not to air out business out here), this wasn’t just a courtesy initial response to the application (those familiar with the hiring process is usually just an automated “no thank you” email). This was several follow-up emails after what I’d consider three rounds of the interview (and what I would imagine was the final stage). I’m assuming only a handful of candidates were brought on for a phone interview. Those candidates certainly deserve a response.

While all candidates deserve to hear something back, those candidates in which you take through multiple rounds and who have spent considerable time with during the process DO deserve a response.

Not hearing back initially is understandable. Not hearing back after several rounds (initial, questionnaire, phone interview) is unacceptable.

Good luck to the future candidates.

35th and Not James Shields
Member
Member
35th and Not James Shields

Shauncore,

I appreciate the thoughtfulness displayed in sharing your experience in applying for a position at FG. We, or should I say I,
have enjoyed having you around. Keep writing.

Swfcdan
Member
Swfcdan

Totally agree that it’s totally different responding to every applicant, than for someone who had spent time going through several stages of the interview process. And then to not hear back even after sending emails to them, is a disgrace! FG is a great site and I can’t believe they would treat applicants like that. I would be fuming too if I got so far on a job application but never even heard a word back. Shame on you guys FG, sort out the way you treat applicants ASAP.

ItsPoPtime
Member
ItsPoPtime

800? You are absolved in the court of Fangraph opinion if you went through that many!

jwyllys
Member
jwyllys

Sorry to hear you went through this as well, Shaun. You’ve described almost the exact experience I had. I don’t envy the job of going through every application, but not hearing back at all even after making it to the point that I was doing a phone interview and answering the same email questions you described and following up was not something I expected.

Shauncore
Member
Shauncore

Yikes, I’m disappointed to hear I wasn’t the only one.

Welcome to the team, I suppose.

Chris
Member
Chris

Thanks to both of you for sharing this. My experience was almost word for word what Shaun described in his original post and it’s weirdly comforting to know that I wasn’t alone in how that process played out.

Red
Member
Member

At my last job, I worked a 21 hour shift with forty minutes of breaks. I wish the asshole who used to run that place never called back.

LightenUpFG
Member
Member

Yeesh, so much for just ‘inadvertently missed some’ as David Appelman mentions. Sounds like you guys missed a lot. For shame, FG.

Handsome Wes
Member
Handsome Wes

I applied last time around, and I’ll believe I’ll do so again.

I didn’t get as far in the process as you, but I did eventually get a “thanks but no thanks” email from the editors. I thought that was a nice gesture – there have been so many times when I’ve applied for a job and I didn’t even get a courtesy email in response.

(As it turns out, I think FanGraphs hired Jay Jaffe for the job I applied for, so there’s no bad blood. Frankly, I would have hired Jaffe over me.)

Brian Reinhart
Member
Member

I’ll chime in with a contrasting experience to make Appelman feel a little better. My FG application experience was similar to yours up until the phone call, which was just Dave Cameron. (This was the previous round; the hires were Craig Edwards, Owen Watson, and one person who never actually wrote anything so it must have fallen through.)

I told Dave I was the commenter Well-Beered Englishman and he said “You’re Well-Beered Englishman?? Your cover letter could have been, hi Dave, I’m WBE, sincerely, Brian, and we would have interviewed you.” At the time I was something like 24 and not a published writer at all, anywhere, and that was just about the highest praise anyone but Mom ever gave me. They didn’t hire me – I am terrible with coming up with ideas and pitches, as Meg knows from my absurdly infrequent work at THT – but that interview gave me the confidence to apply for the food writing job that currently devours (ha) all my free time.

In conclusion, for me, it sure as hell beat applying for a REAL job. Excited to see who appears in these pages next.

TKDC
Member
Member
TKDC

Speaking of “real” jobs, I think it would be best if folks went into the job search process with just about the lowest expectations about the level of communication they will receive. I consider my company to be top flight, and I’ve heard from close friends that they were basically ghosted. And my conversations with other professionals in my city and even elsewhere have given me the overall impression that you should prepare to be disappointed in how engaged potential employers are, if you are not in line to receive an offer. And to an extent it is fair. Jobs that people want will garner hundreds of applications or more, and it makes sense that dealing with the rejections, while the “right thing to do,” is just not that important from a business perspective.

Anyway, I will continue to provide my insights (wanted or not) for free in the comment section like some kind of sucker.

35th and Not James Shields
Member
Member
35th and Not James Shields

TKDC,

Oh, your comments are wanted.

Dooduh
Member
Dooduh

I wouldn’t expect a phone call or letter turndown, but it takes seconds to respond in an email. And as you see, it reflects poorly on the company/site/whatever not to show that courtesy after the applicant invested hours going thru the process.

thestatbook
Member
thestatbook

I strongly dislike when people use the excuse that it takes “seconds to respond in an email.”

When you deal with a high volume of emails (for the record, I don’t know how many emails Appelman gets in a week, I just assume it’s a shit load of them), many emails get lost in the shuffle. Sometimes, I don’t even know someone sent me an email, and if I don’t know to be looking for your email, I’ll probably miss it.

And frankly, if I have to spend time responding to a bunch of emails, on top of my other responsibilities, I’m picking the emails that are pertinent first (colleagues, financial/legal matters, emails important to projects, etc.) and then I go to the general queries if I have time.

Should people give you the time when you interview? Probably. But one should recognize that a) no one is required to give you their time and b) some people simply don’t have the time to give. Get over it.

bjsguess
Member
Member
bjsguess

I’ll second this.

Literally get 100-200 emails a day for work. About 25% require a response of some sort. All require me to read everything. It’s taken years for me to get a system where I actually have my email under control and it’s still not perfect. Every once in a while I’ll be on a conference call where I get called out for not responding to an inquiry in a timely fashion.

And hiring is the WORST. Yes, I know how bad it sucks to apply for work. But being a hiring manager today means sifting through hundreds of well-qualified applicants. We have internal recruiters that do initial screenings but I still see and review over 100 resumes for every position I post. As a large company (Fortune 50) we do a better job than most in communicating with applicants (and have a support system of technology and dedicated recruiters) but I know for a fact we aren’t 100% in getting back to candidates in a timely manner when we decline their application.

In short, it sucks when you fall through the cracks as an applicant. But I think people also need to cut companies slack when mistakes happen. To be fair, most commentators here are respectful and understanding. Pointing out gaps in the process is a good thing. Just want to offer the other side of the equation that many people will never see.

Tim418
Member
Tim418

They should feel no obligation to offer a “thanks but no thanks” response to an applicant. But they should certainly do it for anyone who actually interviewed. Presumably, the number of people they actually spoke to regarding positions isn’t too large. Perhaps they saw this not as an “interview” but more of an informal phone screener, but the applicant obviously didn’t perceive it that way.

Brian Reinhart
Member
Member

There was a year I applied to 70 jobs and kept track…almost two-thirds never responded in any way, including a couple that ghosted me after “final” interviews.

tz
Member

I’ll add this. I was once ghosted by a company where the phone interview went so well, that the hiring manager asked me about potential dates to fly me out for a face to face interview so he could get the process rolling more quickly with the HR department. And then……absolutely nothing back.

jonvanderlugt
Member
Member
jonvanderlugt

I’ll chip in here as well – not to support the FG side necessarily, but to provide perspective.

I hired an intern for myself, by myself last summer and it was a huge task. An intern! Someone who was only going to work 15-20 hours per week! Job postings, interviews, correspondence, etc. I had probably 15-20 applicants, and told myself that I’d make it a point to reach out to each one even if they weren’t in the running.

In the end I did, but it ended up being really hard to keep track of and follow through on among all of my other stuff I had to do. Not only logistically but socially. It was an awkward, anxiety-inducing experience to tell someone they’ve essentially failed. It’s no excuse, but we’re all human and susceptible to such ills – Dark Lord David Appelman and others possibly included.

Either way, I can’t imagine how difficult it was to keep track of everything behind the FG curtain with Dave Cameron leaving, so there’s a bit of sympathy from me there. I do, however, believe that you should stick to your word regardless of how difficult the task is or unexpected the outcome, so it seems FG fell short in that respect.

Dunno what the moral here is other than that FG is an employer (operating, AFAIK, without an HR department), and sometimes employers do stuff like ghost candidates. Doesn’t mean you aren’t a strong candidate, doesn’t mean they’re bad people, and it doesn’t even mean that they think you are a bad candidate. Good people and companies do imperfect things sometimes.

Uncle Spike
Member
Uncle Spike

I definitely get where the applicants are coming from and their feelings are more than valid; however, I will say, as Jonvanderlugt has so eloquently stated, responding appropriately to everyone in the interview process is difficult. It’s difficult from both a organizational standpoint as well as a human standpoint. I own a Recruiting company and this is something we deal with everyday. It is our policy that anyone that has interviewed for a job will receive feedback on their interview, whether good or bad.

That being said, it’s not that easy to give the bad news, especially if you don’t want to lie to someone (which is also a policy of ours). Sure, it sounds simple enough to say, just send a “Thanks but no thanks” email, but it’s not. Because when someone does three rounds of interviews, puts a lot of time and effort into the process and is sitting on the edge of their seat hoping to receive good news, when you tell them “Thanks but no thanks” most don’t just say, “Ok, thanks for considering me.” They want to know why. What is it about my experience, my skill set, education or job history that you don’t like about me? But that’s the rub. No offense to anyone that got rejected for this job, but sometimes the reason you didn’t get hired wasn’t because there was a problem with your skills or experience, sometimes the reason you didn’t get hired is because they didn’t like you. Are you really going to deliver feedback that says, we all kind of thought you were a jerk, you don’t seem that ethical, you have bad hygiene, your just kind of weird, you don’t seem dependable, I don’t think I could work alongside of you 40+ hours per week? No, of course not.

When you do send that “thanks but not thanks email”, more often that not that is countered with a, “could you provide some feedback as to why I was not considered, is there anything I could do better, could I get another chance to explain myself”, etc. In my line of work, we often have to give that tough criticism as to why the employer is not interested in you. And you know what, 90% of the time, the applicant disagrees. They can do the job if the employer would just give them a chance. Simply put, humans don’t take rejection well. Telling someone they are not the right fit is just a form of rejection. This is why most employers don’t formerly reject job applicants. It’s not fun news to deliver, it rarely goes over well and it creates A LOT more work, much more than you would think. I’m not saying it’s right and I do believe the posters from this thread deserved a response but just wanted to take a look at it from the employers perspective as well. Good luck to all the applicants.

Richie
Member
Richie

You don’t get far into an interview process unless you’ve checked all the experience/educational/technical qualifications boxes. So if then not hired, you were simply out-interviewed by whomever was. Good chance a victim of ‘me-ism’. (‘I just feel good about this person!’ [i.e., he/she reminds me of me])

bjsguess
Member
Member
bjsguess

Generally true … but not always.

Richie
Member
Richie

Another practice is that the position is actually filled from the getgo, either internally or by a candidate with high connections, but due to ‘Best Practices’ (very, very occasionally to legal reasons) you still have to go through the entire search charade. ESPECIALLY! so when the Big Shot! is placing his frat roommate’s son into the position (the process shows you supposedly DIDN’T do it that way). Anyhow, in either this or the above case, you can’t expect the employer to actually tell you that’s why you weren’t hired. My impression is that you are far more often out-interviewed than out-connected.

kenai kings
Member
kenai kings

Just to add to Uncle Spike’s response…
There are times (often) when legal issues determine what the response may be. Just like the kind of questions the perspective employer can ask. At times this may dictate the response: or lack of response. It is safer in some cases to say nothing in response.