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What is RedBalloons?

A way of connecting with the right people (e.g. for recruiting purposes, mentorship, etc.), using the power of social networks and incentives. The name is inspired by a really cool experiment conducted in 2009.

How does this work?

If you see a relevant job post from, you can refer someone to that job directly, or share your personal referral link with your friends (anywhere). You receive a reward if someone you refer directly gets interviewed or hired, or if someone you shared it with refers someone who gets interviewed/hired (eligibility rules apply - see below).

What’s a personal job referral link?

It’s a unique link you get for sharing a job post on Anyone who visits your link can:

  • Apply for the job. If they get hired or interviewed, you get a bonus.
  • Create their own referral link. If someone they refer gets hired or interviewed, you get a partial bonus.

Where should I share my referral links?

Anywhere you’d like. For example, you can send it directly to one of your friends if you think she’s a good candidate or might know someone, post it in your favorite groups or communities (Slack, WhatsApp groups, etc.), or you can share it on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. if you think your network can help find a good candidate.

Wait, and what's a Red Balloon?

It's what people were trying to find in a cool experiment from 2009. In this case, the amazing people that companies are trying to recruit are our hard-to-find 🎈.

What's the reward for referring someone?

When you refer someone to an open position you get paid a small bonus if they get interviewed (typically $100), and a large bonus if they get hired (up to $5k).

But that’s not all- you also can earn rewards by sharing job posts with others. It might play out like this: You share a job post with Lauren, who shares the post with Devon. Devon refers Marla for the role. If Marla gets hired – you, Lauren and Devon all get rewarded.

Are there tax implications?

Yes, you have to pay taxes on these rewards. If you are eligible for a reward, we will send an IRS 1099 form along with the prize for tax purposes. See below if you do not have a US tax ID.

Who is eligible for rewards?

If a candidate you helped to find is interviewed or hired, and we can verify this happened without cheating, you are eligible for a reward if you are at least 18 years old and have a US tax ID.

How do I collect my reward?

All rewards will be sent to your PayPal account. If you wish to be paid by paper check, you may request this by emailing ($50 manual processing fee applies).

Wait, what if don't have a US Tax ID?

Depending on your country, the tax implications will be determined and followed. We will send money to your PayPal account, but withhold the amount required to cover tax obligations.

What do you mean by cheating?

We will be carefully monitoring and evaluating any suspicious or deceptive activity that occurs when sourcing a candidate. If we find that there was cheating involved (e.g. you created multiple accounts to collect many prizes, etc.), then you forfeit your right to collect any and all prizes accrued. Depending on the severity, we may suspend your account.

How do I post a job?

If you'd like to post a job on Red Balloons, please fill tell us about it or email us at

Still have questions?

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