And I paused... one of those awkward long ones.
Yeah, I said but... and then another long pause.
I had a great time last night. There were 500... 600+ folks in attendance. A lot of really smart tech people and friends I had not seen in months.
At the beginning of the 4th demo I received a text from a tech friend who was in the lobby. There was a conversation about recruiting going on and he thought I should get out there and get in on it.
And this is where the but comes in...
The next 2+ hours was mostly spent having conversations with tech leaders about recruiting issues they were having.
Let me be clear, anyone who knows me knows that I enjoy this part of my job. This is my version of “geeking out”.
But... here it is again... last night I found myself annoyed. Frustrated may be a better word.
And not until I started writing this blog post did I realize why.
Most of the “issues’, conversations last night were caused by CEO’s, founders, tech leaders who have no freaking clue how to recruit.
Worse, they are lost as to why they can’t find who they are looking for.
I can wrap up this thought with this exchange:
CEO: Paul, is it really that hard to find talented developers in this town?
ME: It depends on what you are building, your culture, pay and benefits, what you are like to work with and (INTERRUPTED)
CEO: OK, but are we that short of talented developers?
ME: Let me ask you this question... why should someone quit their job to come work for you?
CEO: (stunned silence)
ME: And that’s your problem
And that is the general flavor of the conversations.
We never got to the “good stuff” about recruiting or what to do about it.
Here are a few Tweets I put out after the event:
#MinneDemo Observation 1: 80% of the attempted recruiting conversations I heard were horrible. Bad pitch & didn't listen to their candidate— Paul DeBettignies (@MNHeadhunter) July 19, 2013
#MinneDemo Observation 2: For the most part everyone is hiring... no one, and I mean no one is thinking about retention— Paul DeBettignies (@MNHeadhunter) July 19, 2013
#MinneDemo Observation 3: Very few groups have any sort of recruiting strategy, plan. Lots of thought on product & $$$, not about people— Paul DeBettignies (@MNHeadhunter) July 19, 2013
#MinneDemo Bonus Observation: I say this after every event, very few groups recruit aggressively yet complain they can't find who they need.— Paul DeBettignies (@MNHeadhunter) July 19, 2013
There were a number of conversations I had with developers talking about the number of inquiries they are receiving a week.
3-10 was a common answer.
I was mostly curious about the quality of inquiries… less than 10% was the answer from everyone.
And they all (100%) said if the pitches were any good they would listen.
Do we have a “shortage” of developers in our town? Yeah, to some degree we do.
All I know… quite a few companies in town are not having as difficult a time as most. They have a plan, strategy, compelling case for why folks should go to work there.
So rather than complain about the supply… maybe a look in the mirror is needed.
Two more points:
Less than 10 recruiters were there
I do not remember seeing any Tweets about jobs
Can’t complain if you are not going to play the game.
Click MinneDemo Presenters for info on who showed off their tech.
Click Minnesota Headhunter for most recent blog posts.
Connect with me by clicking: