As 2017 was winding down I was getting a number of inquiries about the Minnesota startup and tech scene from people outside Minnesota. I think the recruiting trip to Chicago, the Fly in Program during Twin Cities Startup Week and my own sourcing and recruiting is the cause of this. Most inquiries are coming from a few regions:
San Francisco and Silicon Valley
Chicago, Detroit… Midwest
Austin and Dallas
And I have not yet put together a list of resources or guide to send them.
So… I’ll do a webinar and have about 45 minutes of content to share and then do Q&A for another 30 minutes or until everyone has the info they are looking for.
I’m still coming up with an agenda… so far something like this:
Let me start with the “bad news” first. As 2017 went on there were a number of unannounced layoffs at many large companies… usually in the 10’s, 20’s and 50’s range of jobs. It seemed like some large companies were doing this so not to have to file a notice with the State of Minnesota.
That’s speculation on my part and I stand by it. Add up all the numbers and they would have had to file a notice. These layoffs were generally part of restructuring staff, maybe over hired in a group, becoming more efficient, etc. And they were in all skill sets from marketing, sales, customer service and yes, IT.
Startups and small tech groups are a part of this too. A customer is lost, a MVP does not work, investors worry about the burn rate, etc. Layoffs are in the 2’s, 5’s and 10’s.
And that’s my basis for more tech layoffs in 2018 than 2017… it will continue. It happens and it’s a normal thing in a growing economy. Many companies have hired hard and fast the past 18 months and some may have gone a bit too far.
Last week I hosted my first online chat in all long time, maybe 3+ years, on Managing Your Tech And Startup Career. This is something I do every year at MinneBar and tech user groups throughout the year.
This one was a lot of fun for me as it was not only tech professionals in Minneapolis/St Paul but marketing, sales and CxO’s in our area along with a number of tech and data pros from the Bay Area.
The original agenda I proposed was:
What is the local job market like right now?
Is this a good time to look for a new job?
What's a reasonable salary increase year over year?
Should I stay a developer or move into management?
I'm thinking about moving to "FILL IN THE BLANK CITY", should I go?
Why is there so much recruiter spam?
How much personal info should I share with corporate/search firm recruiter?
I’m not a tech person but want to work with a tech company, how do I get in one?
And then attendees asked a number of questions including one I always seem to ramble on waffling back and forth on and paraphrasing… specialist or generalist?
In all it went for about 45 minutes and below is the session uploaded to YouTube.
This was my first time using Zoom and while it went OK it’s clear I need some more practice with which screen is showing.
To those who asked questions… thank you. It’s always way more enjoyable to have interaction particularly when I can’t see you.
Every year at MinneBar I do a presentation called, “Managing Your IT Career - (Why do recruiters suck so bad?). This past spring, 8th year doing this, I had an end of the day speaking time and still had a full room with people sitting on the floor and along the wall. I do wonder how many more people would attend a morning session… part of my group:
The past weeks I have been getting a higher than usual number of inquiries from tech, data and product professionals, along with those interested in the Minnesota and Midwest startup scene, asking questions about salaries, Minneapolis and Midwest tech jobs, what code schools to choose, etc.
So I am going to do an online chat… a webinar to answer the current most asked questions and ask attendees to send theirs.
70% of employers use social media to screen candidates
54% have decided not to hire a candidate based on their social media profiles
That last one is the one that usually gets the most attention. Here’s the thing… of course the number is that high. Look at the wording of it. Of course any/every “Fortune 500” company, as an example, has not hired someone because of their online stupidity profile. Think of how many people apply with them. So they didn’t hire one? That’s easy to understand.
And I think the 70% number is much higher. Surely some respondents didn’t want to tell the truth.
A frequent question I get locally and nationally is “what’s going on in Minnesota?”.
After all the fall and winter events and conferences and leading into spring it’s time for me to give some clarity… I am putting together a summary of all of the info I have gathered over the past months, add in a bunch of reference points from national IT job and salary surveys and do a webinar.
This is my perspective from attending user groups, working with and recruiting for startups and tech companies, conversations with large companies about their recruiting strategies and speaking at local and national conferences.
Another fun night at MinneDemo (February 16th, 2017)… one part new Minnesota tech, one part Minnesota tech community reunion and one part networking although for me that last one was mostly nonexistent. More on that later.
MinneDemo 25 was held at The Depot and I am guessing 700+ attended. Here is the crowd at 7 pm not including the folks behind the doors in the atrium socializing:
It’s a winter weekend in Minneapolis so after doing some kid craft things and having some free time I decided to work on a couple of work projects. Not sourcing and recruiting ones but stuff I have been meaning to get to like a new landing page and slide deck.
If it were summer I would be sitting on the deck, dock or in the boat.
That’s the thing about weekends… we get to do the things we want to do.
Yesterday I had a phone call with a Ruby Developer who is currently in Silicon Valley and looking to move to the Midwest. They are highly skilled, easy to work with, highly recommended and from this region. Specifically they are looking for a company in Minneapolis or Chicago.
They asked me a curious question…
Many of the search firm recruiters are asking if they can float my resume around for me. I don’t have a network in those cities so it seems convenient but I think there are negatives to this too. Right?
Since around the beginning of Q2 ‘15 I have been a part of many conversations with recruiters in town, startup and Fortune 500, about some trends we have been seeing including:
- Generally companies are in another hiring spree
- Companies seem to be loosening up their job requirements
- There seems to be a small inflow of IT pros from the west coast
This week from Dice.com:
Pop quiz: What’s the fastest-growing state for technology jobs?
You might be tempted to say California or New York, or even North Carolina. But according to new data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, it’s actually Minnesota, which saw the size of its tech workforce jump 8.36 percent over the past six months, to 37,600 workers.