A Minnesota Recruiter’s View On Rebranding Minnesota, The Startup Community

Luke asked what is the difference between Silicon Valley and Minnesota startups. I tweeted something like, “In Silicon Valley, they stand up on their chairs and scream. In Minnesota, they whisper.”

Minnesota Startup Community: The Time Has Come For Less Talk and More Walk

That is part of an article I wrote on Minnov8 in 2010.

And this from 2012:

Most, however, are doing nothing more than they did two years ago, and it will not surprise you that I think that is a losing strategy.

So take a step back… think about how your company is doing in recruiting new team members and ask yourself this question… how are you doing?

Are you competing and being aggressive?  Or are you sitting back, waiting for folks to come to you?

If the former, congratulations and keep it up.

If the latter, good luck. You will need it.

The War for Talent: Are Minnesota Tech Companies and Startups Ready?

Why am I going down memory lane?

This weekend at MinneBar 10 there will be a couple of conversations I am looking forward to:

Twin Cities: The startup capital of the “North" | 9:15 – 10:05 Theater

The State of Startups | 11:15 - 12:05 Minnetonka

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Presentation At MinneBar: Managing Your IT Career v7 - (Why do recruiters suck so bad?)

Minnesota Tech Conference 

MinneBar 10 is in two weeks, April 11th at Best Buy, and I will be doing my annual career maintenance presentation conversation.

You may be wondering about the title:

“Why do recruiters suck so bad?”

Two years ago we had a video malfunction and while that was being fixed and before I started talking about what was on my mind I asked:

“So whaddya want to know?”

First question:

“Why do recruiters suck so bad?”

And the room broke out in laughter. No really, everyone laughed.

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Presentation At MinneWebCon: Proactively Managing Your Career

MinneWebCon, Minnesota Web Conference


MinneWebCon (@MinneWebCon) is around the corner, April 13-14 at the University of Minnesota. I will be speaking and attending for the first time.

This event attracts 300+ attendees, good speakers and great content.

This year’s keynote speakers are Karen McGrane (@karenmcgrane) and Steve Krug (@skrug).

Sessions include content on coding, code reviews, online behavior, Google Analytics, design and what may be the best title of a session I have seen in a couple of years, “All I Ever Needed to Know About Social Media I Learned from the Muppets”.

For more event, speaker, sessions info and history of the conference click MinneWebCon 

To register click MinneWebCon 2015

I have been asked by a couple of developers if I think they should attend and my answer to them was simple… heck yeah.

My presentation is career related and given the news in Minneapolis the past months this is good timing:

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Target Layoffs 2015 - Thousands Of Minnesota Jobs Lost

This day, this announcement was coming... I don’t think anyone expected the number to be so large.

Last week Target CEO Brian Cornell had a conference call announced that over the next two years thousands of jobs will be cut as part of a $2 billion a year cost saving program. Most of those cuts will be in the corporate offices of Minneapolis and Brooklyn Park.

Below is the Target press release.

There has been a lot of speculation of who, when, where, what this means for Target and the city of Minneapolis.

It looks like starting this morning and through the rest of the week we are going to find out. I am told some Directors were notified today with Managers and Staff finding out tomorrow and through the week.

As I type this Governor Dayton is giving a press conference following his meet with Brian Cornell.

I was interviewed by Angela Davis of WCCO TV for a story this evening.

Here are some articles from the past week that I think answer most questions that people have at this point. I will try and take on some others tomorrow as we get a better idea of what is going on:

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Event: Midwest Capital Call 2015

Midwest Capital Call 2015

The next Midwest Capital Call hosted by TECHdotMN is March 5th, 2015.

This is a great event for entrepreneurs who are thinking about or in the process of looking for funding.

One part panel conversation and one part individual Q&A.

Investors attending include:

  • Seth Levine, Foundry Group
  • Joy Lindsay, Star Tec Ventures
  • James Burgum, Arthur Ventures
  • Daren Cotter, Angel Investor

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Target Layoffs 2015 - 550 Minnesota Jobs Lost


(Mar ’15)

(Jan ‘15)

(Jan ‘14)


The speculation can end now in Minneapolis regarding the impact on Minnesota jobs following the January announcement that Target was closing it’s Canadian stores.

This released from Target this morning:

In January, Target announced the company had made the difficult decision to end our Canadian operations. At that time, we shared there would be a headcount reduction at our U.S. and India headquarters as well. Today we informed impacted team members that approximately 550 positions in Minnesota and 170 in India will be eliminated over time.

That includes approximately 350 Minnesota-based positions that are being eliminated today. The majority of the remaining team members are needed through the closure of the Target Canada stores and their positions will be eliminated following the liquidation period.

All affected team members will remain on the payroll for at least 60 days. In addition, comprehensive severance packages are being given to team members based on their years of service. Additionally, each team member will be provided with career outplacement support. Target will also pay the employer portion of their benefits coverage for the next six months.

This is a difficult day for the Target team but we continue to believe that the steps we are taking are the right ones for the company.

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Minnesota Morning… Amazon And Facebook Recruiting In Minneapolis and SportsData Partners With NASCAR

The previous two winters in Minneapolis have not been kind to recruiting pros. Between snow days, wind chill days and school closures interviews were occasionally postponed causing havoc in interview cycles.

A couple of weeks ago I joked with a recruiter in Boston that karma was getting him… he poked fun at me last year about our weather. And now he is dealing with it.

And then karma swung back at me today with the perfectly timed (sarcasm) freezing rain/pellets/hail whatever the heck that was that postponed some interviews today.

I will sit quietly mumbling to myself now…

Amazon Recruiting In Minneapolis


This is the third time in the past 15 months that I am aware of with Amazon holding a “job fair” like event. There was this article a couple of months ago:

Amazon’s cloud-computing arm shops for Twin Cities talent

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Event: Minnesota HR Tech And Recruiter Expo 2015


The 2015 LEHRN HR Tech Expo, one of the largest events like this in the country, is set for April 9th at the Marriott City Center in Downtown Minneapolis.

Always a good event to attend and this year it has added a new feature… a Talent Acquisition Track. Or Recruiter Track for those of us easy going types.


LEHRN has partnered with MNTRN who is sponsoring the three presentations.

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Largest Downtown Minneapolis Employers 2015

Minneapolis Downtown Council

Interesting stat from the Minneapolis Downtown Council 2015 annual meeting… the 15 largest employers in Downtown Minneapolis employ 50,583 people. That’s down 1.1% from a year ago.

It needs to be noted that Target is down 20% from last year:

- A large number are now working at the Brooklyn Park campus

- Layoffs and likely this number will drop again this year in part to the Target Canada layoffs

The list with +/- 2014:

  1. Target Corp. 10,000 employees | -20.5%
  2. Wells Fargo & Co., 7,000 | no change

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minnedemo 19 Will Have 7 Demos Including ToggleGreen

While prepping to write this I went to the minne* web site and on the wiki at the time was this:

Paul DeBettignies, Minnesota Headhunter, Minnesota Recruiter

I learned a few minnebar’s ago to bring a power strip. Not only do I always have my devices charged… I for a short time become a few folks best friend.

minnedemo 19 is next week (Feb 5th) with 7 groups presenting including my friends at ToggleGreen (@ToggleGreen). See this post from last month:

ToggleGreen Adds Paul DeBettignies To Its Advisory Board

I posted this photo a couple of weeks ago and said it was a late Sunday night at ToggleGreen working on a product demo:

ToggleGreen, Minnesota StartUp

I guess that was sort of true… the product demo we were working on was the video submittal for minnedemo. Clearly we did OK.

Besides ToggleGreen here is who is presenting:

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