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Conversation With A... Startup CEO: “But Paul, I Don’t Have Time To Recruit”

A couple of months ago I had a “moment” while chatting with a Minnesota angel investor... this would be a really good conversation to blog about. Problem was (is) I need to be careful to take out names and not give out info that could lead back to the person and I need their permission to use some of what we spoke about.

Most folks have been OK with me talking about our conversation so this is my first try with this...

This week I had a Minnesota startup CEO say to me:

“But Paul, I don’t have time to recruit.”

And I sat there with a blank stare trying not to react. My mind is yelling:

“Whaddya mean you don’t have time?!?!?!?!”

I have heard this multiple times this year and each time I do my best not to react.

Reasons given range from: raising money, coding a beta, managing the team, product development... you know, all the things that a startup CEO does.

I get that... I get that all of that is important.

So is recruiting.

Recruiting is important today, tomorrow, 90 and 180 days from now. It is (should be) a 24/7/365 effort just like coding, raising money and product development is.

One CEO said:

“I am posting on all the boards and not getting many responses and the ones I do get are not from Minnesota or the US.”

To which I replied:

“Well yeah, who you are looking for is likely working and rarely do they look online. Or if they are looking, they are waiting for someone like you, me or a friend to call, email them.”

I asked him (and the others) if they proactively sought out investors and partners to help their cause and the answer is (of course) yes.

So why would finding team members, those core to the growth of the startup be any different?

Recruiting is so much more than posting on the job boards and while one of the tools everyone should use not the only one. In case of startups looking for IT folks in Minnesota... likely not the first place to start.

If you are recruiting (does not need to be specific to IT, startups or Minnesota) and have questions or want to get into this more post a comment below or send me an email


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