Minnesota IT Jobs
10 Minutes With Casey Allen, Startup Advisor And Investor

Minnesota Morning: Taking A Step Back, Skate Where The Puck Will Be And What’s Next For Me

If we break the year up into thirds and I use a sports analogy which I commonly do, this time from hockey… today starts the 3rd period of 2016. And I am reminded of this quote:

Skate to where the puck is going, not where it has been. - Wayne Gretzky

The past month or so I took a big step back from the Minnesota startup, tech and recruiter scene. For the previous 18 months or so I had been so head down recruiting and attending tech meetups that I lost some vision on what was going on and what was coming next. I had a sense of some things changing but did not have enough time to explore, confirm or deny them.

I did a lot of lurking on Twitter and LinkedIn. I was watching status updates… what people were talking about, what kind of mood they were in and what they were working on. Add in a bunch of phone calls and Hangouts. “Hey, do you have a minute for a quick question” was a common email or text from me and note… it was never a minute.

I then extended out from Minneapolis and spoke with some Midwest and Bay Area friends.

There are a number of trends in the Minneapolis, Midwest and Bay Area tech scene that will start, have started to change the tech hiring landscape. While most folks are skating where the puck was (reactive) and some are skating where it is (getting by) there are very few in Minneapolis and the Midwest going where the puck will be (proactive).

Memo to Recruiters, CEO’s and Investors: skate where the puck is going.

With the When I Work 13 month project wrapped up I have been getting a lot of questions similar to:

What’s next?

My answer today is similar to a month ago but now much more informed and in tune to what is going on.

Note: I am working on a “Hire Me” page here on the site, something I have not done before, and it’s only in a first draft and not for public viewing yet but generally here is the work I am looking to do in no particular order:

I want to help a 1-3 groups build their team(s)

  • Size of company does not matter although my sweet spot is startups and small/medium tech companies

Help with process and strategy

  • Most (small) companies, frankly, suck at recruiting. It’s not their fault but being short (no) staffed, hiring a high number of people fast and an executive team going in many directions leads to band aid upon band aid applied to something that needs medical (professional) attention. And most groups are just recruiting for today or worse last month. Let’s put a strategy together to get you caught up and then ahead of your hiring needs.

Evangelize for a group

  • I want to be an advocate for who I work with and not be shy about it. I have been fortunate to recruit for some great companies and being able to promote them publicly grows the company/employer brand and makes my job “easier” and more fun.

So if you know a company that is hiring and needs a hand in some way or just wants to nerd out about recruiting, the Minneapolis or Midwest tech scene… tell them to contact me:


I expect to have the “3rd Period” locked down before Twin Cities Startup Week and look forward to finishing the 2016 “season” strong.

Unofficial end of summer

I had been looking forward to getting one more #LakeLife weekend but the wind was howling. This is the only lake photo I took:


Bummer... the boat stays on the lift this weekend. 20-30 mph winds are keeping me off the lake #LakeLife

A photo posted by Paul DeBettignies (@mnheadhunter) on

I came back to Minneapolis a couple of days early to finish moving in… this from last week:


1st night in the new place and they throw me a party... not really. End of summer party. #NewView #CityLife

A photo posted by Paul DeBettignies (@mnheadhunter) on

I did get out to the Minnesota State Fair and contributed to the annual record attendance:


An evening at the @mnstatefair #mnstatefair

A photo posted by Paul DeBettignies (@mnheadhunter) on


Taking a stroll down The Midway #Summer #MNStateFair

A photo posted by Paul DeBettignies (@mnheadhunter) on

Surely there will be a weekend when I can get up there one last time… so for now the fish can swim with fewer worries.


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