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I’m sitting in the passenger seat as we drive from Fargo back to Minneapolis and as I stare out the window I have been thinking about recruiting to our region (really, this is on my mind)… and how do we get more people to move to the area. I think about this a lot.

Then about a conversation I had this week about how everyone is recruiting and few groups are really working on retention.

And that gets me to this… as a region we need to do a better job at getting people to stay. Sure, some folks are going to leave (family reasons, wanting to experience a larger tech hub, experience something new, etc.) but what about the ones who wanted to stay and couldn’t find the right role?

A month ago I had a chat with a Full Stack Developer who interviewed with a number of Minneapolis and St Paul companies (startups, software and Fortune 500) and in each case did not get an offer. They are talented but it seemed that each group was being very specific about the skills they were looking for and willing to wait to find that one right person.

Yet… they received offers from Google and Salesforce.

That gets me to the presentation LinkedIn gave at Tech Cities 2018. They provided a bunch of data on the local tech scene including this…

“Notable employers of grads from MN universities by location”:

  • Amazon - Seattle

  • Microsoft - Seattle

  • Google - San Francisco Bay Area

  • Apple - San Francisco Bay Area

  • Intel - Portland

  • Facebook - San Francisco Bay Area

  • LinkedIn - San Francisco Bay Area

  • Salesforce - San Francisco Bay Area

  • Uber - San Francisco Bay Area

Grads by the way was those who graduated from a Minnesota school at any time… not just recent grads.

So while driving through farmland and staring at cloud formations I am wondering… for people already here who want to stay, as a region are we:

  • Too rigid (too picky) with our hiring profiles? Is this a thing the region has?

  • Doing less with training/teaching/mentoring?

  • Less willing to hire recent college (add in bootcamp) grads?

  • Not hiring global students?

I’m wondering how in a diverse economy like Minneapolis and St Paul people are not able to find what they are looking for. And how much of this is a natural thing… it just happens and there is not something to be fixed.

I would like to have seen that Full Stack Developer stay in the area.

So it has me thinking.

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