Creating Talent in Austin

Scott Francis
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The other day Lori Hawkins of the Austin American-Statesman published an article about Austin’s recruiting challenges and how Indeed.com is approaching the problem.

Somewhat ironically, Indeed.com is also a job search site…

First, let’s address the results of the ATC’s survey:

“A recent study by the Austin Technology Council underscored the hiring mindset held by many local tech companies.

Although 70 percent of those surveyed said they were having difficulties filling technical positions, 42 percent said they require applicants to have at least five years of work experience to even get consideration.

Only 12 percent of respondents said they hire recent college graduates or don’t require previous work experience.”

This is a real problem for Austin companies who “don’t get it”.  As I wrote on Twitter:

“Contrary to popular belief it is absolutely in remit to train and educate college graduates and hire them.

I was surprised no one challenged people in the room at an ATC event that said it wasn’t a startup’s job to develop young talent, that it was the Fortune 500’s job, and they were just supposed to poach that talent later.  That kind of narrow thinking on the part of other companies is the kind of gap that Indeed.com is exploiting:

“In Austin, we’re all trying to hire those same people with three to five years experience,” [Chris Hyams] said. “We decided this is a long-term plan for us, it’s not a short-term gain. We want to have sustainable growth, and the best way to get people with three years experience is to hire them at zero years experience. We now have a bunch of people with three years experience that we hired three years ago. Soon we’re going to have 54 more.”

And that’s exactly how we feel about it at BP3.  Perhaps unsurprisingly, the folks behind Indeed.com’s recruiting approach share something in common with BP3 – experience at Trilogy early in our careers.  If you see a company in Austin that does a great job with college recruiting, you’ll probably find a Trilogy alum or someone they trained on the job.

In fact, I just returned from a college recruiting trip last week.  We did another one the week before, and we’re doing one next week.  We’re in the midst of college recruiting season, which begins earlier than it ever did when I was in school.  Just as I have the last few years, I’ve found that this year’s graduating class is full of talent, and hard work.  We’re in good hands with the next generation, folks, regardless of what the news media tell you, and BP3 is going to bring some more great talent into our ranks, and into Austin next year.

 

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