#SXSW: Can Austin Take Top Talent from Silicon Valley?

  • February 29, 2016
  • Scott

In a panel discussion at SXSW-interactive this year, four passionate high-tech execs are going to debate whether you can take top talent from Silicon Valley.  While the title focuses on “Austin” the argument probably holds for any city other than Silicon Valley when it comes to attracting the talent to scale a software business.  On the one hand, Austin is a more attractive destination in the minds of most recruits, than it ever has been in the past.  On the other hand, Silicon Valley has become only more intense in its relentless competition for talent. 

“Is Silicon Valley sucking up all the top talent? Can an Austin company compete in today’s talent wars? Conventional wisdom says that what Trilogy accomplished in the 90’s – recruiting scores of the top students from the top schools to Austin, TX – can’t be done today. It is too hard to compete with startups, established tech giants, and unicorns. But some Trilogy alumni still think you can recruit the best talent from top schools in 2016 and beyond. Can it be done? Is anyone actually doing it? In this session, we’ll have a showdown between these two world views on recruiting “only the best”.

Sunday, March 13 | 3:30PM – 4:30PM
Hilton Austin Downtown
Austin Chamber Offices
500 E 4th St

I’ll be joined by three amazing people on stage.  Danielle Rios runs TenX – a top notch recruiting firm – and also runs a team that manages several software portfolio companies.  Danielle was a leader in Trilogy’s People Group back in the 90’s, ran Trilogy University, and was a top interviewer and culture champion.  Farhan Thawar was previously VP of Engineering at Pivotal and Xtreme Labs, and has recently begun his own venture.  At Trilogy, Farhan was a top interviewer and software developer.  Kristen Clemmer runs recruiting for Atlassian in the US and Europe, and previously was key to recruiting at Facebook.  At Trilogy she was a top recruiter in the peak years of recruiting.  While I was at Trilogy I participated in hundreds of interviews every year, and recruiting great people has been part of my DNA ever since.

What you’ll have on this panel are four people who are passionate about recruiting great talent.  We’re not just about filling the spots and hitting the numbers, and we all know that recruiting is more than just finding someone with the right skills.  We all have a perspective that you have to understand the DNA of the company in order to find the people who will be culture carriers and succeed. 

So the question remains – does it make sense to recruit top talent from Silicon Valley in the style of Trilogy back in the 90’s?  At its peak, Trilogy recruited around 25 people a year, each, from Stanford, Waterloo, Carnegie Mellon, and MIT.  The same people Silicon Valley works hard to recruit now.  Join us for the discussion and help make it great!  We’ll be done just in time for happy hour!



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