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Photo via Seattle Startup Recruit Week
Photo via Seattle Startup Recruit Week

Competition is fierce out there for top talent, especially if you are a startup competing with the likes of Amazon, Microsoft, Google and Facebook.

That’s why about 30 Seattle-area startups have joined forces to share résumé pools of talent. It’s a novel idea for the business world — instead of competing with one another, why not pass along someone’s contact info who would make a better fit elsewhere?

Darci Lee, director of talent at BitTitan
Darci Lee, director of talent at BitTitan

It’s like the dating strategy where you take someone you’re not interested in to a party to meet someone else. One person’s trash is another’s treasure, so to speak.

The idea originated with Darci Lee, Kirkland-based BitTitan’s director of talent. What started off as a small meeting with people after work to share résumés turned into a “mini HR roundtable,” where only startups (no public companies or staffing agencies, other than one grandfathered in) are allowed. As a BitTitan representative told us via email, the companies wanted it to be a “non-competitive environment to really help one another succeed.”

“Sometimes they have conflicts, but they work through them,” he said.

Participating startups meet every two weeks via the phone to share hiring needs and contact details for candidates who stand out. It appears to be working quite well. BitTitan reports that it has already hired 40 new employees this year with the help of the new system.

Other companies collaborating in this talent pool include RealSelf, Avvo, EnergySavvy, Simply Measured, Porch, Gratafy, FlowPlay, Indeed, Spare5, Stash Rewards and Author-it.

realself-rgb“It’s easy for people that have been in the industry for a while to use their network to find jobs,” RealSelf’s director of talent Jenny Chynoweth told us. “We, and the other startups involved, feel fortunate to have an opportunity to open our doors to welcome people that otherwise may not have any connections in the local tech community.”

Chynoweth says that while software engineers are always in demand, the group has also seen the need for marketing, UX and people on the business side, too.

As part of this collaborative hiring effort, these companies will host Seattle Startup Recruit Week, a series of fun networking nights that job seekers are invited to attend. Events will be held at several venues around the area, each hosted by different companies, the week of Aug. 17-21. Job seekers can register through the Seattle Startup Recruit Week site to attend the events.

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