Startups everywhere struggle to find good talent, which has recently become very apparent in Seattle. In February, SEOmoz announced $12,000 for employee referrals, and EnergySavvy offered $10,000. Despite so many engineers at large corporations in Seattle – many interested in joining a startup – hiring is very difficult.
Since leaving Microsoft, I’ve been surprised that it’s so difficult to find part-time work. Especially in this economy, I’d expect more businesses to be open to part-time employees. It’s understandable that companies want to invest in employees they know will stick around, but with a shortage of talent, part-time employees get the work done and are likely to grow into full-time employees, either directly or indirectly. This alternative is also a great opportunity to move away from 40-hour weeks; some employees will be just as effective in half the time.
Part-time jobs are at best an effective recruiting mechanism, and at worst a way to support the local startup scene, whose progress benefits everyone. It allows startups to test employees, and employees to test startups. If startup and employee get along, it’s likely they will find an opportunity to work together gain; at the very least, they will provide referrals – for free.
Aaron Franklin is co-founder of LazyMeter, an application designed to end procrastination and forgetting. He works as a part-time consultant to support his startup.