We were a proud sponsor for the 2012 Something Independent Entrepreneur Awards last night and Dave also had the honor of being one of the judges for the participants.
What is SIEA? Something Independent invited business from all around Colorado to compete for a grand prize of $1,500 in a video competition. More than that, to hold an event that would show case all the business and bring them them to the public attention. In their words: “Across Colorado there exists a distinct independent spirit that is nowhere more evident than in those Colorado entrepreneurs living at the intersection of business and lifestyle. In recognition of their commitment, their accomplishments and their passion…This is not a business plan competition. This is 90 seconds to make our judges believe in you.”
23 participants from all over Colorado participated, some were entrants from last year producing new videos for 2012:
(Active Junky, Alkaline, Apex Sports Group, Astis, Bould, condorcam, Denver Beer Co, Evol, Folsom, Grace, In the Soup, MHM, Mobile Canning, Oogave, Shredly, Oz Longboards, Pakems, Peakvibe, Skea, Snug Organics, Street Swell, White Girl Salsa, Wild Goose Canning)
It was a tremendous event, we had a great turn out here at Battery 621! The top three finalists were Apex Sports Group, Condorcam (our friend here at Batter and a returning finalist), and MHM (also a returning applicant). But there could only be one winner…
Congratulations, MHM – Mile High Mountaineering on your terrific video!
Check out more pictures from the event on our facebook page. We’re excited to be a part of it next year.
We had such a great time at LeanUX Denver last week meeting a ton of great new people and catching up with old friends. Thank you to everyone who stopped by our table to chat with us and find out about some of our UX/UI positions—Even if you were just swinging by to pick up some of our gourmet chocolate covered bacon.
It was a superb event! We loved the excitement and energy of everyone involved. There were fantastic companies, phenomenal workshop leaders & speakers, and plenty of talented folks interested in learning more about LeanUX. Attendees included people from all over the globe: everyone from Boston to New Zealand, and yet, it was still an intimate enough event for everyone to be able to get to know each other….
I was even lucky enough to attend two of the half-day workshops on Wednesday and can personally attest to how informative and fun they were.
We look forward to attending this event again. Great job to all the people who worked on making this event a success! We are glad we could help through sponsorship. See you all next year!
TedxMileHigh was this Saturday and I know everyone who went would agree it was an incredible experience. I feel so fortunate to have heard all of these stories from the amazing Coloradans and Colorado businesses. To those of you lucky enough to attend, I know you’re attacking this week with renewed zeal with the volume on your heart turned all the way up like I am (yes, that’s a reference to the riveting slam poetry champ finale from Ken Arkind, Bobby Lefbre, and Theo Wilson).
The theme of this year’s conference was Risk Rewards. Maybe some of you–like those of you who are always have a pair of skis, some camping gear, and climbing ropes in the athletic salad that is your Subaru’s trunk–think you know what it could have been about. But, no, it wasn’t about the thrill of climbing Long’s, it was about the leaps of faith–big or small–that we can all take everyday to change our lives, our communities, or the world. Whether its finding a new job that makes you happier or supporting women’s rights in Israel.
Some of my favorite talks were…
Natalie Baumgartner (from RoundPegg) on “fit.” Natalie is a psychologist who has made a career of studying culture fit and currently works for RoundPegg. I was surprised to find out that a staggering 49% of new hires fail and 89% of the time it’s because they were not a culture fit. Changing jobs is a dramatic change for both the employees and the companies hiring them–both are taking a risk and hoping for the best. Natalie talked about the absolute necessity of ensuring that you are happy at your work by taking to time to ensure the place you want to work reflects and encourages your natural disposition and talents. She explained that, by the time we start our first careers jobs our personalities are established so we shouldn’t try to cram ourselves into a someone else’s box in order to “get by” at work. We spend the majority of our day and lives at work, so find the place that brings out the best in you. Leaving your current job might seem like a precarious step, but “it’s a greater risk to stay where you don’t fit,” as Natalie said. She found that companies that take the time to ensure that their employees mesh with the true culture of the company were six times more profitable and that the employees were much more likely to be happy and more loyal to the company.
Ryan Martens (from Rally Software) on bring your values to your work. When someone asks you how you’re doing, you should be saying “I’m doing well and good*.” Ryan gave and persuasive talk in investing in social enterprise, harnessing the power of business in order to create social change. Using your work as an outlet for your values, which should go hand in hand. He did a fantastic job in outlining the ways in which businesses can take simple steps to applying these steps in order to ensure that you’re getting the most fulfillment out of your work. (*Does anyone else always think of this skit when someone asks them?)
Adam Lerners from MCA and Mixed Tastes (formally The Lab). Adam gave an entertaining talk on his journey to work for the MCA and to create the internationally recognized Mixed Tastes lectures series. Like others, he talked about the shift from wanting working towards the desire to impress others with a lifetime worth of intellectual accolades, to doing things for himself that matched his own interests— and how the latter brought him much more joy. Dropping the routine of semi-pretentious art talks of abstract ideas and obscure artists, Adam accepted a lecture series request from Belmar (a new suburban district being developed in Lakewood, Colorado) and decided to have a creative discussion on two completely unrelated topics. Like “Andy Warhol & Artificial Lighting” or “Bananas Foster & Emily Dickinson.” The program slowly generated more and more popularity while the Adam and his team felt like it was just fun. For example they started a series called “MISHUGAS!” that were recorded interviews of Adam’s Aunt Mirim and gags like offering gigantic sacks of rubble “free to new members!” Eventually the Mixed Tastes was being discussed nationally in the New York Times and had a joint project featured at the Pompidou Center in Paris. It goes to show, the reward can become so much more than the risk.
Of course there were too many good talks to describe in depth here, and I can’t do them justice anyway….Woody Roseland‘s fluidly motivational reflection on surviving cancer five times. Very moving philanthropic stories from Jeremy Bloom, Jessica Posner, and Laura Merage. An incredible violin performance from Kayvon Coffey and a musical performance from Gregory Alan Isakov, to name a few more.
Towards the end the atmosphere was so electrifying and momentum was building up so much so that we couldn’t help but give robust applause and rise from our chairs after each new speaker, the event capping off with the heart-stopping joint-performance from the three poetry slammers I mentioned at the top of this post.
I encourage you all to watch the videos of the lecturers that should be posted in the coming weeks. But in the mean time, just remember that the little positive changes in your life can compound to make big differences:
While I’m sure this might actually frighten my own mother, I still think it’s awesome. It’s amazing how quickly technologies are growing and morphing into things we wouldn’t have thought was possible a few years ago.
Just thought you’d like this. Maybe you’re ready for bigger challenge too?
We would love to introduce you to eight new charities BWBacon is proud to support on thanks to our thoughtful resources:
Our BW Giving program helps us acknowledge the hard work our resources do for the companies we’ve connected them with by supporting the causes they care about. They represent us and so we want to represent them.
This quarter, we donated over $600 dollars in our candidate’s names towards organizations they choose, including these eight new foundations! This brings our grand total to $10,062 we have donated to charities since beginning this program.
- Project Yes: Provides leadership opportunities for young people through the arts and service-learning located in Lafayette, Colorado.
- UNICEF: Helping to build a world where the rights of every child are realized by providing child survival development, education, gender equality, medical aid, and protection.
- Electronic Frontier Foundation: Defends people’s rights in an increasingly digital world.
- Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters: Whether a child needs hospitalization, ongoing care for a chronic illness, outpatient surgery or primary care, CHKD Health System provides the staff, facilities and technologies that address the unique demands of childhood.
- Mountain States Children’s Home: For 50 years on 155 acres, MSCH has provided room for a child to find peace, protection, and a place in a world where their needs will be met.
- Denver’s Road Home: Denver’s Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness approved by Mayor Hickenlooper and the Denver City Council.
- American Cancer Society: A nationwide, community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem.
- Camp Kesem: A college-student-run summer camp for kids whose parents have (or have had) cancer whose goal is to provide plenty of laughs and lots of emotional but non-therapeutic support for their campers.
Imagine if you will, our own motley crew coming packing into one or two cars to your company. The Bacon group, in the flesh. Baring gifts and a endless amount of enthusiasm….
This year, we have been doing team visits to our clients, especially new clients, so that everyone (from recruiters to sources) gets to meet the company, their hiring managers, and their technical team. We’ve always had a good relationship with our clients, but in the past it was usually through one or two members of our team. We decided to do more team visits as a manifestation one of our fundamental ideas on how we do business: truly working with companies and resources as part of a team to match the best resource with the most fitting position. We are all on the same level and we are all working together towards the same goal. So naturally, we should all know get cozy, right?
It’s important for us to do this for many reasons. Everyone gets to personally see the offices where a resource could potentially work, we get to meet the team, and we can talk candidly to the hiring manager about his/her expectations, managerial style, and the open positions. Our team is better equipped to more honestly advocate for the company and their team, as well as give a more in-depth description of the job requirements (such as, sing-alongs on Fridays or siestas at 2pm every day). To tell you, the candidate, why you would like working with their team. Plus, one of our favorite parts of client visits is seeing resources we’ve already placed enjoying their new job!
But we don’t stop there, we like to personally meet our candidates as well. Besides, an excuse to show off our Batter 621 offices, it’s an opportunity for both of us to put a face to to the people who we have been communicating with. Resources can about their skills, their goals, and their lives; where they want to be, what they’re looking for, and how we can help them. Sure, we communicate a lot through phone and email, but there is something different about just getting to hang out with our resources and get to know them. More than once, after a great meeting with a talented person we have gone back to encourage a company meet them as well. With a strong relationship with both candidates and companies, we can be the best matchmakers possible.
It’s a little more effort on our part, but it’s completely worth it for all of us. It’s fulfilling for us to help candidates and companies complete their teams…to help someone find a job and to make someone else’s job easier. We love with we do.
I am really in love with this talk by Aaron Dignan (@aarondignan). I know that many of you will balk at the idea of a 28:57 minute video (not including buffer time), but it’s an extremely thoughtful lecture by Dignan that I guarantee you’ll enjoy.
Dignan discusses what makes games so enthralling to us: the use of skills, the constant challenge, and, generally being bad-ass heroes. Then he applies game rhetoric to our work lives, or at least what our professional lives could be. If you’re doing the same-old-same-old at work, never being called upon to be creative you’ll definitely become restless and bored. It’s certainly not satisfying. You could totally be the edgy, obviously complex, evil-fighting protagonist at your job.
…And I’m not just saying that because we happen to have a lot of super awesome job opportunities, but it doesn’t hurt either.
Ps. Aaron mentions Mike Monteiro’s meeting tokens. Brilliant.
Never before has the time been riper for recruiters to make a real difference to the profitability of their firms. The differentiator between profits, innovative products, and long-term success is, very simply, the quality of talent.
As gatekeepers, your function is far from trivial. You are key to finding the best talent and therefore ultimately a core player in corporate success. But we continue to act like our job is about as important as sorting screws or stocking shelves. We are rarely influencers or early adopters of technology.
Really great article from ERE that might give you some insight into what we do and how we work! (Read the full article here).
01. Narrow the Field.
“Determine who the most critical hires are for your firm — the ones who generate revenue, create new products or services, or build strong customer relationships — and then focus primarily on locating where the best of those people are. Use social media, targeted messaging, and focused branding to attract them. Every recruiter should have a community of interested, qualified, and available talent so that they can quickly fill any open position.“
At BWB we have 15 minute morning stand-ups to discuss what our priorities for the day. This allows us to concentrate our efforts and be more effective.
02. Get relevant data.
“Spend the time to establish measurable and meaningful goals that can be proven by facts and data. Your goals and what you focus on have to be approved and believed by the hiring managers. The best way to establish the measures is to include hiring managers in formulating them.“
Keeping with our pseudo-Agile management, we have burndown charts of specific candidate data which we collect each week in order to establish concrete statistics on our workflow. We also make sure to keep our hiring managers involved and love when the entire team meets with our clients and talks about the requirements for an open position.
03. Go for the Crowd.
“Leverage your employees and seek out connections, referrals, and recommendations of good people. Don’t worry about specific professions or skills. Go for anyone who your employees think is a high performer, unusual thinker, entrepreneur, and doer. You can screen them later and, as work changes and new needs arise, who knows whom your firm may need.“
Did this remind you of our awesome BW Loyalty Program? I thought so. We work with great people. Great people know other fantastic people. It just makes sense. We are proud of the fact that our resources enjoy working with us enough to recommend us to their friends.
04. Move the Transactional Out.
“Outsource or automate whatever is routine, transactional, and doesn’t directly lead to a new candidate, a close, or a hired person. Your job is to find and get great people hired. It’s not to administer paper, write reports, manage budgets, and schedule interviews. Someone else (or a tool) can do this, freeing you and your team to hire the most critical contributors.“
While our team members have specific duties like sourcing or managing our social media (ahem, yours truly), we also work together to “remove impediments” from each other, #Agile. People working with us will notice that we have also switched to e-signatures in order to dramatically reduce the time spent on paperwork—both for us and you. Plus, we have some great things in the works… ;)
05. Empower Hiring Managers.
“Let them do more. This is their hire, not yours. You are the scout, the initial evaluator, and the coach. You should be coaching the hiring managers and advising them how to probe, sell and close.”
If our hiring managers were peanut butter. Man, you know we’d be the jelly. The people we work with are our partners and good relationships are extremely important to us.
06. Use Technology.
“Everything including branding, sourcing, interviewing, assessing, marketing, onboarding and workforce planning can be augmented or even completely offloaded to technology.
For example, social media, and crowdsourcing techniques can relive you of most of the need for Boolean search, job posting, and other time-consuming tasks with low return on your time investment.”
You’re reading this right now? Great, that’s half the battle…
You know you want to.