Ask most people in the middle of an election year "what would it take to fill 10,000 jobs?" and you'll probably hear an array of well-meaning talking points on stimulus, taxes and job creation bills. However, if you're talking about jobs with young, high-growth potential companies -- i.e. startups -- the answer might surprise you. For startups, the crisis isn't so much about job creation. In fact, the Kaufman Foundation reports Small Business enjoyed the only net job creation for the last two decades. Instead, the jobs issue facing most startups today is filling the tens of thousands of open positions they already have.
Knowing this, the team at StartUpHire asked ourselves this question: What would it take to fill 10,000 startup jobs? We believe that a large part of the problem is that the right people simply don't know that these opportunities exist. To fill 10,000 startup jobs, we need to make sure these exciting opportunities are in front of as many people as possible across the country. That's why this week we're announcing our new initiative and challenging America to help Fill 10,000 Startup Jobs! We're asking everyone to help spread the word about these opportunities and innovative companies by simply linking up your Twitter or Facebook account from our campaign webpage. From that point on, you'll automatically share one startup job a day with your friends and followers.
Why help? First, there's the obvious reason of connecting someone to a great job and helping the economy grow. But equally important is the fact that the future won't make itself!
This initiative affects everyone because startups affect everyone. Think of all the things in your everyday life that were created by companies that started in the last five, ten or fifteen years. If these companies were people, Google wouldn't be old enough for a driver's license, Facebook would be in 2nd grade and every app on your phone wouldn't have started kindergarten yet. But look at what a difference startups have made in our personal lives and our national economy. Whether it's building social media platforms that have helped entire revolutions take place, or launching a commercial rocket to the International Space Station, young American companies -- some less than a decade old -- are impacting the world in some really big ways. We all benefit when startups succeed and you can help make that happen.
As the leading job search engine dedicated to connecting exceptional talent to innovative companies, we see the effects of startups not being able to find the right people to fill vacant seats in a timely manner. For startups, hiring can be one of the greatest barriers to success. If you only have a staff of twenty, five open positions can really hinder growth and threaten the company meeting it's full potential. That's 25 percent of your entire company -- and no company can afford that. Look no further than Google or Facebook to realize that when startups succeed, they don't just create great products and services, they eventually create even more jobs. Economist Enrico Moretti, in his book The New Geography of Jobs has calculated that while each additional job in manufacturing creates 1.6 local service jobs ranging from barbers and wait-staff to doctors and lawyers, each new job in the innovation sector has a job multiplier of five. It's exciting to think about the potential impact in cities across the country if we helped fill just these 10,000 jobs alone.
The news is full of grim unemployment statistics, so why is hiring such a challenge? There are job seekers who think working for a startup is too risky and there are those who say that no matter what you do, there just aren't enough people with technical skills to fill demand. Let's look at those issues one at a time.
According to Forbes, America's 500 largest public companies laid off close to 700,000 people between November 2008 and April 2010. Given that, I'd say the perceived safety of working for a large company is a thing of past. Furthermore, experience working for a young fast-growing company makes you more valuable to similar companies in this job rich ecosystem.
As for the argument that there are not enough people with technical skills to fill demand -- Yes, there are more than 3,000 open software engineering jobs at startups this morning alone, but according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics there were 913,100 jobs held in this field in 2010. Let's not underestimate the adaptability of our workforce.
The mobile software space is a good example. There have been over half a million different apps written for the iPhone and iPad. Yet, the iOS platform only opened up to outside developers five years ago. In other words, all those developers learned development on a new operating system in order to bring their creations to market.
This isn't unique to just the mobile space. Web technologies continue to evolve, as do big-data, clean-tech and just about everything else. At their core startups are about learning -- learning what customers value, learning how to push technology beyond its previous limits and learning how to grow an organization. That's what makes these jobs and opportunities some of the most rewarding experiences on the planet.
We're a country built on ambitious goals and determination. I'm asking you to pitch in to help these exciting opportunities make their way into the right inbox, Twitter feed, or Facebook wall, to reach our goal by November. Please consider helping get the word out that these companies are hiring. Help a friend get a dream job. Or better yet, find your own. This election season, Vote Startup!
To learn more about how you can help the initiative, please visit our campaign page.
Follow Steve Roberson on Twitter: www.twitter.com/startuphire