Startup Talent Showcase, Summer 2019 at the Cortex Innovation District in St. Louis

Hiring is hard. It takes time, money and energy. Is your approach working? Is it time to check-in and re-evaluate your process? Here are 6 ways the Startup Talent Showcase is different — a fresh take on hiring you should consider when building your team.

Colleen (Liebig) Jenkins
Jul 22 · 4 min read

1. We bring you pre-vetted talent that’s prepped and ready.

All you have to do is show up, introduce your company and listen to a series of pitches from job seekers. Then, decide who you want to talk to. Candidates know what the startup environment is about and want to be part of it. They understand what the companies are looking for in advance and will have done a self-evaluation. They will be prepared to communicate what they know in a condensed 1-minute pitch.

2. It’s an opportunity to create a job or project for the right person.

The pitches showcase an array of talents, skill sets and personalities. Creating a job description at a startup is like hosting your first successful fancy dinner party. You’ve eaten dinner before, and probably been to a fancy dinner party, but have you done all of the planning & preparation to make it successful? What menu should you prepare that will appeal to your guests? Where should you get the ingredients? How much does all of this new fancy stuff cost? Do we have the appropriate cookware and utensils? We need to figure out all of these things to be the hostess with the mostest!

It’s the same with creating a job description in a startup — you’ve created a job description before, and you’ve hired before, but this is a little different. Have you hired this role before? Do you know what attributes you need for this role? Can the role be well defined, or will it by a hybrid because everyone is wearing so many hats? There are a lot of details that can be daunting if you’ve never done it before.

Before you go down the road of creating a job description, get a quick 1-minute preview of their drive, passion, competencies and fit for your team. Are they a know-it-all or do they have humility? See if you can get a sense of their attitude and their aptitude. Then decide if you want to start a conversation and start to build a job around what they bring to the table. (You’ll have access to their resume during the pitches.)

Startup Talent Showcase, Spring 2014

3. It’s affordable.

Compared to the standard job fair which typically costs a few hundred (and sometimes few thousand) dollars, companies can participate for the startup-friendly cost of $99, or free if they are signed up to the PluggedIn platform. Grab coupon code: STSEarlyBird for a 50% discount through the end of July. Also, we’ll never charge any recruitment placement fees.

4. The line-up of talent is curated and aimed at bringing out “full-stack” employees.

We screen candidates for their startup readiness. Aside from our strategic and smart recruiting efforts to pull together a diverse line-up including engineers, business professionals, creatives and full-stack employees, we also take the job specs you submit at registration and focus our recruitment efforts on finding potential candidates to maximize the number of matches and increase the likelihood of hires.

The companies who have hired at the Startup Talent Showcase, hired successfully. Our tracking and qualitative feedback indicates that the people they hired from the showcase are not only still at the company 1, 2, 3 years later but are now in more senior roles and even c-suite.

5. This is a matchmaking event. No booths or stacks of resumes that you’ll have to sift through later.

After the pitches, candidates and companies connect through a casual networking and on-the-spot interviewing session. During this time, we are hands-on with proactively matchmaking companies with candidates of interest and vice-versa. Candidates will not have resumes. Instead, they will all have profiles on the PluggedIn platform where you can post your job, view matched candidates, and engage via its built-in, 2-way messaging. Let us help you spare your inbox with follow-up and resumes — compartmentalize your hiring so you can focus on your business.

6. Meet other startup founders.

Each company has an opportunity to introduce themselves to candidates prior to the showcase. Hear from other companies on what they’re building. Network, learn what they’re doing that’s working. Trade war stories. It’s not often that startup founders get together. Hiring talented people is something to rally around.

Startup Talent Showcase, T-REx Innovation Center, Spring 2015

This is a 3-hour event on a Friday morning that is designed to make your hiring practical, productive and even a little enjoyable.

Rather than digging through 50–60 resumes of startup applicants and spending time trying to schedule interviews, come at it from a different angle. Get a one-hour preview by watching one-minute pitches from startup-ready talent followed by in-person conversations and matchmaking via PluggedIn.

Ready to revamp your hiring strategy?

Join us at the next Startup Talent Showcase!
September 13th (full-time hires) and November 8th (students/interns).

Want to bring the Startup Talent Showcase to your innovation hub, campus or company? Contact Colleen Jenkins —

Colleen (Liebig) Jenkins

Written by

Founder/CEO of PluggedIN HQ, Career Advisor in Entrepreneurship at Olin Business School & former Head of Talent Acquisition at Cultivation Capital.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade