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StartupAZ Newsletter: Issue 11

Talent deficit data isn’t pretty, and it hasn’t been for a while. Not only is the deficit anticipated to increase, the skill gap is also widening. While it’s been amplified by the ‘Great Resignation’ or the ‘Great Migration’ — whatever you prefer to call it — this is an issue that’s been percolating for several years now.

And the massive talent shortage has seemingly ignited an all-out talent war in many circles. But as Edwin Starr once wrote, “War…what is it good for? Absolutely nothin’.” And when it comes to sourcing talent, we pondered the same question.

We started to ask, what if, rather than going head to head with other local startups in the great talent grab, leaders from these companies came together to share resources? Could it work or is the competition too great?

Well, it turns out, local startup leaders were eager to give collaboration a test run. Last December, we convened 14 startups from the StartupAZ Collective for a “Talent Summit” to discuss the issue and possible solutions — and a beautiful thing emerged. They were going to try a talent share of sorts, referring finalist candidates to one another. Though still in its infancy, it’s already proving a success.

“We hired someone at Design Pickle that was a finalist at another StartupAZ company,” said Cailean Bailey of Design Pickle. “They are crushing it in their first few weeks. This is EXACTLY why I love this group and I’m very thankful for the openness to collaboration!”

With the current hiring strains, and considering how long and how much it costs to fill a role (which we explore in this month’s “By The Numbers”), why not come together to share resources? It will only add positive momentum to the generosity+performance flywheel on a micro and macro level.

And resource sharing is exactly the theme of this month’s “Collective Conversation.” Jenny Poon, founder and CEO of HUUB, a centralized resource platform for entrepreneurs, has focused her career around resource sharing. First in the physical world through her co-working space CO+HOOTS and now in the digital sphere. See her story below.

Indeed, the talent disparity numbers are bleak, but this only underscores the urgency for startup leaders to fight together rather than against one another. Here’s a look at some of the talent predictions and what it takes to hire someone into a role.

These events are just a few ways to get plugged in.

PHX Startup Week

Save the date for PHX Startup Week, returning this April 25–29. PHX Startup Week is the largest entrepreneurial event in the state and a great opportunity to meet startup founders, investors, and others in the ecosystem. Find more details here.

Applications Open for StatupAZ Collective

Calling founders and CEOs of growing startups! Applications are now open for the next StartupAZ Collective cohorts.

Learn more about StartupaZ Collective here and here.

Prospective founders can apply here.

Jenny Poon has an innate ability to connect people, places and things. And combined with her propensity for building communities, she created one of the top coworking spaces in the US, CO+HOOTS. Now, Jenny is taking much of what CO+HOOTS does in the physical realm to a digital format through her startup, HUUB. Though many of her skills transferred over to this new business, there was one big obstacle she’s had to overcome.

Watch the full interview (or check out the Q&A).

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Beth Cochran

Beth Cochran

Public relations and marketing for small- to mid-sized businesses.