Author: Shannon Tilton

Hiding in Plain Sight: the Labor Pool at our Doorstep

In a recent article on my former company, Emerge Digital Group, Michael Bernick talked about an innovative hiring model we inadvertently created in building our business. Given our rapid growth and lack of capital we were essentially forced into hiring outside the traditional Silicon Valley model of poaching the best candidates from competitors. Instead, we hired workers from other industries, the unemployed or underemployed, interns, really anybody we could get our hands on. What started as a one-off became an almost institutionalized practice of hiring the hungriest and scrappiest people who would do anything to get ahead.   The...

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Does Emerge Digital Offer a New Hiring Model for California?

The Emerge Digital Group (“EDG”) is one of the fastest growing advertising and marketing firms in the United States—in August it was ranked by Inc. Magazine as the #2 fastest growing private company nationwide in the advertising and marketing industry. While its growth holds lessons about digital marketing, of particular relevance to California’s workforce community is its unconventional hiring model. The company was co-founded in 2009 by Chase Norlin and Alex Rowland. It was a bootstrapped operation, with financing coming from the founders and their families. In the first years, it had no major outside capital investment. chasenorlin copyBy...

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Who’s Hiring H-1B Visa Workers? It’s Not Who You Might Think

The tech industry wants more skilled workers — from overseas. Companies are lobbying hard for Congress to raise the — visas for people with specialized skills — researchers, for instance, or software engineers. Brad Smith, Microsoft’s general counsel, recently told NPR that more H-1B visas can’t help but be good for the country. “We need to continue to attract some of the best and brightest people in the world to come and join us in world-leading [research and development] efforts,” Smith said. But that “best-and-brightest” argument doesn’t quite match up with reality — especially when you look at which...

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Just Whose Job Is It to Train Workers?

Hu-Friedy Sets Up Apprenticeship Program, But Dental-Instruments Maker Is Rare Exception Hu-Friedy, a manufacturer of dental instruments in Chicago, says its future hinges on four employees. So, it is paying them to leave their jobs for two years. While their colleagues bend and grind cylinders of steel on the factory floor, the four workers since March have been mastering the fundamentals of metal composition and heat-treating, among other things. The hope, managers say, is that the two years of full-time training will help keep the 106-year-old dental-instruments maker competitive in a mature industry crowded with rivals. What’s happening at...

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