As companies like IBM and OneWest Bank announce layoffs for Austin this summer, one tech startup is gambling -- literally -- on the job market and having some fun with recruiting as it prepares to interview candidates with a poker tournament.
Bigcommerce's unique hiring event holds true to the "Keep Austin Weird" concept, intertwined with the Lone Star state capital's reputation for ingenuity, Silicon Valley-rivaling developments in technology, and an ever-bubbling hub of startups and small businesses.
Looking to reach 200 employees in Austin by end of 2013, e-commerce platform and full-fledged startup Bigcommerce is taking the different approach to hiring and having a poker tournament-style recruiting event on Thursday at 7 p.m. at the headquarters in Northwest Austin at 11305 Four Points Drive, Building 2, Floor 3.
The event is focused on finding aces in the hole: the perfect sales leaders and digital marketing consultants.
At each poker table, candidates will have a one-minute round-robin introduction and get to play the game with a Bigcommerce executive or hiring manager.
Bigcommerce spokeswoman Jacey Zuniga said candidates get a taste of the company culture, all while hiring managers are able to casually interact with potential employees in a fun environment.
Interestingly enough, Bigcommerce's office space was designed by the same firm who did Austin's Google and Facebook offices. That would explain the lively atmosphere where a diverse palette of colors splashed on the walls are a given.
And for job seekers who aren't exactly poker pros, there will be plenty of opportunities to share resumes and interact with hiring managers as they mix, mingle and enjoy food and drinks throughout the event.
The goal is to find -- and hire -- 30 sales and digital marketing leaders from the event. Nearly 150 people have already RSVP'd for the event.
In-Depth: Helping startups map uncharted world
Venturephile, a startup of its own, is an online network of resources for entrepreneurs on a range of topics such as anything from marketing and creative ideas all the way to investors and legal advisors.
"It would be a disservice to startups or entrepreneurs if they felt they could tackle on the world on their own," said Venturephile founder and University of Texas graduate student Enrique Macias.
The idea grew out of the McCombs School of Business as part of a massive class project of sorts, leading to Venturephile's launch a few months ago. UMeTime is one of the many startups Venturephile caters its resources to.It's bridging a very important gap in the uncharted world of budding businesses in tech-friendly Austin.
"You have a lot of economic impact in the community and beyond, and I think that it stimulates that once you connect both of those worlds together and expose them to the community that is needing this kind of activity," said Macias.
Just like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, you can like, follow, tag and post on Venturephile, so it comes pretty natural for those already on popular social networks.
In-Depth: Courting Californians to the Lone Star state
It's no coincidence Austin has become home to thousands of Californians. The Austin Chamber of Commerce makes it a point to recruit companies from the Golden State.
In May, the Chamber teamed up with several Austin business leaders and took off to San Jose, Calif., for what they called peer-to-peer selling -- something even Gov. Rick Perry knows a little something about.
Radio listeners across California heard a new pitch with a Texas accent in early February as Perry invited California companies to check out the low taxes, predictable regulations, fair legal system and skilled workforce that have made Texas the best state in the nation to live, work and raise a family.
The judge presiding over the trial to oust District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg ruled Wednesday that she'll stay in office.
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The Austin City Council will take up billing errors and problems with the appeals process at Austin Energy during Thursday's meeting.
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