We are now in the last month of the year and we still have a lot to do.
We attended the initial event for Startup253. https://startup253.com/ Three startups pitched for a short time and the winner received another 5 minutes to talk about their startup. We met some great people at this event.
I had a great talk with Rob after his pitch. He talked to me about a potential source of employees that I had not even considered. That potential source is military spouses. The unemployment rate for military spouses is 16%. The reason is that they move every few years to follow their military spouse. Which makes it quite hard for them to find employment that matches their skills and education. Then most companies don't want to hire you if they know you will move in a few years.
Lots of military spouses have a college education and want to work for a company that will allow them to make a contribution and add value. At cavnessHR, we have started the process of posting positions on JBLM to recruit military spouses and military Veterans.
We are trying out a program called Twitter Promotion Mode that is currently in Beta. How it works is you select up to 5 locations. They can be 5 cities or they can be 5 states. The Promotion Mode then "promotes" your tweets to those locations and tracks some metrics for you.
The metrics they track are people reached, followers gained, profile visits and tweets promoted. One item we don't like is that the Promotion Mode selects which of your tweets to promote. It also does not say what percentage of your tweets will be promoted. Not sure how this is going to work. But we wanted to experiment with this and see if it is worth investing money into this method in the long term.
We had a meeting with the members of the cavnessHR team where we discussed the following topics.
The hiring/firing philosophy of cavnessHR. We want to hire and fire fast.
How cavnessHR is going to promote a diverse work environment and all that is involved with that.
How we will recruit more people to the team.
How everyone at cavnessHR will have a background check done on them at some point. A bad background check won't be a reason for not being offered employment. But we do need to make sure that we are providing a safe work environment. Having background checks is one way to do this.
We talked about the cavnessHR pay philosophy and our equity plan.
We talked about how everyone will get a vote. But sometimes your vote won't count. Meaning cavnessHR is not going to go the way you want or take your input every single time. But your input/feedback will always be valued.
We covered the Jimmy Johnson method of taking care of employees that we plan on using. Back when Jimmy Johnson was coach of the Dallas Cowboys. A player fell asleep during a training meeting. This player was one of the fringe players on the team. Jimmy Johnson cut him on the spot. Later he was asked by a reporter, what he would do if Troy Aikman fell asleep at a training meeting? Jimmy Johnson immediately replied, "I would go and get him a pillow and make sure he was comfortable."
To us this means, when you have a less than average employee, get rid of them at the earliest opportunity. When you have a superstar, go out of your way to make sure they can produce to the best of their ability.
We also talked about how nothing we do at cavnessHR is safety related. So we can make mistakes and when we do, no one is going to be harmed. But at the same time, we can't make the same mistakes over and over and over again. We then talked about the importance of always making a good faith effort.
We are going to use this discussion as the template for future talks with potential employees and for our onboarding process.
cavnessHR has applied for the We Work and Bunker Labs Veterans in Residence program. https://www.wework.com/veterans-in-residence WeWork’s Veterans in Residence program is a national effort in partnership with Bunker Labs. Accepted applicants earn six months of a fully sponsored workspace. Veterans and military spouses are eligible to apply.
cavnessHR also applied for Bunker Labs Seattle Launch Lab Cohort that will begin in January 2018. The primary focus is on the leadership skills, grit and ability to adapt, rather than the type of business. The Cohort is going to meet weekly for approximately 3 hours, with mentoring, guest speakers, applicable business homework and meaningful introductions.