Grand Rapids native Jeremy Evans-Smith has long been on a mission to get more people into the tech industry. In doing so, he traced the barriers confronting developers to find that the professional recruiting process was a major hurdle. That’s why the Calvin University graduate founded Full Cycle Recruiter Co., a learning community app that targets people who are changing careers and looking to break into the tech space.
Evans-Smith joined the most recent installment of The MiBiz Podcast to discuss his entrepreneurial journey and why businesses of all industries face challenges hiring for tech positions. Here are some highlights from the conversation.
On the mission and purpose behind Full Cycle:
“We were trying to figure out how we help all these companies that say they want to hire developers to hire developers. There were a bunch of people trying to break into the industry, but there seemed to be a bit of a disconnect. As we were talking to more companies, we were recognizing the real problem was they didn’t have recruiters on their team to find, source, hire and vet developers themselves.”
On why tech recruiting is difficult for mid-size companies:
“Companies that are bringing in anywhere from $1 million to $20 million in venture capital, half of that money is going toward hiring new talent. They’re going to need someone to hire. Founders are absolutely tasked with doing that but they’re also tasked with doing a bunch of other things. … Where we’re finding some resonance in terms of being able to connect with people and provide service and value is typically for those companies of the size that have busy and capable heads of talent that are just short on bandwidth and time.”
On pivoting from his idea of creating a developer community to creating Full Cycle:
“I wanted to focus on ‘founder market fit.’ At its core, it asks: Are you the right founder that is uniquely qualified to build this sort of thing? As I started to think about that, and the background needed to (create a developer community), it just wasn’t me. The more that I discovered it, I could do one of two things. I could cut it off, which is what I did, or I could drag it out. … But there are so many different ideas out in the world — just go out and find a new idea.