This Press Release Contains Numbers You Don’t See Too Often

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Apr 6, 2017

You may have heard of Crunchbase. It’s the place to go to see things like what companies have raised what money from venture capitalists.  

It’s announcing today $18 million of new funding itself, aimed at selling its product to teams at big companies. 

But wait. That’s not the intriguing part of the Crunchbase announcement.

Crunchbase CEO Jager McConnell says in the press release that “hiring a diverse team will bring a variety of valuable perspectives into the business, which reflects the culture of Crunchbase. This will remain a focus of hiring as the company doubles in size in the next year.”

Wait. That’s not it either.

It’s what comes next.

McConnell says in the press release: “I’m inviting engineers from all backgrounds to text me at 415.881.8828 to find out more about joining our team.”  

Yep, the CEO is spreading his cell phone number around and telling people to contact him.

I ran the unusual move by a few folks. Martin Burns, from HireClix, was one. “My first reaction is that I like it, borderline love it,” Burns says. CEOs always say they’re going to talent is so important, he says, but “most don’t back it up with their actions. They talk the game.”

Depending on what ends up coming in, Burns says the CEO “might regret it, but it may teach him that this is what happens to recruiters; they get spammed by people around the world,” and recruiters will say, “see what happens with bad volume?'”

Similarly, consultant Will Staney loves and hates the idea. On the love part, he agrees that it sends the signal that the company is laser-focused on talent. At the same time, he says, it implies that “they haven’t really thought very strategically about hiring. I would hope the CEO is too busy to be taking calls from engineer candidates.” Similarly, Shaker Recruitment Advertising’s Mike Temkin says that companies trying something like this need to be careful they don’t send the message that they can’t find enough employees.

Ed Nathanson wonders if engineers actually read press releases about company funding, or if only people like me do. “The sentiment is great,” he says. “The execution’s all wrong.”

McConnell, the Crunchbase CEO, tells me via email: “I interview all candidates before we make offers to ensure we are building a strong and diverse culture. We have internal recruiters who will help me triage incoming requests, as well as the hiring managers who are hungry for great candidates.”

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