Cheezburger Steps Up the Hiring Stunts With Free Burgers Outside Amazon Staff Meeting
I guess this means it’s game on in Seattle for tech-company hiring gimmicks. The folks at Cheezburger Network, fresh off a new acquisition and $30 million in venture financing, put together a quick marketing stunt today outside Key Arena, where Amazon.com was having a big company meeting.
About a half-dozen Cheezburger employees, including CEO Ben Huh, were handing out burgers from Seattle institution Dick’s, along with doughnuts from Top Pot and job fliers, telling the Amazon techies to spread the word to any friends who are looking for a job. Cheezburger, for those who don’t know, maintains a line of quirky entertainment and humor sites, including Fail Blog and I Can Has Cheezburger. The company has about 60 employees now, and is seeking to grow by about a third.
Check out the video for Huh’s rundown on the job categories Cheezburger is looking to fill and where, since they just opened a New York office. (Also note how one person looks pretty puzzled by the business card, but brightens up considerably once the burger is handed over.)
Cheezburger was able to get a hold of about 200 burgers in the roughly half-hour window they gave the people at Dick’s to fill the order, and supplemented it with about 20 dozen doughnuts. The noontime Amazon crowd ran through it pretty quickly.
There’s a bit of seriousness behind the goofball factor in peddling junk food to techies. We’ve previously covered the Seattle area’s tight market for tech talent, a dynamic that’s stoked by a combination of relatively flat college enrollment slots, an expanding tech sector, and the arrival of more companies from Silicon Valley who are looking for talent up north as their own job market heats up.
“It is really hard,” Huh says. “Just because we got a VC round doesn’t mean we’re going to just hire everybody we can find. We still want to keep the quality up.” That highlights another conundrum some commenters on previous stories have mentioned: All these tech companies say it’s increasingly difficult to fill jobs, but they can also sound pretty selective about who they want to hire.