The Recruitment Game
Mossier founder and CEO Nick Alm (second from right) with employees from Minnesota-based cybersecurity firm Arctic Wolf. Provided photo

The Recruitment Game

In the ever-changing world of a startup, the hunt for talent has its own unique challenges, says Mossier founder and CEO Nick Alm.

As an entrepreneur, sometimes you can spend months trying to fill an open position only to see it vacated within weeks of hiring.

Such is the lesson Mossier founder Nick Alm learned recently. Alm, who uses they/them pronouns, had been on the hunt for a jobs coordinator position to help operate Mossier’s LGBTQ-friendly jobs board. Mossier is a Minneapolis-based consultancy focused on workplace equity for LGBTQ individuals. The organization makes money by selling subscription packages to other companies looking to diversify their workforces and adopt more queer-friendly policies. The packages include access to the jobs board, trainings, and more.

The aim of the jobs coordinator role, Alm says, is to bring more job seekers and companies onto Mossier’s jobs board. Alm describes the job as a “mission hire,” central to Mossier’s goal of creating more inclusive workplaces.

All told, the hiring process took six months, Alm says. During that time, Alm refined the position and boosted compensation to find the right fit. “As a startup, in the months you spend trying to find somebody, the business has already changed,” Alm says. “What it made me realize is there are specific things to look for in people in a startup environment. We need somebody who can realistically get hired to do one thing and maybe have that changed, somewhat or a lot, six months from now.”

Alm hired someone as a jobs coordinator in July, but that individual ended up landing a more lucrative job elsewhere shortly after starting. Alm holds no grudge; certainly, in the current job market, workers have a great deal of leverage. “It’s a situation where you can’t really be mad about it, because it’s what I would have done,” Alm says.

For now, Alm is back on the hunt for a full-time jobs coordinator, which they see as one of three main pillars of the company. The other two full-time positions at Mossier would be a salesperson to sell memberships and a “delivery” role to run trainings and company assessments. Today, aside from those roles, Alm hires eight contractors on a part-time basis.

Alm is rolling out the jobs coordinator role in lieu of queer career fairs, which Mossier has operated in the past. But career fairs can sometimes feel impersonal or alienating for job seekers, Alm says.

The jobs coordinator also would help coach job seekers on crafting better and more effective applications.

“What we found is that so many LGBT people are finding their applications getting thrown out right away because their resume isn’t formatted the correct way, or they didn’t have the right keywords in their resume,” Alm says.

Mossier’s business certainly has changed over the years. For a while, the company sold smaller consultancy packages and trainings “a la carte.” Now, all of Mossier’s offerings are available only through a yearly subscription model, starting at $12,500 per organization per year, according to the company’s website.

If Mossier’s current model proves successful, Alm aims to turn it into a franchise business. “I’m envisioning a franchise model, where we would open up chapters in other states” Each chapter would have its own “trifecta” of core employees: a jobs coordinator, a delivery person, and a salesperson.

To be sure, there’s still a lot of work left and plenty of variables before that happens, but Alm says they’re ready for the ride. “We’re trying to take a more human-centered approach to recruiting,” Alm says.

Click here to learn more about Alm’s mission to diversify corporate Minnesota.