According to several major research groups, 60% of new businesses fail within five years. Of course, there are a variety of reasons for the failure — but not all are related to the skills and abilities of the entrepreneur. Consider expanding your recruiting efforts and look for those who are self-employed or contract workers. Many are tired of it, some are barely hanging on, while others really would prefer to work for someone else. But very few are looking. Where can you find them? Search Usenet, through AltaVista, for the phrase “self-employed”. There are about 2,700 postings. Not all of them are appropriate, but they do provide some interesting leads. A quick scan of the group the note was posted to, as well as the subject line, can give you a clear indication of whether it’s worth your time to pursue it. Of course, you can narrow the search even more by expanding your keywords. A search for “self-employed” at Liszt brings up 4 email lists geared toward the self-employed; a search for entrepreneur gathers 19 lists. That’s a total of 23 lists, each of which is populated by people either in business for themselves (or looking to hit on those who are). A bit more time-consuming, but worth the collection of several names, is the National Association of the Self-Employed site, which contains press releases and information with names. Or, if you’re looking for slightly less experienced people, consider querying AltaVista with the following Boolean expression on the Advanced search page: objective AND permanent AND url:resume.htm*. In AltaVista, you’ll get over 3,000 hits – many of which are people looking for permanent employment. Just add the skillwords you’re looking for to the expression to get a more manageable number.
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