According to NVCA, as of July 2018, more than 20% of total VC financing was invested in so-called Venture Capital Unicorns ($11.8 billion). As those funding rounds close, a gap exists in the talent acquisition marketplace.
Staffing agencies in the United States and around the world are looking at the impact of Venture Capital and exploring the question of what these largely unregulated new technology companies need to combat a decreasing risk tolerance among investors. And from our own experience, Diversity and Inclusion is one of the key talent management challenges facing the industry.
Before we can address these global talent concerns, we have to ask: How do we help investors, founding teams, and hiring managers to regulate and redefine this modern working relationship in an increasingly outsourced economy? It comes down to doing things a little bit differently and addressing stakeholder concerns before they ever surface.
No doubt, it’s a unique time to be staffing for VC-backed organizations because of what investors need to see to feel in control of their investments. What’s more, hiring for these organizations is a medium to long-term gamble, and initial hires can present a greater risk than all future hires combined. Top hiring opportunities and partnerships, along with each company’s ability to adapt, will be critical to the survival of the industry.
Shifting Talent Sources
Since the increase in bank risk and the financial crisis of 2008, investors and founding teams have been responsive to new hiring methodologies, sometimes requiring more applicants, or more assessments, to filter down to the right hire. Of course, each stage in the startup lifecycle has its own unique challenges and shortcuts that can either undermine or overvalue expectations.
Our primary concern lies in a company’s ability to source talent on an ongoing basis with a trusted partner. Talent is the lifeblood of any organization, and even short-term, entry-level candidates from operations to accounting can drain or drive the focus. We’d rather be proactive in addressing this instead of relying on job board or billboards.
Staffing Venture Capital
Our view is, at the end of the day, you can give the best advice in the world, provide the best service, but if you can’t get founding teams to take action on higher quality candidates, it doesn’t really matter. Momentum in early stage VC-backed organizations is driven less by short-term profitability and more that they feel that they’re involved in the process.
Just as technology has cut the time it takes to make significant financial decisions from months to milliseconds, the pace at which recruitment is changing the Venture Capital industry continues to accelerate. With so many candidates and available roles in these Pre-Seed to Series A companies, we’re often hiring in a totally new area where the rules have not been written yet.
What Startups Need
Giving startup hiring managers the ability to feel comfortable writing the true description for the job is critical. Transparency from our first call to full-time candidates allows HR departments to be able to ask questions and gain confidence that the first staffing agency they call knows what they’re doing before they make a decision. Sure, you can use a job board to post short-term, near-immediate positions. For more strategic hiring practices, we’ve found that everyone gains some comfort from knowing there’s somebody on the other side of the phone that makes it a more tangible and shared goal.
If you’re just starting to consider strategic alliances in your ventures, make sure to leverage the fact that Premier Talent Partners has been innovating since 1998. Since we are built here in the Bay Area, we know you need more than traditional candidates, and we can possibly do things that the most staffing agencies can’t do.