Welcome to our new blog! This has been on the list for some time, yet other pressing items have somehow always nudged their way to the top. That aside, it seems appropriate to kick things off with a brief history on the StartUpHire initiative and how this got started…
The origins of StartUpHire
This initiative traces its roots back some 18 months to a conversation over beers after a local networking event. Why is it that great ideas and beer so often go hand in hand? There were a few venture investors present (including me), several CEOs of venture backed companies, and two recent hires to these companies. The discussion eventually turned to the task of recruiting and hiring. It’s been some time so I hesitate to quote specific individuals, but here is the gist of the conversation… The CEOs in the room stressed that hiring is difficult to forecast at emerging growth companies and that when they do have hiring needs, they typically want them filled yesterday! Things just move at a faster pace. They lamented that their job postings to the large careers sites (you know the ones) invariably get lost in the noise amidst postings for more established companies with household names. They also longed for a better way to leverage their individual investors and investor brands. The fact of the matter is that very often, and certainly in the early stages, investor reputations are a particularly strong calling card and a critical asset to the recruiting process.
The venture investors in the room (including me) all spoke to a desire to list portfolio company jobs on our websites but complained that we had no simple, zero-admin, and cost effective means to do so. We also longed for a place to point the constant stream of inbound inquiries looking for new employment opportunities. For most investors, not a week goes by without multiple emails and calls on this front, yet the sad truth is that we each have very limited insight into portfolio company hiring needs, typically just the executive hiring needs at the handful of companies in our personal portfolios. We almost always lack insight into the broad hiring needs of our portfolio companies beyond the executive level and therefore miss countless opportunities to funnel talent their way.
The recent hires at the table, each of whom had a bias for venture-stage companies, complained of no efficient way to identify these opportunities. The only alternative being to surf venture firm websites for links to portfolio companies in hopes that those company websites include job openings … which they often don’t because many companies have no easy means to list these. Those who relish these opportunities find them flat-out difficult to identify. Simply keeping abreast of new startups is a real challenge. Identifying the most promising job opportunities in a given industry, geography, and function is really hard.
We did some research and concluded that despite the numerous job boards in existence, there was no destination site with the singular mission of connecting qualified candidates to jobs at venture capital backed companies.
….so we spoke to more companies, investors, and individuals to confirm the need … and a few of us started the ball rolling and pulled together StartUpHire. We’ve worked hard to eliminate every possible barrier to adoption, and the initial reception has been tremendous! This is an effort designed to serve the entire industry, and we’re especially thankful to our sponsors. Please dive in, spread the word, and let us know what you think.