On Thursday, 12th October 2023, Founder, Jordan Stern, hosted a roundtable event to discuss the evolving role of the talent function in Venture Capital businesses. Two of the main themes they were keen to discuss include:
- How does the talent arm service portfolio businesses in terms of growth hiring and retention?
- How do talent teams build communities at different infliction points?
A big thank you to all of our attendees for the fruitful conversation. We hope you found it as useful and insightful as we did. If you couldn’t join us, but are interested in what was said, keep reading for the key takeaways from the morning.
Communities within your portfolio
There is a lot of value in building a community and encouraging engagement between entrepreneurs. The morning’s conversation started with asking everyone’s experiences in building a community, what challenges they’ve faced and how beneficial it has been.
The benefits of managing a community
The core benefit of building and maintaining your community, is the powerful conversations that are facilitated through this channel. Founders at different stages are able to communicate with each other and ask questions that only other entrepreneurs can answer. For early-stage founders, the ability to access the knowledge of those who are further in their funding journeys, is unmatched.
The Talent Leaders in the room shared how the best conversations are organic, so it can be possible to have a more hands-off approach when it comes to managing your community.
The challenges of a community
One core challenge of building a community in this way, is ensuring that your members are getting the right responses from the right people. How do you know that the person giving advice is qualified to do so? For instance, is a pre-seed founder the right person to deliver advice?
This is where a Community Manager might play a role. They’ll be able to re-direct the person needing advice to someone who is better positioned to provide a clear, insightful answer.
An alumni community
Maintaining an alumni community can also benefit your business in a number of ways. By staying connected with these organisations, they recognise that they’re still a part of the cohort and network. This keeps your business front and centre of their mind even though they’re no longer a part of your portfolio.
Are VCs best positioned to give talent strategy advice?
On the topic of advising companies, one Talent Leader asked for opinions around whether or not Venture Capitals are best positioned to give talent advice.
Attendees shared how it can be difficult to deliver bespoke talent strategies at such a large scale. To deliver insightful, actionable advice, talent teams need to be able to spend one-on-one time with each portfolio business. This is a challenge faced across all arms of a VC, however, not only talent, and doesn’t mean that talent functions aren’t valuable.
Working alongside recruiters
One way that Venture Capital talent arms can deliver world-class value for their portfolio businesses, is through building relationships with recruitment agencies.
Talent teams cannot specialise in each role a business needs to hire:
The list goes on!
But what you can do, is build working relationships with specialist recruitment agencies in each of these skill sets. This allows you to play a more consultative role in your business and point portfolios in the right direction for talent advice, strategies and people whenever they need.
The Talent Leaders in the room shared how these partnerships can also deliver added value to your portfolio. Recruitment agencies or executive search firms can deliver content to your businesses in the form of webinars or events, providing your founders with the opportunity to ask questions around the recruitment market.
In many ways, it can be incredibly useful to stay proactive in your portfolio and keep talent at the forefront of everyone’s minds. Ask your Investment Partners what talent support Founders will need in the next 6-12 months.
This will result in an answer that you can start preparing for or will allow Founders to start thinking about talent proactively. The latter is incredibly important to ensure continued business growth.
A big thank you to our Talent Leaders
A big thank you to the Talent Leaders who attended this event, we hope you found it as insightful as us. If you missed out on this event, but are interested in joining us at the next one, please get in touch at email@example.com
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