Reading the headlines, you’d think there are hundreds of people who would jump at the opportunity to apply for your new job. But if you are an early stage, pre-market startup, without a recognizable brand, you may be in for a surprise. What’s so important in today’s economy is stability. ‘Post (a job description) and Pray’ may not be the most effective way to build your team.
Generally speaking, big brands offer generous severance packages. Candidates often have the financial luxury of waiting for the perfect role, even taking some time off to reassess their priorities and interests. Job seekers in tech are analogous to ‘discriminating buyers’, picky, sharp, smart.
These very sophisticated job seekers will want to understand who is leading the company and what kind of track record of success that person has. VCs have done a great job over the decades in marketing themselves as critical to a new company’s success. ‘Who’ you are backed by, Khosla, Founders Fund, etc., has become a valley speaking point. Who is behind the brand is an important narrative to landing great people.
Being able to articulate the financial ‘runway’ a company has is also critical. Don’t be surprised if candidates ask about access to cash in light of the SVB scare recently.
For companies that are privately funded, there’s a great narrative, you may have more control over your destiny, you may have more backers that are akin to ‘silent partners’. Your founder may be a serial inventor, may have left a prestigious job at one of the world’s best brands, may be a serial entrepreneur. Getting that message out requires more than what you can say in a job description and needs to be told with passion and credibility.
Though it’s a fraction of tech, there are companies with a terrible culture, demanding people sleep in their offices to work round the clock, the infamous ‘Bro Culture’, autocratic cultures and more—expect candidates to probe, learn more about what it’s like to work at your company. Our best clients are able to showcase their Glassdoor reviews, use employee testimonials on their employment sites, etc.
The job market, despite the layoffs, remains robust. Biotech, defense, AI, Pharma– there’s a lot of hiring and competition for the best talent.
You’ll need to do some heavy lifting on your ‘Employment Brand’ to attract talent to your roles, to your company. Using outside help to create that, build 1:1 marketing messages to attract top people, invest the time to talk about why this is a great opportunity, is the fastest and most effective path to building a great team.
While you might get lucky from time to time, ‘Post and Pray’ just won’t cut it in the long term.