The One Thing VCs Shouldn’t Hand Over to Their Firm’s Talent Partners

I’ve been meaning to write about how thrilled we are to have Beth Scheer join Homebrew as our Head of Talent. But Memento style, I want to work backwards and instead start with one responsibility that Satya and I believe we’ll always do ourselves: helping founders close potential hires.

Here’s what we stress to our CEOs:

  • Helping you bring the most talented people on to your team is an evergreen top priority for us. If you believe having someone with a job offer hear from your lead VC, never hesitate to reach out.
  • We don’t care how senior or junior this person is. If you want to use us to close someone, do it. Don’t “save us” for execs only.
  • Asking us to help close someone who might still have doubts isn’t a show of weakness, it’s a show of strength in that you know when to get us involved. Caveat, if you need us to close every candidate that might be a show of weakness 😉
  • We’re not going to tell a candidate what they want to hear, we’re going to listen to what they’re trying to understand and give them our best answer. This means being straight up, when directly asked, about what we think is going well and where the next phase of growth/learning needs to come from. It doesn’t help anyone if the new team member is surprised on Day One by a bunch of things you didn’t tell them.

Here’s what we stress to the potential hire:

  • We believe people choose companies, not the other way around, so let’s talk and make sure you know why this is the best choice for you.
  • Joining a startup should ALWAYS be a bet on yourself and ability to make a difference. Yes, in many cases you’re joining a team with momentum, but it’s still very early. You’re joining not because you want a lottery ticket, not because you want to “work for a startup” but because you want to help a small team solve a big problem. And your contribution will increase the probability, velocity and scale of that success.
  • Do right by a startup we’ve funded and we’ll always have your back. Look, we get it, startups are riskier than just doing another year at Google or Twitter. Well here’s a safety net: if you work hard and do right by any company we’ve funded we’ll ALWAYS have your back. If for some reason the gig wasn’t a great fit for you, we’ll work our butts off finding you another opportunity in our portfolio – or beyond.

So I can’t wait to share more backstory about what led us to ask Beth to join our partnership, but at the end of the day, part of the VC value add should be their willingness to jump on the phone or grab a coffee with a potential hire and get them to sign on the line that is dotted.

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