Below are the prevailing recruiting and technical talent themes from the first quarter of 2023 — paired with some insights on how we’re helping our clients navigate today’s market challenges in parallel with its unique talent acquisition opportunities.
Recruiting & Technical Talent | Themes & Observations From 1Q2023
- Seed stage and A-round companies are continuing to raise money, while mid to late stage startups are generally having more difficulty.
- We’re helping our early-stage companies capitalize on today’s talent opportunity — and we have the access and experience to do so. In fact, from 2021 to present…
- 70% of searches were done with founders; and…
- 46% of searches were done with first time founders.
- Ask to see a list of the early-stage companies we work with across industries (oftentimes, over and over again).
- On the Product side, it’s more important than ever to hone your product-market fit to make sure that your product is perceived as a must-have in the market, versus a nice to have.
- Having a strategic product executive who can help drive that product-market fit to maintain relevance and competitive advantage moving forward is critical in today’s highly dynamic and uncertain environment.
- On the Engineering side, even if you don’t anticipate scaling your engineering team dramatically right now, we all know how tough it is to hire strong engineers in a bull market — so, why wait?
- Take advantage of the current market and get ahead of your competition by elevating your engineering leadership. Get the right engineering leadership in place now; they will become a talent magnet for world-class engineers moving forward, and you won’t find yourself playing catch-up when things turn.
- The candidate community — access & reputation continue to matter. Here’s why…
- For companies that are profitable, have a healthy balance sheet, and focus on resilient sectors with product offerings that are considered ‘must-haves’ versus ‘nice to haves’, the opportunity to hire top executive talent is as good as it’s ever been.
- Conversely, if a company finds itself contending with any of the aforementioned related challenges, candidates have the stronger position within the recruiting process. With that in mind…
- We can’t emphasize this enough — top-tier candidates only want to work with recruiters they know and trust. It takes time to build these relationships – and continuous care to nurture them.
- Candidate trust & access = shorter cycles times.
- Be sure to vet your potential search partner among the candidate community. Their perspective is critical and often quite telling.
- Choose a specialist (versus a “generalist” disguised as a specialist). In a soft market, more generalist search practitioners will emerge and raise their hands for Engineering and Product searches.
- Be sure to work with a true specialist. Why?
- True specialization = shorter cycle times (and we have the data to back this up).
- Little to no calibration phase when ramping up a new search.
- Within the Technical Leadership community, strong and established relationships are critical as the most sought-after candidates only want to work with recruiters they know and trust.
- Be cautious of highly discounted fees.
- We continue to pick up and fix “failed” searches from a number of our competitors who offered highly discounted fees along with “pitch promises” that were not met.
- Make sure your search partner can deliver on their pitch promises so you get the quality and results you expect, pay for, and deserve. Time is just as, if not more, valuable than a discounted fee.
Solving our clients’ most challenging problems through talent acquisition has been and remains our top priority in both up and down markets.
If we can help you take advantage of the current market conditions to expand or upgrade your leadership team, please contact us directly.