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Insights from VC Talent Partners: Adapting Recruitment in a Changing Landscape

Over the past year, the recruitment landscape has experienced significant shifts, largely influenced by the pandemic's impact and changing workforce dynamics.

To gain deeper insights into this evolving scenario, we interviewed several VC talent partners to uncover what's working and what's not in the current market, while collaboratively finding solutions to the most pressing challenges. 

Our discussions centered around three key areas: understanding the market's evolution in the last 12 months, leveraging opportunities during the downturn, and assisting founders in designing resilient organizational charts.


1. How the Market has Evolved in the Last 12 Months

Talking about how recent developments in the market impacted the role of VC partners and strategy, it becomes apparent that no dramatic changes have taken place in this respect.

As shown in the poll results below, the participants agreed that their role has mostly stayed the same as in the previous year.  

Talent Strategy

There haven't been any major overhauls in talent strategy for VC talent partners. Many of them continue to focus on bolstering their internal Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) to maintain a consistent and standardized approach to their activities.


The notable change lies in how VC talent partners handle staffing. Bringing employees from established enterprises to seed/Series A organizations now requires guidance on compensation expectations at that early stage, with adjustments from public company equity levels.

Remote Work

The initial excitement around remote work has either diminished significantly or is approached with more consideration, particularly for top-performing companies. 

High-performing portfolio companies are calling their teams back to the office, with core teams expected to work in-office for at least 4 days a week. Fully remote positions are becoming more common for fractional work or outsourced tasks, unlike core product roles.

Given the current landscape, the participants think this trend will persist. 


2. Capitalizing on the Downturn: Hidden Opportunities

Any downturn comes with negative consequences like layoffs. But there are also hidden opportunities, both for recruiters and candidates, which we discuss below. 

Access to High-Quality Talent

For VC talent partners the downturn has indeed come as a chance to get more high-quality talent on board of younger companies, as confirmed by our poll below. 


Following the over-hiring frenzy, the downturn seems to bring more stability to the market. On the other hand, the highly-qualified talent are interested in joining startups - including pre-seed and seed.

Easier to Sell the Compensation Persona

Some of the VC talent partners pointed out that high-level leadership talent is now more willing to accept compensation suitable for seed and Series A roles. However, candidates have also become more risk-averse, requiring talent partners to tailor pitches and highlight company stability during recruitment.

Massive Rise in Fractional Leaders

The downturn has also increased the presence of fractional leaders in the C-suite of many companies approaching Series B. Startups are benefiting from the access to highly qualified talent that was traditionally unavailable or expensive. 

More Time, Better Decisions

The hiring frenzy threw recruiters into hiring as many people as possible, as that was what investors needed then. But with more time for hiring decisions, companies can now make more confident choices with support from boards and leadership teams.

3. Helping Founders Design Resilient Org Charts

Resilient org charts are of crucial importance for the work organization and functionality of a company. VC talent partners play a crucial role in designing resilient organizational charts, requiring a deep understanding of the business and its challenges. 

As can be seen from the poll below, their involvement in this is pretty high. 


Let’s see how particularly they handle this process. 

Keeping in Touch with Founders

Some of the participants noted they have weekly or monthly calls with the founders to keep in touch with the companies and their future plans. In one instance a company wanted to hire 150 people, but the VC Talent Partner cut them out to 36, which worked out perfectly. 

Providing Benchmarks

To support founders, it’s also a good practice to provide the org charts along with certain compensation benchmarks for the given roles. Also, it’s helpful to provide inbound tools like PO and ATS and support with the planning. 

Setting Milestones

Another practice used by VC Talent partners is putting in milestones as a timeline for hiring the next cohort of people for the business. Rather than serving as a rigid plan it’s a “flexible” one which is regularly reassessed. This makes it more resilient than just the org chart itself. 

Setting Up a Team Evaluation Department

Still other VC Talent Partners establish a team evaluation department to assess existing teams and identify hiring needs objectively, helping structure recruitment goals without emotional decisions.

Final Thoughts

In this ever-evolving recruitment landscape, it is important for talent partners to assess the situation correctly and come up as strategic guides, offering insights that illuminate a path forward for businesses.In this context,  adaptive approaches, harnessed opportunities, and tailored strategies are becoming crucial for shaping a promising future for the company and its recruitment success.


Workfully's mission is to create the most trusted recruitment experience in the world, aiming to give everyone their chance to build a better world. We are building a decentralized hiring ecosystem for the talent acquisition industry, where recruiters can independently grow, engage and monetize curated talent pools for the benefit of all.


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