3 ways VC firms can be an extension of their portfolio's People team

VC Talent teams, you can be the unsung hero your portfolio's People teams need!

ย min. read
July 24, 2023

With recording breaking money pouring into startups of all shapes & sizes, the way in which a VC firm's Talent Partner (or team) support their portfolio has never been more important.

A quick point of information, many professional venture capital ("VC") firms will have a Talent Partner or team as part of their offering to the companies they invest in. When a VC firm makes an investment in a company, they're able to offer the added support for hiring & growth. This can be everything from overall hiring strategy to more specific sourcing for key roles to lead areas in the company, roles like Chief Revenue Officer, Head of People, VP of Engineering, etc.

Companies trying to scale today are fighting against a hot "war for talent", the great resignation, and general uncertainties of what a post-COVID economy might look like. It's never been more important for VC firms, specifically their Talent arm, to get involved and support their portfolio. Here are 3 ways they can do that.

Hiring ๐Ÿคฆ

Didn't see this one coming did you? More specifically though, VC Talent teams can act as an extension of a company's existing (or growing) People & Culture ("P&C") practice. They can help with role definitions, disseminating openings (ever see a LinkedIn post from a VC about an open role at one of their portfolio companies?), and general candidate sourcing. In certain circumstances, they can even be a part of the screening/interview process to try and line up the right candidates for hiring managers.

Most VC firms will have a fairly strong following on certain platforms (... like Twitter ๐Ÿ™„). A VC firm's Talent team can take advantage of that platform to share specific job posts or general hiring announcements and get these openings in front of more eyeballs. Bonus points if the roles are being hired remotely, there is no telling how far flung a social post can go.

Every VC Talent team must be engaged with their portfolio's hiring plans to increase the odds of finding the right people for the right roles (like yesterday!).

Tech Partners ๐Ÿ’ป

Here's something we at Aboard are intimately aware of, there are a number of HR tools in the wild. Given that employees are a company's most valuable asset (we are all so much more than just assets), it is no surprise there are a number of innovative offerings to help find, hire, onboard, train, engage, retain, and grow people!

A good VC Talent team will be able to help growing companies pick & build the right "HR tech stack". People professionals at portfolio companies are so busy operating & growing the organization, they have very little capacity to truly market test new offerings & figure out if they can help. VC Talent teams, while busy supporting their portfolio, can take a strategic lens to vetting new potential HR tools to benefit the companies they support. By forming partnerships with the right, truly helpful toolset, VC Talent teams can help quickly integrate them into the right portfolio companies that will benefit the most.

Beyond that, the VC Talent team can help to maintain good relationships with these software providers, or "vendors", and ensure their portfolio companies get the best care.

Culture Advisors ๐Ÿ’ก

Lastly, VC Talent teams can be engaged with People & Culture teams to help build and structure a company culture that will last. Every P&C team wants to deliver an employee experience that makes new (and existing) employees say "wow" and feel great. While it's important to ensure employee's are setup to do their work, it's equally as important for them to feel engaged & enabled to grow while with at work. The modern workforce is looking for something more than just a simple paycheck.

VC Talent teams are in a unique opportunity to help advise P&C teams. They are able to get the perspective of working with their entire portfolio, and even companies they haven't invested in, to see how they work & operate. No two companies are alike, which is great, but the VC Talent team is able to get that wide perspective and exposure to so many different company environments. They're almost able to cherry pick the best or more interesting aspects from their portfolio to combine!

What do you think? Have we missed anything? Feel free to share on social and add your commentary!

Ready to start?