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Insightful Comment on the VC Hiring ‘Funnel’

So true…the original post by @cdixon is also great…

So true…the original post by @cdixon is also great…

msuster wrote:

Chris, I’m so glad you wrote this. Everybody asks the question and now I’ll just send them the link ;-)

We recently hired an associated. I got > 700 resumes and I didn’t even post that widely. 65 of them were of unreal quality in terms of education and job experience. Undergrad: Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Princeton, Yale & MBA: Harvard, Stanford, Wharton. Many had near perfect SATs and GMATs. Many worked for Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, McKinsey or had worked in P/E or VC before.

It was UNREAL. Not that you need these qualifications to be successful. But when you’re staring at 700 resumes (and we VCs don’t have an HR department!) you need some way of filtering quickly. In my process I also gave high street cred to CS undergrads – particularly from MIT or equivalent and for premier tech experience: Google, well-known startups or even one great candidate from Microsoft’s Xbox group.

>From the 65 we did 16 1-hour in-person interviews. We short-listed 6 and did full day interviews including a presentation from the candidate analyzing a market. They were given less than 1 week to prepare. We finalized 3 that we took to dinner to check social fit. We chose 1.

My point is … the numbers are so daunting that anything “standard” won’t work unless you already walk on water. The people who “sneaked into” the process were a) great networkers b) great networkers and c) had other people contact me on their behalf (great networkers). But if you don’t have GREAT street cred already don’t hassle the VCs. Just accept that it isn’t likely you’ll get in without doing great things at a start-up first.

Link to comment: http://www.cdixon.org/?p=732#comment-16630352

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More Stories By John Gannon

John Gannon is an Associate at L Capital Partners, a $165-million fund looking to advance companies with the potential to take groundbreaking products to market. He blogs at http://johngannonblog.com. Prior to joining L Capital Partners, John worked with Highland Capital Partners and Chart Venture Partners to identify and evaluate new opportunities in the enterprise IT sector. He also served as a consultant advising startup companies on business development, product strategy and venture capital fundraising. He currently sit on the board of advisers of VAlign Software.

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