Corporate Recruiting at Various Levels

We’re currently interviewing candidates to join our People (Recruiting) Team here at OpenView Venture Partners. I spoke with a candidate who currently only recruits people for VP roles and above. This is actually the opposite of our model here, as we recruit for all sorts of positions from entry level all the way up to VP. However, past that, when we enter C-suite territory, we often leverage the resources of an executive search firm.

I asked this candidate how she would be able to transition from her firm’s model to ours and she provided a terrific answer. She said that all that would really change would be the volume. After all, if you were to recruit entry-level sales folks, actively-looking candidates in scores from online job boards could actually land you half your placements. The requirements in the job description aren’t incredibly stringent either, as a lot of raw talent can be trained at this level.

However, when you’re recruiting a VP or CFO, everything has to fit perfectly. For starters, the cost for making the wrong hire at this level is painfully high. There is minimal room for training and even less for error. The ideal candidate is probably passive as well. So instead of reviewing a pile of inbound resumes, you’re more likely to be spending your time identifying candidates who are currently happy, engaged and committed to their present assignments — then you begin explaining and convincing them why this opportunity of yours is compelling enough to learn more about.

When I last placed a VP, I’m pretty sure I didn’t speak with more than 10 candidates on the phone. Everybody was head-hunted and not one inbound soul ended up being considered. When recruiting inside sales reps, however, I easily look at 60-70 resumes and have at least 30-40 phone conversations. At the end of the day, both efforts take the same amount of time but at very different volumes. It can be challenging when trying to plan out your day, but that explains why we are all hardcore advocates of good old Scrum methodology and focus on the few things that matter.

Victor Mahillon
Victor Mahillon
Director of Recruiting

Victor Mahillon is the Director of Recruiting at Kamcord. Previously he was a Talent manager at OpenView.
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