One of the hardest things for any startup is attracting great employees. But new research from Harvard Business School points to a shortcut:
New research finds that job seekers are two-thirds more likely to apply to a startup if they know it is backed by a top venture capital (VC) investor, according to a new study coauthored by Harvard Business School Professor Shai Bernstein.
To test if the name of a top investor makes a difference in luring applicants, the researchers collaborated with AngelList Talent, an online recruitment platform, to conduct a randomized experiment on the platform.
The researchers found that exposure to information that a startup is backed by top VC investors increased job applications dramatically—by 67 percent.
“The same startup receives significantly more interest from potential employees when it is represented with the top investor badge than when it is not,” they write.
Early stage startups benefited the most. For companies at Series B and later, having top investors had less impact on applicant interest.
This points to a great strategy for startups with top investors: shouting the investors’ names from the rooftops.
If you have Sequoia, Benchmark, or any top firm on your cap table, put it in every job ad. Have your employees mention it when they recruit their friends.
Another great way to land top prospects is press coverage. PayPal got a huge recruiting boost from media reports in its early days.
And unlike capital from top investors, media coverage is available to anyone with a great story to tell.
Founders: how do you recruit top employees? Investors: what recruiting strategies are working well for your portfolio companies?
Leave a comment at the bottom and let me know!
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