Why Agency Recruiters Should Consider VC Placements (for Themselves)
Sometimes people are confused when they hear I’m a recruiter at a VC firm. This is why that makes sense.
I spent almost a decade recruiting at an agency. It was fast paced, I loved the variety, and I felt lucky to work on great teams that inspired and encouraged others. At a young age, I was catapulted into new geographies to launch new teams and scale our practices from the ground up. It was a whirlwind ride. But for many of you who work at recruiting agencies, you know it’s not all rainbows.
This summer I started as a Talent Director at Primary Venture Partners. And working in VC has been transformative. So much so that I want to shake the shoulders of everyone out there working in agency and say: you’ve got to join me!
The truth is, my new role takes the best parts of agency and adds new and exciting challenges. On the agency side I had the pressure of earning new business while simultaneously working on many searches. At Primary, we always have a flow of new and open roles, and I meet the founders during their first pitch. I participate in the decision making process for new investments and assist with onboarding new CEOs into our portfolio where we immediately begin talent support on their most urgent positions.
A lot of the clients I worked with on the agency side were large corporations. At Primary I’m working exclusively with early stage companies and get to see the most interesting and disruptive ideas through ideation, investment, initial team build, Series A, and beyond. Being part of that journey with the founders and getting the opportunity to work with them so closely from the beginning is so different from anything I did on the agency side. Agency was often one and done. At Primary it is a long term partnership and we are on the journey together for the long run. I will be able to see how the team grows and watch my placements blossom and grow into the companies I place them in. And, every introduction I make, suggestion I give, or time spent with founders or hiring managers is met with such sincere appreciation and open mindedness. It is both inspiring and energizing.
Before I joined Primary, I was curious on how close the working relationship between the portfolio companies and VC teams actually were. Many VCs have a generalized support team; no early-stage firms have invested as much as Primary has in function-specific support. Our Portfolio Impact team of former operators has extensive experience in people and talent, go to market, finance, and more. The team that I am a part of focuses on people. We build teams and help our founders scale great places of work. This value really sets the tone for everything we do and is empowering for anyone here that focuses on post investment success. We focus on NY investments because it allows us to build a strong network in one geography and take a hands-on approach where we will often sit onsite with our portfolio companies and be in the trenches with them. And we see that strategy works: With our Portfolio Impact team’s support, our portfolio companies have a 86% Series A graduation rate.
If you have made it this far you may have figured out where I am going with this. Primary is growing fast. With the pace of new investments and the need to hire great talent quickly, it became clear that we need to start building a full recruiting engine. We are currently a team of three: myself, Gina Yocom, and Ryan Monk. We are looking for great recruiters, preferably with tech recruiting experience, to join us fulltime and support 1-2 portfolio companies at a time on a project basis. If you like the pace and variety of agency recruiting but want more stability and to be in closer partnership with your hiring managers, exploring a role like this is a no brainer. You will see scale, make a big impact at a critical stage, develop a killer network, and have some fun along the way.