What happens when you get a bunch of founders into a virtual room to talk about company building? Canaan Partner Michael Gilroy wanted to find out. He recently called on the founders of Bellhops, CircleUp, Embroker, Kustomer, Ladder, ScaleFactor and Tari to convene over Twitter to discuss their experiences in navigating the VC pitch process and building a company from the ground up.
We’ll be sharing clips of their conversation in a series of posts — emojis, gifs and all. Here’s today’s Q&A:
Michael Gilroy: Recruiting is HARD today. What’s something unique you’ve done to attract talent?
Luke Marklin, CEO of @BellhopsMoving: We bought a company pontoon boat for $5k. She’s not much, but she floats and has a built-in cooler. Greatest recruiting ROI ever!
Gilroy: Turns out this actually worked recruiting investors too... CC @dtcippy [Canaan General Partner Dan Ciporin]
Dan Teree, co-founder of @tari & @tari_labs: you're not getting off this boat until you sign this term sheet.
Matt Miller, CEO & founder of @Embroker: We’ve opened up an entirely new office to make a key hire. It’s a risk, but if the person is self-motivated and a natural builder, it can open up an entirely new market for talent.
Cam Doody, founder of @BellhopsMoving: Asked @Nas to tweet at an un-gettable candidate who is massive hip-hop fanboy (@chadburgess)... he put on a green headband shortly after :)
Teree: It’s tough to build teams in SV today. Consider building your team elsewhere in the country or the world.
Gilroy: Totally agree. on this thread alone we have SF, NY, Austin, Chattanooga, South Africa!
Kurt Rathmann, CEO & founder of @scalefactor: We showcase culture throughout the recruiting process, starting with an office tour. We give out swag and invite candidates to company meetings, including our weekly #wins meeting. We do our best to treat candidates’ time with respect.
Gilroy: And the great thing about a phenomenal culture is that recruiting never stops, even once they've joined. Make it VERY hard to even take the calls from recruiters
Luke Marklin, CEO of @BellhopsMoving: When you're ready to really sweeten the deal, we can work out free @BellhopsMoving moves in #Austin and #Denver. 100% close rate - guaranteed!
Brad Birnbaum, CEO & founder of @kustomer: One of the smartest things we did is hire someone to focus on recruiting very early on. The entire company is focused on team building and we strive to spend 30-50% of our time finding the @kustomer Krew! It's so important to me that I personally interview every candidate.
Gilroy: Do you offer a referral bonus to your employees for recruiting? If so, how much $ do you offer them? Has this changed over time?
Teree: @Tari_Labs is an interesting project and building open source software is the real attraction.
Ryan Caldbeck, CEO & co-founder of @CircleUp: Yes $5k. moving it around hasn't really moved the needle much but we've tried. We stuck w/ $5k.....for no great reason honestly.
Marklin: Once you have a great team dynamic, you have to keep it going. We offer referrals starting at $1K and moving higher depending on seniority.
Rathmann: We offer a $2k referral bonus for open positions. If we need to hire a certain position quickly, we’ll put a $5k “bounty” on it and up the referral money. We hand it out in cash in front of the company at our weekly #wins meeting.
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