As was expected following two years of exceptional growth, the pace of venture capital funding has slowed in 2022, particularly late-stage tech valuations and other big-ticket investments of the kind that were seen in 2020 and 2021.
Don’t take that to mean that the industry has begun to shrink or stagnate, though. The first half of 2022 saw more seed deals than any other six-month span on record, and while some firms have cut back on payroll, the overall venture capital recruiting environment is still very competitive, driven largely by startups in growing sectors like edtech and fintech. Here are three current hiring trends for venture capital firms to be aware of as they embark on their next search.
The Changing Face of HR
Companies were forced to pivot and adapt in a variety of ways over the past two years, and there wasn’t always time for a well-planned, organized implementation of these changes. The second half of 2022 has been the ideal time to step back and evaluate the state of the business to see where things can be streamlined or improved now that these new systems are in place.
One place many companies may need to restructure to meet present needs is in their HR and people management team. Employees in remote and hybrid workplaces often have different needs than those in the office. Add in the increasing emphasis on culture and employee experience and that’s putting a lot of extra weight on HR teams. While it’s not uncommon to see positions like Chief Human Resources Officer or Director of Remote Work at large corporations, an increasing number of smaller companies are adding these positions to their leadership teams to help them navigate these new challenges, as well as increasing their HR staff overall.
Proactive Hiring to Meet Future Needs
For the past two years, it’s felt like a waste of energy to plan too far ahead. While change is still rampant and uncertainty high, the venture capital landscape as a whole has begun to settle into a new normal. This means leaders who have been forced to hire reactively in response to new challenges or sudden changes can start to shift back to a more forward-thinking recruitment strategy.
Building a workforce with the skills that will be needed in the future doesn’t always need to mean recruiting the top professionals in the field today. For many companies, this is the ideal time to expand their Gen Z talent force, bringing on recent graduates and other early-career professionals with strong tech skills who can grow along with the company. Organizations with tight payroll budgets can still prepare for the future by upskilling their existing workforce, which serves the dual purpose of preparing your team for coming changes and challenges while it boosts retention.
The Rise of AI in Recruitment
The amount spent on AI software by companies rose by 57% in 2021, and with good reason. Utilizing intelligent automation allows hiring teams to conduct more efficient searches, finding better talent more quickly. This technology can also help to reduce the impact of bias on the hiring process, supporting diversity and inclusivity initiatives.
Of course, hiring isn’t the only area where AI/ML tools can make a big impact on the bottom line. Marketing, sales, customer relations, and other departments are also investing in this technology, increasing the need for professionals who understand how to implement, maintain, and improve this software across industries, and venture capital is certainly not exempt from this trend. This has led to a talent shortage for those who have experience with algorithms and AI training, something especially felt by smaller companies and startups who can’t yet compete with large corporations for this talent.
The bottom line is that AI is no longer something used only by cutting-edge tech companies. From eCommerce retailers to SaaS firms to large financial institutions, AI is impacting hiring for businesses across sectors.
Venture Capital Hiring Trends in Summary
Organizations in venture capital that are planning to expand or shift their workforce in the coming months should know they’re not alone. There is still high demand for professionals with experience in this sector and finding and attracting that talent can be a challenge, especially for companies that need to fill tech skill gaps. Being aware of these trends and the steps other organizations are taking to overcome these challenges can help leaders hire the professionals they need, when they need them.