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  • Natalie Adams

Are There Too Many Cooks in your Talent Kitchen?

Specializing in Sales and Marketing recruitment in San Francisco naturally means I have the privilege of partnering with some amazing technology companies, from stealth or seed stage AI companies to series C Data powerhouses; it’s safe to say I never get bored of listening to new client pitches.


Of course, the most important part of growth for any business regardless of their longevity is dependent on talent; you can’t grow without the people! Being a recruitment partner, I know too well how difficult it can be to find the right talent, at the right time and then match everyone’s expectations on package to get the best fit over the line.  This is especially true where there is a war for talent; The Bay Area job market surged to record peaks this year meaning a large choice of opportunity for high caliber candidates.


There is a common theme I have recognized in Silicon Valley and in particular those in Start-Up phase who are building and growing and that is to have 5, 6 and sometimes 7 or more decision makers at the final stage of an interview process; which is often after 3, 4, 5 or more previous meetings/interviews. To clarify, when I say ‘decision maker’ I mean, that if 1 person was to be less enthusiastic with their ‘thumbs up’, then we often go right back to step one and begin sourcing again. The feedback at this point is often very vague or subjective and rarely due to skill set but rather down to an assumption, an impression or even a gut feeling over team fit – and this generally comes from someone who will not be directly managing the candidate or even working closely with them.


Are we expecting too much from our candidates, hoping they impress 5, 6 people to the same degree? Or are we scared of making solo decisions in case we get it wrong?

Even the most diligent hiring managers do not have a 100% track record when it comes to recruiting. In fact, I have heard many anecdotes about how near perfect interviewees actually fail to fulfill the duties of their role once they join.


I agree, that culture fit is paramount to the success of a candidate’s tenure, often more important than skill set or experience but are we forgetting that the most successful teams are generally built with a variety of personalities who each bring something different to the table?


Is there a chance that we are declining excellent candidates purely because they are not like ‘us’, and if so, does that necessarily mean they are not a good culture ‘fit’?

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