In October, Battery’s VP of Talent, Kelly Kinnard, sat down with the Entelo,* an AI-driven platform for recruiting, for a discussion about issues plaguing startups as they navigate the hiring process.
There are a number of hot-button hiring issues that recruiters and growing companies need to constantly think about, Kinnard says, including diversity and navigating cultural differences across geographies. She believes organizations must value, and get top-level buy-in for, diversity at the very outset.
Oftentimes, she notes, companies make the mistake of not addressing diversity until they’ve reached a certain size and have leadership exclusively of a certain background. Rather than course-correcting late in the game, it’s better to consider the importance of pluralistic and diverse leadership right from the get-go, she argues.
In the podcast, Kinnard also provides her best advice to startups on how to think about scaling their teams, and how to go about working with recruiters. It can be difficult for small companies to entice the best and brightest when they are early stage and don’t yet have a “brand.” Working with a recruiter can provide assistance with this, though there is a lot of “noise in the market,” meaning there are some less than stellar options out there, she says. It is critical to identify the key time to hire an executive, and to partner with the right recruiter to make it happen.
Lastly, Kinnard talks about her own career journey. From her years in marketing and technical recruiting at Clif Bar and Oracle, to her current role at Battery Ventures, her professional trajectory has run the gamut. After 3.5 years leading the executive search team of Oracle’s 33,000 person product-development unit, her move to Battery gave her the opportunity to work with hundreds of portfolio companies. Here she has assisted in recruiting people in positions ranging from CEO to VP of sales to general counsel.