For the HR or talent professional, these can be trying times, even though the tech industry is going gangbusters.
Sought-after executives continue to demand rich pay packages to change jobs; top engineers from Google and Facebook want exorbitant salaries, too. Meanwhile, leaders of extremely fast-growing companies often struggle to set up the basic infrastructure necessary to run a large organization: distinct departments and job levels, compensation structures, and policies on everything from vacation time to sexual harassment. The latter issue has become even more complicated with the #MeToo movement in full swing.
Last week, Battery Ventures, led by Vice President of Talent, Kelly Kinnard, gathered 70 HR and recruiting professionals to discuss these and other issues related to talent and company culture. Attendees heard from speakers including Ron Storn, the chief people officer of Zume Inc. and former head of HR and recruiting at Lyft; Anthony Kline, who leads recruiting at Stripe (formerly the head of talent at AppDirect); Shravanti Chakraborty, head of people for Coursera (formerly at Google); and Ashish Raina, former head of compensation at Box (through the IPO) who’s now a compensation consultant. Many of the speakers focused on the special challenges faced by tech companies in “hypergrowth” mode.
Speakers from the Battery portfolio included Guarav Kataria, the head of product and data science at Entelo*, previously the head of Data Science and Growth at Google; he offered insights about the profound and sometimes unexpected ways data is changing the art of recruiting. In addition, Chris Tobin, an SVP from Affirm*, discussed trends in compensation, while Dylan Allread, VP of HR from Wag!*(formerly with DoorDash and OpenTable), participated on a panel about talent acquisition and retention.
Finally, Bloomberg TV anchor and executive producer Emily Chang discussed challenges around diversity and inclusion that she raised in her new book, “Brotopia: Breaking Up the Boys’ Club of Silicon Valley.” She discussed strategies companies can use to attract and retain more female engineers, ranging from having more women on interview committees to doing away with free-flowing -beer in the office.
The event was co-sponsored by the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center.
Said attendee Zoe Silverman, the director of talent at Yesware*: “I learned a lot, met some great people and got a LOT of ideas for things to bring back to my team. Grateful to be a part of this community.”
*Battery Ventures provides investment advisory services solely to privately offered funds. Battery Ventures neither solicits nor makes its services available to the public or other advisory clients. For more information about Battery Ventures potential financing capabilities for prospective portfolio companies, please refer to our website. For a complete list of portfolios companies, please click here.