If you’re a Head of Talent at a high-growth tech startup, it’s probably worth acknowledging the emotional and psychological forces that are working against you.
The talent that you’re trying to recruit—those high-demand, highly skilled people who already work in tech—run every opportunity through a filter that looks something like this:
“I’ve been burned by a hyper-growth tech company in the past, so how can I protect myself from that ever happening again?”
All the signals that startups use to attract talent: growth numbers, big funding rounds, fancy founders with prior exits, and prestigious VC backers, are reminders of what could be hiding just around the corner if they choose this path again:
the mass Zoom firings, the long hours, the burnout, the stress, the friction, the internal chaos, the non-stop pivot exhaustion, the social-political Slack takeovers, the douchey founder who actually believes they’re going to be on the cover of Forbes someday, and the throw-up-on-your-shoes growth expectations.
Many experienced tech workers have been through this wringer enough times that comp can no longer make up for it. It’s now about lifestyle, well-being, and fulfillment in one's work.
And a growing number of them have already made some cash, have a healthy savings built up, and now just want the flexibility and freedom to work on projects that they actually care about—whenever and from wherever they choose.
All things to consider before you start machine-gunning InMails at the next layoff list you get your hands on.