State of Talent in a Potential VC Recession

Michael Scissons, founder and CEO of Careerlist, joins Bloomberg's Jon Erlichman to discuss his views on Venture Capital as recession risks rise. Together they chat about how these risks affect the talent market - from the type of leaders companies are seeking to hire to what candidates are now focusing on as they assess new opportunities.

Navigating through a Slowdown: A Shift in Executive Roles and Strategies in the VC Market

The VC market is mirroring the deflated valuations observed in the stock market, although the process is slower. Some companies, particularly those with minimal cash reserves, are scrambling for potential buyers or exploring tidy wind-down mechanisms. On the other hand, firms with substantial cash are focusing on cost-cutting and conserving resources to avoid raising funds in these challenging times. The inevitable write-downs are yet to be fully realized as firms resort to alternative financing methods to mitigate losses.

With a shifting focus from relentless growth to cash conservation and cost-cutting, the demand for certain types of executives is changing. During periods of rampant growth, a detailed understanding of the business isn't as critical as riding the market wave. However, as conditions become more challenging, a hands-on, operational, and cost-focused approach becomes vital. Executive roles are being reshaped, with a preference for CFOs with an operational bent and CHROs who can lead teams in a more hands-on way.

Interestingly, with the changing market conditions, employees' perspectives are evolving as well. With many seeing their equity go underwater in both public and private markets, the allure of 'golden handcuffs' has faded. Employees are now eyeing new opportunities with companies that they believe will weather the storm in the next few years. This 'flight uphill' is also promoting potential employees to probe more company finances, from past rounds to cash reserve info before coming onboard. 

Adjustments in Venture Capital Strategies and Predictions for Future Market Leaders

Venture capitalists are also adjusting their strategies. Instead of hunting for new deals, they’re focusing more on nurturing existing portfolios and investing in winners. As market prices become more realistic, VCs are slowly starting to explore new deals.

Who will end up being the winners here? Likely less flashy software firms that are looking to go public over the next few years. Additionally, firms that started a couple of years ago and managed to weather the storm may also be in a favorable position.

There’s no denying that the tech and VC sectors are undergoing significant shifts which in terms impacts the talent market. How these changes will play out remains to be seen, but one thing is certain - adaptability will be key for survival and success.


If you're looking for forward-thinking leadership that's prepared for the challenges ahead or want to chat further about your hiring strategies, reach out to us. We specialize in identifying and placing talent that can drive growth, conserve resources, and navigate economic turbulence.