Ampolon Ventures is always on the lookout for ambitious people who want to build new ventures. Leading the charge in helping us scout the best entrepreneurial talent is our People’s Manager Saiana Shoinzhurova.
Despite joining us at the onset of the biggest global pandemic, she has been instrumental in streamlining the complex process of scouting exceptional talent for our venturing program. Let’s hear from her about what makes Founder recruitment exciting and what is in store for her team for the next year.
1. Tell us a little about yourself
I am originally from the Republic of Buryatia, Russia, which is part of Siberia. For the past 10 years, I have been headhunting top-level executives in Russia and Ireland across public and private sectors. This year I joined Ampolon Ventures, and I am now overseeing People operations. It has been a huge learning curve and an interesting ride so far.
2. What is about startups and company building that you find exciting?
I appreciate the freedom one has in an early-stage venture. You get to be creative in your approach to reach your objectives. You feel more empowered as you have the opportunity to take on more responsibilities as well as own up the outcomes that follow. Moreover, the whole environment constantly pushes one to learn and cultivate a growth mindset.
3. How was your experience of going through the recruitment process? How has it evolved since you joined?
All my interactions with the team were extremely pleasant. Of course, we discussed my professional experience, but they were genuinely curious about me as a person. It was refreshing to find my values resonate with them. Another reason that attracted me was their international team and an open-minded atmosphere. Having travelled, and lived in, several countries, I was keen on being part of a team with a diverse background.
The recruitment process for us is not just a way to understand the candidate, but also an opportunity to provide the candidate with as much information as possible about our organisation, our vision and our goals. We believe hiring is a joint decision; we want the candidate to choose us as much as we are choosing them. We leave no stone unturned to help the candidates decide if we are the right employer for them. Given that we are a small team, at this stage, the entire team gets to meet the candidate in the final stage, since the person will not just be joining a single team, but will be part of our organisation. We want to make sure that the candidate and we; both are convinced about working with each other.
4. How different is Founder recruitment compared to hiring for other startup roles?
There is no standard path to entrepreneurship. Hence Founders are as varied as people can be. Based on our data and experience, we believe Founders are the ones who possess a ‘solution mindset’, are decisive and have a long term approach. They are not looking for ‘shortcuts’. We believe that building a company is a long term game and find more semblance with candidates who think on similar lines.
The traditional recruitment process is also not the best approach to get the Founders on board. Therefore we have combined our learnings and created our own hypothesis of a Founders Persona, which is more about traits than skills. Post the individual conversations with each candidate; we create multiple touchpoints (virtual) so that potential candidates can interact with each other as well as our team. The process takes slightly longer than usual since starting a company together is a much bigger commitment than taking up a job.
Our biggest channel for sourcing candidates is through referrals from our Founders. We are slowly getting more active on other digital channels as well.
5. How do you see your role evolving over the next year?
Since joining in February, I must have reached out to thousands of candidates for multiple roles, not just for our team but also for our portfolio companies. A large part of our process is already digitised, we will be looking at scaling our process to focus more on candidate relationship, create more awareness about us and analyse our recruitment data to bring us closer to our desired candidate.
Personally, I will be building our own specialised recruitment team. Apart from recruitment, my focus for 2021 will also be Organisational development. I will be exploring different options to support our team in identifying areas of professional development and creating a strategy so that everyone has all the necessary support to work on their areas of growth.
To learn more about us, please visit our website https://ampolon.ventures