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Venture Firmsâ€™ Newest Role: Recruiter
By Spencer E. Ante
Wall Street Journal
Earlier this year, Game Closure CEO Michael Carter hit a wall. Heâ€™d grown his year-old Web gaming startup to around 25 employees by mining his personal network of contacts. He needed to hire still more workers, but eventually ran out of people to call and had no luck with professional recruiters.
Venture firms are helping startups find candidates who fit in.
Then he got a call from Highland Capital Partners, one of Game Closureâ€™s investors. The firm was organizing a road trip to three colleges to help recruit computer science and engineering students for the companies it invests in. Carter jumped at the opportunity. When the group visited Carnegie Mellon University in February, students told him about the schoolâ€™s Entertainment Technology Center, which offers a two-year degree in building and designing electronic media. He ran over to the Centerâ€™s building and started introducing himself to students.
Carter said the company has hired students from all three schools he visited, and is in talks with two more. â€œWe never had that many candidates in play at once,â€ he says.
Carter, like a growing number of entrepreneurs, is tapping venture backers not only for cash, but also for recruiting help.
Venture capitalists have always played a role in recruiting high-level executives for companies they invest in, but now many top VCs are beefing up their recruitment capabilities to help companies hire at all levelsâ€“from middle management to the intern pool.
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