Why We’re Conducting an Open Search For a New Partner
We’re hiring for a partner to join our investment team, and former founders who love working with early stage founders can apply.
We’re conducting a public search (again) because I’ve always believed in providing more transparent and equitable opportunities in VC. It takes more work, but doing things the easy way is why there isn’t enough progress in VC in terms of gender and racial diversity.
Many of the blog posts I’ve published for our founders in the last year are related to this topic, including “How to Hire with Diversity in Mind,” and “Pay Transparency Laws Are Now A Thing. Here’s Why You Need A Comp Philosophy Right Now.”
We are looking for a partner who has a broad skill set who can work with us to find the best founders and provide practical advice to our growing portfolio. We want to meet candidates who also care about the things that make Initialized the standard for seed investing.
The Initialized DNA
The ideal candidate is someone who thinks like a founder and can empathize with the challenges of starting a company. Much like the companies we fund, Initialized operates like an early stage startup – we are resourceful, agile, and quick to implement decisions.
Despite being a fully remote team, we’re still able to work closely together and have a collaborative culture because we encourage open communication. Trust is key on our team, and everyone’s voice matters in the firm’s decision-making process. As such, we also offer carry to all non-investment team members because we value each team member’s strengths and individual expertise.
Another example is our firm’s internal software system, Folio, which is used for real-time sharing of investment and operations data. One of the most important, purpose-built features in Folio is our blind voting function, which aims to remove bias and hierarchy from the team’s decision making process on potential deals.
You Miss 100% of the Shots You Don’t Take
Building diversity into our team is one of the things I’m proudest of in my career. We don’t just talk about diversity at Initialized. We actually live it. Almost a quarter of our team identify as BIPOC and nearly 60% are women.
Our professional backgrounds are just as varied. The majority of us did not follow the traditional VC path. We have former engineers, founders, designers, journalists, HR professionals, branding experts, and marketing specialists offering strategic advice and expertise to our founders.
When I first launched our open hiring program in 2021, it was somewhat unheard of in our industry to do an open search for roles on an investment team.
After interviewing over 150 candidates for our principal and partner search, we learned that by expanding the applicant pool, we’re able to broaden our level of expertise and skills to work with our founders.
”You can’t apply to a job you didn’t know existed, and without the open hiring process we ran last time, we would have never met some of the key members of our investment team today,” said Brett Gibson, my co-managing partner.
“Scott is a longtime engineer and former YC founder. Abdul has a vast network from working in venture, Google, and consumer banking. And with a long career in HR and talent functions, Kat is able to support our founders with all their hiring and cultural development needs.”
An Unconventional Way of Hiring in VC
Since pay transparency laws were put in place in several states, we’ve seen some clever techniques to get around posting salary ranges. However, we’re intentionally being very direct about our salary range for this role, which you can find here*.
Conducting a public search is certainly a more challenging and lengthy process. It’s also an untraditional way of hiring in VC. Most jobs in our industry are never posted online, as our sector thrives on an insular network and a referral system. As a result, people outside of traditional VC backgrounds rarely find out about job opportunities.
It would be a lot easier to hire through our network quietly and not post the salary range. But to me, the hard conversations are worth it because without taking the first step, progress can’t be achieved.
Despite some change in the venture industry, approximately 74% of US venture firms still don’t have any female partners. There’s an even smaller percentage of us who are leading firms (wave to Laela Sturdy who was recently promoted to managing partner at CapitalG).
As I’ve said before, I believe pay transparency is a step in the right direction for our industry because it enables individuals to speak up in favor of fair compensation. Without that information, the numbers won’t change, and the industry will remain stagnant.
If our mission resonates with you, please apply for the partner position through our website.
*An important note: the salary does not include carry, bonuses, and other benefits we offer at Initialized.