West’s Arthur Gallanter on our talent practice and approach to building teams. This post originally appeared on LinkedIn.
My colleague, Matt Hirst, recently spoke with Forbes and Kimberly Whitler––former CMO and current Associate Professor of Business at the UVA’s Darden School of Business––about marketing talent and the pitfalls startups should avoid when hiring their first senior marketing leaders. It’s a great read for marketing professionals and CEOs looking to hire world class marketers. As the former Global Head of Brand Experience at Google and Head of Culture Marketing at Red Bull, Matt has a wealth of knowledge on the range of disciplines that marketers bring to the table (brand, product, growth) and how founders should correctly hire for the immediate and long-term needs of their business.
I wanted to pause here and take this opportunity to talk more broadly about West’s recruiting practice and our approach to building teams.
For those who don’t know, West is a venture studio. We are a team of brand and market experts that have investor discipline and an investment fund. We work with companies in our studio first––focussing on only the most critical components of building an impactful brand and creating true defensibility––and then selectively invest in them through our venture fund to double down on that growth.
A little over a year ago, founders from our studio & portfolio companies started asking us to help them recruit for key marketing and sales roles. The request for help came naturally. As brand builders, we want to ensure that our studio partners have the team in place to continue executing on their vision and the growth plans we created together. As investors, we have aligned interests in finding the right talent that will help drive growth for our companies.
Though this was a new practice to West, we found that our unique venture studio model provided us with advantages and an ideal partnership with founders. It also yielded a better candidate experience. During our studio engagements we are core members of the team, and thus are able to generate excitement for the positions and better articulate the opportunities to potential future hires. We gain a deep understanding of a company’s culture and can effectively share this insight with high potential candidates.
Today, West offers contingency recruiting services for our clients and investment portfolio companies. Our recruitment services focus primarily on hiring for executive talent, as well as key roles in Marketing, Operations, Finance, and Sales. During that process, we also counsel founders on recruiting and talent processes, best practices, commission, equity, titles, and more. We help our founders build and reinforce their employee brand to enable them to create a flywheel for recruiting beyond our engagement.
Personally, it has been an incredible experience leading this new practice at West. I describe myself on LinkedIn as a conversationalist because I enjoy how connecting with people can lead to new beginnings. I feel privileged that I am able to work with founders on finding the right talent for their teams and how I get to spend every day meeting incredible people who are looking for the next step in their career.
I encourage you to take a moment to read Matt’s thoughts specifically on marketing talent here.
If you’re looking for a new opportunity, don’t hesitate to reach out directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or send me a note on LinkedIn.