How Your Startup Can Recruit and Retain Top Talent in a Post-Pandemic Context

Posted on October 11, 2023
How Your Startup Can Recruit and Retain Top Talent in a Post-Pandemic Context

Talent is the lifeblood of any successful business, and its effective management is critical to the growth and success of startups. The pandemic brought a permanent change to the Future of Work, where many organizations (especially in the tech sector) are hybrid or even work-from-home. It means that startups, more than ever, need the proper processes, systems, and culture in place to recruit and retain their top talent. 

As a Senior People Leader, working with over 80 companies at OMERS Ventures, I have helped teams build, grow and scale across all of their People domains. The Schulich Masterclass Certificate in Venture Talent is a comprehensive program designed to equip Talent, HR, and People & Culture professionals with the skills, knowledge, and tools they need to attract, develop, and retain top talent in a competitive business environment. I am delighted to be teaching this program, which is launching this October. 

Why is learning and mastering Venture Talent significant? 

Talent management is a strategic imperative in the fast-paced and rapidly evolving venture ecosystem. In a competitive market, startups require exceptional talent leaders who can identify top performers, build high-performing teams, and foster a culture of innovation and growth. In the startup industry, it is costly in terms of time and money to train team members, only for them to leave afterwards. 

Oftentimes, a startup is building rapidly, and its culture has been built on the go without much foresight as to what a growing organization will need. Once a major capital injection has been placed (e.g., Series A), it is absolutely essential that Talent strategies are built, formalized, and executed in a way that provides structure, consistency, and quality across the organization. Our most important and valuable talent expects it. 

Venture Talent: The Catalyst for Startup Success 

The success of a startup is linked to its talent. Hiring the right individuals, fostering a culture of innovation, and providing opportunities for professional growth are all critical components of building a sustainable startup. People make or break the success of a startup. 

As the Program Director for Venture Talent, I have joined founding teams in building venture-backed businesses, delving into all aspects of talent management and people strategy. This program outlines a comprehensive curriculum that covers key aspects of venture talent, including talent acquisition, development, and retention. Participants will gain insights into crafting effective hiring strategies, building diverse and inclusive teams, and designing performance management systems that drive results. 

Participants will also learn how to create a compelling employer brand, attract top talent to their startups, and nurture an engaged workforce that propels growth and innovation. We will also explore best practices in succession planning, leadership development, and fostering a culture of continuous learning. 

What It Takes to Master Talent Strategy 

In this program, the first of its kind in the Canadian startup ecosystem, I am committed to delivering actionable insights and real-world case studies that resonate with the realities of the venture ecosystem. This point is important because the ways in which startups scale is different from traditional businesses in terms of commercialization, capital, and resources. As such, you will gain the skills to identify top talent, design effective compensation packages, and create an environment that fosters creativity and innovation. 

Given my time in the Talent space, first in large corporations and then in startup ventures, I strive to provide program participants with the processes, systems, and tools that have allowed me and many other startups to excel in talent strategy. We will also discuss fostering a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion, a key and growing component for future generations like Millennials and Gen Z.  

Finally, participants will gain insights into talent analytics and data-driven decision-making, enabling them to make strategic talent decisions that align with the overall business strategy. In this climate, it is time to have Talent leaders like yourself, who are equipped with the insight and tools to help engage your workforce to achieve the extraordinary. 

Written By

Jenny do Forno

Jenny do Forno brings over 20 years of experience creating talent strategies and programs that build award-winning cultures. As Head of Talent at OMERS Ventures, a global early-stage venture capital firm with offices in Toronto, Palo Alto and London, she oversees over 80 portfolio companies and their talent management practices. A highly-regarded firm with over $1.8B in funds under management, OMERS Ventures is a global, long-term investor that is proud to be working on behalf of more than 500,000 OMERS Ventures members and employees.

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