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Tricks of the Trade Venture Partner Series: Do It Yourself Hiring, Sourcing Parties

April 15, 2015
Sourcing Parties

As with many businesses, a venture capital firm has different forces at work that help to make it a success. For us at Bowery Capital, our venture partners are one of those key components that set us apart.

Adam Smith is one of Bowery Capital’s venture partners. Adam has over twenty years of experience managing and building large-scale technical organizations within both startups and major corporations from Metamarkets to Google. Over the next couple of months, the Bowery Blog will host a series of posts by Adam that will let him share his tricks of the trade alongside sample documents for anyone to benefit from. These posts will cover best practices and thought leadership on topics such as hiring, setting objectives and key results, executive report cards, and internal communication.



When I meet with founders, one question that often comes up is hiring. “Hey, do you know a good UX person?” “How about an Android guy?” “We need someone more senior on our front-end team.” Each of these is a common refrain.

Of course you have options for HR. You can hire someone in-house or work with recruiters. The problem is that both these options put an intermediary between a potential hire and the colleagues they will be working with.

Introducing the “Sourcing Party”. Bring your team together and set a target number of prospective hires for each person to find and contact. Depending on the type of person you’re looking for, I think it’s reasonable for each person to find and contact at least 7-8 people in an hour.

Make it fun. Do this at the end of the day, put on some music, bring beer, or wine.

How it works

Each person searches the internet for a potential hire. Search Google using a query such as, “D3 MIT Google education.” This will bring up someone’s resume who has listed a combination of skills, school, and background you’re looking for.

How about LinkedIn

LinkedIn is another obvious choice. Same idea as above but here, given the limitations on InMails per month, you’ll have to hope (or pay for a few folks to upgrade their accounts).

Why it works

Imagine getting an email from the founder of a company or a lead engineer and at the same time having yet another recruiter asking if you’re looking for a new job.


Create, share, and project a spreadsheet (example). Have each person put the name, resume link, and contact information for each potential hire. Once someone is added to the spreadsheet, have someone email the candidate. Once you hear back, have them set up a phone screen.