When startups raise venture capital, one of the first places they invest is sales.
Sometimes they need to fill a key leadership role, often they need to build out an entire team. It can be highly competitive.
Finding that talent is the specialty of San Francisco-based Betts Recruiting, which has worked with more than 1,000 companies to build out their tech sales and marketing teams.
Three years ago, Betts opened a downtown Austin office, and has grown into one of the top sales recruitment firms in Central Texas. Betts also has offices in Los Angeles, Palo Alto, New York and London.
Why did you target Austin and what are you seeing here?
We came to Austin a few years ago because we saw a huge opportunity where a lot of companies from the Bay Area and Silicon Valley were opening sales hubs in Austin. That trend has continued. At the same time, over $800 million dollars were invested in venture capital last year in Austin. Every time I’m there I meet new companies that received funding and are scaling up their sales organizations.
One thing that stands out is the migration of talent to Austin that is attracted by these opportunities. It’s a pretty special thing and I don’t see it happen in a lot of other cities. I talk to people in San Francisco and New York every day that want to move to Austin because they see it as a great place to build a career with a lower cost of living and the same career opportunities that other cities offer.
There is a lot of junior level talent with a couple years experience in Austin. The experienced executives are the most challenging role we work with. There’s not a lot of proven people that have a track record over a long period of time. The ones who are really good have jobs and they’re flourishing at their current company. They’re more difficult to convince to move on to the next new thing because they’re excited about what they’re doing now.
Overall, we’ve noticed that the Austin market demand will vary by specific skill-set within our particular footprint but it’s fair to say that the market is still very candidate-driven at the moment. Candidates are receiving multiple offers and we’ve advised our employer partners to make hiring decisions quickly.
Many employers are providing perks such as catered lunches, gym memberships, and flexible work hours. However, a growing number of candidates, including millennials, are beginning to focus more on variables such as equity, attractive 401K plans, and advancement potential in their decision-making, which is helpful for hiring in both larger entities as well as start-up settings.
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