Hiring is one of the most important and difficult challenges for entrepreneurs expanding their business abroad. As ubi i/o companies are starting to grow their American roots, their first hires will be key to growth sustainability. This week, alongside the usual business meetings and pitching events, we’ve put a particular emphasis on the hiring process in the U.S. Here’s a quick recap of all that happened this past week!
San Francisco – Competition doesn’t stop
Back in San Francisco, emblematic tricolor French flags were waving around the crowd at the World Cup Tech Challenge! Famoco and Redbird were in attendance alongside some of the world’s most innovative companies. Each startup had the opportunity to pitch various panels who were ultimately in charge of selecting the most promising ones. It’s with pride that we’re happy to announce that it’s the third consecutive year that a French startup takes home a trophy! The ubi i/o team is ecstatic to announce that RedBird took 1st place in the IoT category!
On Friday morning, all our startups had the opportunity to pitch in front of two investors: T.M. Ravi, Founder & Managing Director @ The Hive and Steven Schlenker, Managing Partner @ DN Capital.The goal of this exercise was to gather actionable feedback from seasoned investors in order to be prepared for their next funding round.
“Recruiting is first and foremost a marketing effort”
Recruiting is one of the cornerstone of building a great company, and unfortunately acquiring talent is not as easy as it seems. This week, we organized a workshop on the “Practical Approach to Hiring in the U.S.” Anne-Sophie Faivre manager of the ubi i/o program invited over Jerome Ternynck, Founder and CEO @ SmartRecruiters and Lena Vayn, Director of recruiting @ Zozi.
— ubi i/o (@ubi_io) June 2, 2016
Our guest speakers agreed on various points when it comes to recruiting. First and foremost, as a founder, you should use a combination of inbound, outbound and referral tactics to get the best talents on board. “Recruiting is truly a marketing effort” said Jerome, especially in the bay area where the competition constantly attracts top talents.
Running a personalized outreach campaign is important. If a potential prospect isn’t interested, he/she could recommend someone within their network. Here are a few tips:
1/ share the job offer with your employees, family & friends
2/ advertise the job offer on key websites (LinkedIn, Angellist, Craigslist: surprisingly good in the bay area)
3/ Personally reach out
“You hire for attitude and you fire for aptitudes”
Our guest suggested having a clear interview protocol. For example, you can start the process with a phone screen, follow up with a recruiter interview and then have the prospect meet with your team.
One common mistake from interviewers is to be too focused on a prospect’s skill set and past experiences. You also need to assess and evaluate the cultural fit as it is an inherent part of your startup. Also, don’t hesitate to call up past employers to check your candidate’s track record and reputation, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Last but not least, the hiring process in the U.S. is slightly different than the one in France. There are 5 topics you should absolutely avoid during an interview: race, sex, religion, age and origins.
ubi i/o’s Hackathon with OVH!
To finish up the week, we launched a one-week hackathon at Galvanize, sponsored by OVH. As Akeneo, OpenIO and Sevenhugs have recently created brand new APIs, it is the perfect opportunity to have multiple talented developers create new use cases!
With complimentary pizzas & beers, the audience of hackers received a quick presentation of the three startups & their APIs alongside with the winner selection criteria. The winner for each API contest will get a $1100 prize and $240 of OVH perks. Let the coding begin!
— Bernice Anne W. Chua (@ChuaBernice) June 4, 2016
Back in the Big Apple, we organized a special pitching event. The “French Tech – ubi i/o Pitch Night” hosted at District co-work and sponsored by OVH. Four of our eight startups pitched in front of a jury of four investors. The presentations were four minutes long followed by five minutes of Q&A and feedback.
Our startups also benefited from some press coverage at Alley NYC, especially Vidcoin, Botify, AB Tasty and Tilkee who were interviewed by several journalists. After seven intense weeks of acceleration, it was a good opportunity to talk about the progress they made thus far.