Bain Capital Ventures Shares HR Trends at Startups

Brian Goldsmith, Principal at Bain Capital Ventures, shares the HR trends he sees in the field and offers some sound advice for folks looking to grow their business.

Brian’s favorite interview question:

“What interview question haven’t I asked that I should have?”


Brian says this: “It answers a few things: can you be concise and compelling? Are you able to think on your feet?”

Listen to this episode on iTunes, Google Play, and Stitcher.

Show notes:

1:00 – Working as an operator onsite with one of BCV’s portfolio companies

3:18 – Brian breaks down venture capital (VC for short)

4:40 – Three indicators that show a company gets it:

  1. Turnover (5:17)
  2.  Hire consistently and predictably (6:20)
  3. Reference checks (7:12)

7:30- The merits of Glassdoor

8:23 – Private Equity vs. Venture Capital and when do you pass on an investment in venture capital?

11:27 – The best thing you can do is keep it simple, be flexible, and be transparent

13:28 – “I would have written you a shorter letter but I didn’t have time,” and how it relates to people systems

14:36 – You can build a great team and a great business if you’re open to remote work

16:58- The biggest blind spots in HR for companies looking for funding and portfolio companies

18:45 – When is best to hire a strategic HR leader?

19:40 – Managing up, board culture, and improving relationships with investors and advisors

21:41 – The transparency spectrum

22:57 – The difference between VC and Operator

24:30 – Brian’s book recommendation