Can VCs help entrepreneurs hires execs? Yes.
One of my portfolio CEOs gave me some light grief about my last blog. In that blog, I argued that venture investors are poor at delivering customer intros. At the end of the blog I hinted that some venture investors can actually help entrepreneurs source, evaluate and close key executives to help them build their businesses. My CEO basically pointed out that I blathered on about an obvious point (VCs in general do squat re: customer intros despite some heavy over-promise) and I barely addressed the key point... VCs can help recruit.
It is true. I strongly believe that an entrepreneur who is fortunate enough to have his choice of early stage venture investors should pick one who is emotionally invested in helping that entrepreneur round out his management team in order to maximize his market opportunity.
Even if the VC in question doesn't know a soul whom he could recruit to the venture due to lack of relationships or credibility in the sector and/or region, any executive worth hiring is going to demand to speak with the key investors before joining the company. So, that VC's ability to evaluate and close talent is critical, even if he cannot source worth a damn.
Something to think about as you build your business. Pick investors who ACTUALLY CAN help you and measure them on metrics that really matter.
And yes, Mr. CEO, that does mean that I feel that my firm, Valhalla Partners, is particularly good at executive recruiting based on our sector and regional contacts. We have been quite active and we believe successful in helping our entrepreneurs identify, evaluate, and hire key people.