I have an idea. In brief, FAANGs should partner and invest in small startups to cultivate a future hiring pipeline. It’s such a simple idea. Pharmaceutical companies and other innovation-driven organizations do this with academic research centers — essentially invest in them and have some kind of arrangement that gives them the rights when a product or idea is ready. The ‘product or idea’, in this case, is the talent.
Here’s how it could work: Google already licenses/sells their coding evaluation tool through an app called ByteBoard. Could they offer this to earlier stage startups for free, or — even better — train a set of startups on how they hire and evaluate engineers? In exchange, they could get access to the coding results and performance reviews of the startups’ engineers over time. But, why would startups allow this? After all, they don’t want their folks to be poached away by the likes of Google or Facebook!
My rationale is this: many engineers look to leave a startup after 2 years, and rather than trying to fight against it, perhaps we can help make their experience at our companies worthwhile and boost them to the next level. I’ve heard from more than few tenured engineers that they ultimately want to end up at a FAANG eventually. Could we create some kind of program with, say, Google, whereby companies are ‘Google approved’ — i.e., our hiring standards are solid, and that we become a feeder into Google? This could add to the employer value proposition of startups that don’t yet have their own established brands. And engineers would be incentivized to perform well, as it would be required that they fulfill a successful 2 years at a company before they could be considered for an expedited assessment process into Google.
Anyway, it’s an idea. It would require a lot of legal papering over, I’m sure. But in a world where talent is scarce and recruiting teams are getting bigger and bigger, this could potentially be a winning idea for all parties.