opinion | Working with a start-up: between challenges and benefits

For some startups, the crisis has been a business accelerator while for others, more impacted, it has allowed them to gain height in structuring their business, to analyze their growth. In both cases, recruitment projects resumed last fall, specifically for profiles with high potential. On the employee side, the crisis and the various incarcerations have aroused in some an intense desire to change their working environment or change companies.

When you are a high potential talent, what might be the advantages of choosing a career within a startup, depending on your maturity? What are the criteria for measuring risks, inherent in any change, and ensuring that you thrive on this new challenge?

An important introspection

In a context where the health crisis has rocked the working environment without allowing the ecosystem of startups, the democratization of teleworking has allowed each of us to take the time to question our living environment, the our balanced professional/personal life and triggered moments. desire for career change. In the context where 90% of employees consider it important to find meaning in their work at the time of the 1st deconfinement, the question of joining the startup nation arises for many professionals, whether in IT or other professions (commercial , marketing, law, finance, etc.).

The FrenchTech ecosystem attracts the diversity of sectors it has transformed such as the different levels of maturity of startups; a treasure to arouse the interest of high -potential profiles with equally different appetites. To choose well among the thousands of positions offered by this ecosystem, it is therefore necessary to do your investigation by compiling an inventory of your skills, your human characteristics and your aspirations.

At the same time, regardless of the title shown in the job offer, it does not mean the same thing depending on the start-up one can join. Working with a unicorn closer to the processes of a large group or joining a startup at its inception and therefore throughout construction do not have the same challenges. From one company to another, a COO or a VP Engineering will not have the same roles or the same missions. Finally, it is necessary to determine his career plan: the change of position may lead the candidate to continue projects successfully performed during his previous experiences, or conversely to discover completely new missions. What challenges is the candidate willing to face? Does he want to deepen or expand his ability?

Corporate values, essential elements in its decision making

Good recruitment is largely the art of matching a CV and a personality on the one hand with a career opportunity and the ability to unite each employee around a common corporate culture on the other. In the same way that a candidate is not limited only by his technical skills, but has human characteristics that will allow him to distinguish himself, a company cannot be reduced only to one sector of activity, an ambition and challenges that must be met. a more or less competitive market. Joining a company also means combining common values. In this context, it is up to the candidate to know about the subject to determine if the personality of the company matches his. The brand identity that speaks to its employees will both promote the performance of its teams and help retain the company’s talents, which are essential for consolidation and accelerating growth.

The durability of the company, a safety net and serenity join it

The introspection carried out and the contours of a position studied, it remains to examine the maturity of the company and the guarantees it may have to investors or shareholders. Clearly the world of start-ups has changed drastically compared to 10 years ago: because it is easy to benefit from funds at the time of their launch, they can already thrive thanks to the support of investors, whether public or private.

Admittedly, the cost of fundraising does not determine either the sustainability or success of the company. However, it is given certain stability if the start-up is able to gain the trust of major investors and is able to change the test after the operation. At the same time, in the context of the health and economic crisis, France’s venture capital remains stable. Last year, FrenchTech raised 928 million euros between June and September (+8.5% compared to Q3 quarter 2019). More importantly, the sector has been supported by the government since the beginning of the incarceration and will benefit an envelope of 7.1 billion.

Joining a startup without fundraising requires a separate review although this challenge can also be interesting. On the other hand, the inclusion of a very young shoot may represent a risk, but at the same time brings enormous development potential to the candidate. Between financial stability and prospects for development, it is up to every candidate to find a happy medium.

Regardless of size, maturity, startup sector or the challenge to be faced, joining a startup when you are a high profile potential allows you to embark on a human adventure. Navigating here opens up a field of possibilities with measurable risk; a more limited opportunity in an SME or in a large group, managed by a locked and codified management process. Ultimately, even in this context of crisis, joining a startup no longer represents a real risk for senior profiles, but more of an opportunity to face a challenge; a model of fulfillment and a lever for his career.

Julien Gargowitsch is Managing Director of Nicholson Search & Selection.

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