Founders: talk about yourselves!

April 21, 2022 ‧ The missed opportunity in your JDs

Ali Rohde

@RohdeAli

Over the past year putting together my jobs newsletter, I've reviewed hundreds of early-stage job descriptions.

Less than 20% of these JDs mention anything about the company's founders, their backgrounds, or why they started the company.

Of the 20% that do, 50% mention the founders’ backgrounds, but still don’t mention the founders by name (eg “Our founding team comes from Twitch, Discord, and Airbnb”).

This is a huge missed opportunity.

Just like early-stage investors, early-stage team members are taking a bet on you. You need to tell them why they should take that bet.

That’s why my #1 piece of advice to early-stage founders crafting job descriptions is to talk about yourself:

  • Have a section about the founders or early team
  • Explain your experience in the space
  • Include your name and link to your LinkedIn / Twitter / website so they can learn more
  • Emphasize that you are human! Highlight what a good team you are and how much employees can grow and learn. Use specifics, not buzzwords.
  • If you have noteworthy advisers or investors, mention them by name. Candidates want to know you can cover their salary today, raise additional funding tomorrow, and attract high-caliber people throughout.

When candidates join an early-stage startup, they are taking a risk, often taking a pay cut, and putting huge trust in the founders they join.

Put the humility aside and show them why you deserve their trust.

Sometimes a few seconds spent reading a page on Lever is all you get from candidates. Don’t let it go to waste.

Examples

Ambrook

At Ambrook, CEO Mackenzie Burnett makes sure that every job description details the company’s mission, investors, and includes a link to the company’s incredible “Working at Ambrook” page.

Rupa Health

At Rupa Health, CEO Tara Viswanathan ensures every job description includes detailed information about the company’s investors, the backgrounds of the founding team, and a link to learn more about the CEO’s background: