Economic Jitters Push Pandemic Job Seekers to Big Companies, Not Startups

Publish Date : 2021-04-28

Economic Jitters Push Pandemic Job Seekers to Big Companies, Not Startups

Using cash to weather a talent drought
So, what’s a job seeker with dreams of working for a startup to do? Bernstein offers the advice he often gives his students: Take a step back and consider your long-term career path.

“The career trajectory is quite path-dependent. And the choices that you're making today are going to affect the choices that you're going to make tomorrow,” he says. It’s important to recognize that over the long haul, “things in retrospect may not be as severe as they seemed.”

Bernstein advises startups that are facing a dwindling talent pool to raise cash—and act quickly.

Finding capital when it's least needed can provide a firm with more stability, as well as the ability to offer competitive salary packages when attracting experienced talent down the road, Bernstein says. For instance, when a top-tier venture capital firm is funding a startup, the nascent firm is far more likely to attract top talent, researchers including Bernstein find in a separate working paper (pdf) published in October.

“The best time to raise money is when you don't really need money, because then you’re in the best position to do so,” Bernstein notes.

“Similarly, your ability to attract talent today might shift quite dramatically down the road,” he says. “So, if you have opportunities, better to seize them as soon as you can, because you're competing in the labor market against the more incumbent and larger companies, particularly during times with great uncertainty.”

About the Author
Rachel Layne is a writer based in the Boston area.

[Image: coldsnowstorm]

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you, it made it really important that you could play it instantly… That to me is an example of a direct lesson from the Wii U era, where Nintendo said, 'That's something we're gonna zero in on and make a dramatic improvement on.'"

In short, Nintendo learned what its market wanted. And its engineers altered their next product launch to be a success. Learn from their experience and do a soft-launch of your own product or service to test and iterate before you fully bring your product to market.

4.You know in your gut that it isn’t going to work.
Being honest with yourself about how you think launch day is going to turn out is absolutely critical to your product’s success. Most of the time, you know intuitively what your market buyers are going to think of your product, how they’re going to receive it, and what they’re going to say.

How is this intuitive? It's because your market will have the same concerns you have about your product in the back of your mind -- that itching lack of clarity, that muddy user experience or thatcheap look and feel.

The lesson here: Do not ignore your gut instinct. I love the way that Irene Barrera, founder of Stay Fit With Irene, put it in an email to me: “If you know in your gut that your product or service won’t resonate with your audience, if you hate or even dislike the experience it will give your target market, then why would you launch it? It’s far better to take additional time to launch a product that you’re proud and excited about to announce to your audience.”

So, a launch might seem complicated, but it really isn’t. Launches go sour for two simple reasons (usually): Either the market doesn’t have a need for the product at all, or you need to get the messaging for that product dialed in.

Related: How to Launch a Product That Sells

Of course, knowing whether your product will succeed before you launch is easier said than done. But treat the above four signs as indicators that you should rethink your product before bringing it to market, and, in the end, you’ll have a successful launch day. Even if it does take you a bit longer to get there, the effort will still be worth it.
Small companies are receiving fewer applications, particularly from experienced professionals, according to research by Shai Bernstein and colleagues. How can startups overcome pandemic fears and compete for talent?
. Experienced and higher-quality talent were among those fleeing to large companies, leaving young startups with a smaller and lower-quality pool of talent to draw from, write the authors of a recent working paper titled Flight to Safety: How Economic Downturns Affect Talent Flows to Startups (pdf).

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