About us
min read

Say hello to Ishgun Arora, Business Development Associate at RFS!

June 12, 2024

Tell us a little about your background.

I studied Business, Statistics and Machine Learning at Carnegie Mellon. I also have practical experience working in Machine Learning and Web3, and did some work with the Smart Contract Research Forum and KPMG while in school. 

I was also involved in building a digital fashion startup, The FashionVerse. During my time there, I started to get really interested in recruiting. I encountered firsthand the challenges of hiring, and the importance of hiring the right people. I realized that recruiting, though crucial, was often overlooked and could be really inefficient. 

Describe your role at RFS and what you’re working on right now. 

In my role at Recruiting From Scratch, I focus on leading our sales efforts to connect with early-stage companies who are hiring. I’ve worked a lot on refining our internal sales processes too.

Something I’m really interested in is developing new strategies that use both the data we gather from sales and the insights our recruiters bring to the table. At the end of the day, we want every hire we help our clients make to fill a long-term, strategic role. By working closely with the recruiting team, I can help our prospective clients better understand the types of candidates we work with and can help them find. 

I’m also really interested in helping startups make the right founding hires, especially after my experience at a startup. The importance of a founding hire cannot be overstated—it’s a cornerstone upon which a startup’s future is built, and can often determine success. 

What are some current trends in hiring?

Currently, there’s a significant demand for founding engineers, particularly those skilled in backend development and machine learning. We’re also seeing a shift towards hybrid work, companies seem to want to balance remote and in-office work more. And this is probably the newest one, but I feel like we’re seeing more and more startups opt for trial periods for new hires. They really want to make sure there’s a good cultural fit and alignment with the work of the company before committing to a full time hire.

What are the greatest challenges startups face when it comes to hiring?

Startups often struggle with competing against larger companies for top talent. It’s difficult because startups often have tighter budgets - they’re brand new companies after all! 

Finding candidates who have the necessary technical skills combined with a startup mentality is also challenging. You really need both to be successful at a startup long-term. 

Any advice to companies, like startups, doing their own hiring?

Definitely, I have several pieces of advice. 

  • Clearly define roles and required skills upfront to avoid the pitfalls of on-the-go hiring. Hiring too quickly, and hiring the wrong people, can be inefficient and costly. 
  • Articulate your vision during interviews, so you can attract candidates who are genuinely interested in your mission rather than just the compensation. 
  • Outline clear paths for career development to make positions more attractive. Will this role be promoted in 6 months, or a year, if the team meets their milestones? Or what does the path to advancement look like? 
  • Finally, while the impulse might be to handle everything in-house, partnering with a dedicated service like Recruiting From Scratch can free up your focus for other critical activities. Writing job descriptions, reviewing resumes, interviewing, and all the other activities associated with recruiting can take up a lot of time (we find!). 

What’s next for you? 

I just moved to San Francisco, and I’m super excited to be here. It’s great to start meeting more of our tech clients and candidates in person, and get to know the city. 

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