"Meet Alona Atias, Talent Acquisition Lead at YL Ventures! Alona spends her days helping our portfolio companies hire top-tier talent in the highly competitive cybersecurity job sector. From sourcing potential hires to helping guide the interview and hiring process, Alona is a wiz at helping our companies grow and build the best technical, operational and marketing teams they can. Check out Alona's Team Focus to learn the most acute #HR needs of founders in early-stage startups, how working in a VC with a portfolio of companies differs to working in one company at a time, and more!Open Modal
Alona has a special, dedicated value-add role at YL Ventures as Talent Acquisition Lead. She spends her days helping our portfolio companies hire top-tier talent in the highly competitive cybersecurity job sector. From sourcing potential hires to helping guide the interview and hiring process, Alona is a wiz at helping our companies grow and build the best technical, operational and marketing teams they can.
What are the most acute HR needs of founders in early-stage startups?
Definitely help with recruitment! Founders need to be able to attract top talent to their companies as soon as possible in order to enjoy success from the beginning. This requires developing an effective employer brand–which is hard for new companies and even harder for those still in stealth. Building out a good recruitment process is another major challenge.
Especially in the earliest stages of a company, founders have to wear so many hats and simply do not have the time or bandwidth to devote themselves to the full spectrum of a recruitment process for a fast-growing company. With my help, the process is dramatically accelerated, because I’m on hand to help with every step. This means communicating clear job descriptions, accessing different sourcing channels, tracking applicants, screening them consistently, maintaining consistent communication, offering the feedback they deserve and onboarding them fully.
What have you learned from working in a VC with a portfolio of companies, as opposed to working in one company at a time?
I’ve developed a new appreciation for how dynamic and interesting the cybersecurity startup world really is. It isn’t simply a question of working with different companies in terms of subject-matter and contacts, it’s also a matter of simultaneously working with companies at many different stages. It’s my job to keep a close eye on the unique needs of each company and make sure I give our founders the best advice at the right time in their company-building journey.
On a wider note, I’m also learning so much about cybersecurity itself. A big part of my role requires me to keep up to date with new products, technologies, problem spaces and trends, which I find so interesting. Best of all is that I’m learning this while working with stars of the industry from day one of their journey to creating the next cyber security unicorns.
What’s the most enjoyable part of your day-to-day?
My favorite part of my day is the relationship-building that comes with it. I don’t see how it’s possible to work effectively in HR without a passion for making and maintaining connections, and I love that it’s such a big part of my role. It helps that I’m also fascinated by the people I get to work with and that the cybersecurity community is so close knit and lovely.
What advice do you have for people interested in pursuing a similar career? What about people looking to work for a VC?
I think the best advice I can give to aspiring recruiters is to embrace a continuous learning mindset. The tech industry, and especially its cybersecurity sector, is always changing and evolving. A strong tech recruiter needs to have real knowledge about the space they’re hiring in to actually communicate with and assess potential candidates and create a meaningful impact.
For people looking to work for a VC, you should bring with you strong knowledge of the VC’s main industry focus, and you also need to develop amazing communication skills as you will work with people from inside the VC and also outside of it.