Why Instacart is shopping for Big Tech talent
Dozens of employees from Amazon, Facebook and Google joined Instacart in the past year.
The Protocol article, "Why Instacart is shopping for Big Tech talent," quoted Russell Reynolds Associates Consultant Nada Usina on tech sector talent trends. The article is excerpted below.
For a moment, it seemed like Instacart was fixated on Facebook talent.
The company started the summer by announcing Fidji Simo, one of Facebook's big execs, as its next CEO. Just a few weeks later, Instacart tapped Facebook's ads leader, Carolyn Everson, as the next president.
But the truth is, Instacart is getting talent from all over Big Tech, from Facebook to Amazon to Google. Experts in tech management and recruitment said the volume of Big Tech hires isn't unusual — Instacart likely wants people with a track record of success, and those coming in could see a chance to take a leading role in a company that may go public down the line.
"Like many, they are taking a leadership role in their space, and talent likes to be where other talent is arriving," says Nada Usina, who leads the tech sector at management consulting firm Russell Reynolds. "They want to be a part of a leading company and when you see that an organization is investing in people, in tech and in the future, it's a pretty good trifecta to get connected with."
Could these hires lead up to an IPO?
For management consulting experts, pulling from a range of big Silicon Valley companies means Instacart is trying to diversify its staff and pull homegrown talent. And for the people coming to the company, they say heading to Instacart gives them a chance to be part of a company's pre-IPO story.
"This is not different from Seamless or GrubHub or others — they would attract talent that is strong in tech, engineering, comp-sci, that kind of DNA. So not unusual," said Usina, the tech lead at Russell Reynolds. "It's hard to say what motivates individuals but en masse, I think the opportunity for companies like Instacart to attract people is that you have a chance to impact probably more in a pre-IPO setting than you would in a much more structured environment."
Usina added that it's relatively common for people from large Silicon Valley employers to move to an emerging business like Instacart, help it grow to a similar standing as their last employer, then migrate to the next rising business.
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