Awesome People - Ep 63

technical recruiting, recruiting tools, interviews

Hi fellow founders and VC Friends!

Each week we deliver one awesome person to your inbox. These are the people you need to know—the marketers, sales gurus, engineers, ops wizzes— who give your startup superpowers 🚀. The best part is, everyone is hireable on a part-time basis.


Please meet  Eric Gong, Your Rockstar Technical Recruiter 😎

Eric was previously a VP of Engineering at Sema4 (AI health co with an IPO this year) and COTA, Inc. (Series D health care co that’s raised $109M+). Over the course of his career, he’s built engineering teams from scratch while turning small companies into big ones. My favorite thing about Eric is his knack for spotting world-class technical talent. In fact, he’s used that skill to start his own technical recruiting firm. He’s already helped 2 companies in the awesome people community and received great reviews!

Recently, he helped Classkick (seed co that grew their users 10x this year) hire 4-star engineers in 2 months! Fun fact about Eric: he loves collecting crypto art! 🎨

You can hire him to bring in technical talent, rethink your hiring processes, and scale your engineering teams.

Need help recruiting top-tier technical talent? Respond to this email and I’ll intro you!


Eric was gracious enough to share some pro-tips with us here 🙌

Sell the role at every stage of the process

Before I worked with Classkick (ed-tech co that raised a $1.7M seed led by Kapor Capital) on their hiring process, they focused too much on vetting candidates and not enough on selling the role. When it came down to hiring a candidate, they couldn’t find anyone to accept their offers. They had hundreds of applicants, 40+ interviews, and zero hires. 

So I coached the team to sell at every stage of the interview process. As a result, we hired 4 top engineers and 1 product manager in 2 months. Selling starts at the phone screen and continues all the way to the offer. Show your candidates why they would want to work at your company. Be sure to talk about things like: 

  • Growth - For example, Classkick grew 10x in one year!

  • Product demand - How much has your user acquisition risen month over month?

  • Career growth - I often tell candidates they’ll grow “more here in one year than elsewhere in five years”. 

  • Leadership and team culture - The right environment is key to success. Show them why yours is amazing!

Creatively build the top of your recruiting funnel

Anyone can post a job on LinkedIn. The problem is when you get 100 applicants and none of them are a fit. Sound familiar? 

The secret is to find the right sources. Then funnel them into your pipeline. Here are some top-of-funnel tips:

  1. Think outside the box to market the role! For my client Atolla (seed-stage skincare co that’s raised $4M), I published this product unboxing video. The post filled our inbox with messages and generated a ton of company goodwill. The best part? Atolla’s job posting generated over 15,000 views and applications rose more than 5x as a result.

  1. Meet your candidates where they’re looking. I often source candidates through engineering Slack communities. I have 10+ that I look at daily, including Rand Leadership, We Build Black, Women Who Code, and Operation Code. My firm sourced a top candidate from a competitor just by tapping into these networks. Plus, these communities are all free to join :) 

Implement sophisticated tooling

Technical recruiting is competitive. Don’t bring a knife to a gun fight. Here are some tools and tips to help you stay on top of your recruiting efforts and ahead of your competitors:

  1. Supercharge your outreach! Use LinkedIn Recruiter and Loxo to identify the right candidates and reach them directly. Most companies will discover talent on LinkedIn Recruiter and send only 1 targeted message. To up your response rate, build a list of top candidates with LinkedIn Recruiter, find their contact info with Loxo, and send automated email campaigns with Gem. I’ve seen response rates jump from 10 to 50%!

  1. New technology like AI can help you look at recruiting from new angles. For example, tools like human predictions can connect you with candidates who are more active on GitHub or Stack Overflow. This activity helps signal when top talent is looking for a new job! AI can help you discover this talent at the perfect time and send a message before your competitors do. 

Need some help with recruiting technical talent? Respond to this email and I’ll connect you! 


As always, let me know if you have any questions and if you want an intro to any of the folks in this email (including the PS section 🎉). 

Happy holidays and see you in the new year!

Stay awesome,

Julia Lipton

Founder of Awesome People and Awesome People Ventures

If you liked this, ❤️ it below. If someone forwarded this to you, sign up here 💌


Hosting a virtual customer event? Try Goldcast 🚀

Do you want to accelerator your sales funnel? Close more leads? One of the Awesome People Ventures portfolio companies, Goldcast, is here to help!

They’ve built a platform to host incredible virtual events AND convert leads into pipeline opportunities. Think Zoom, Netflix, Salesforce, and HubSpot rolled into one. Virtual events are getting more and more important. Goldcast makes them 10x easier than before. What more could you want?

They recently launched their product and would love to hear from folks looking to host awesome online events. They’ve already worked with companies like Toast, Drift, Smartling, and Afore Capital. If you like closing customers, check them out here.

Part-Time Opportunities 👀

Part-time Growth Marketer for Yobs TechYobs helps orgs tap into video-based talent intelligence for hiring, upskilling, and talent management. They’re looking for a growth marketer with experience building a marketing funnel for SMBs. Rapha (co-founder and CEO) was referred by my friend Nick Abouzeid, who heads marketing at MainStreet. They’re backed by Backend Capital, Flight Ventures, Acceleprise, Base Case Capital, and awesome angels.

If this role is a fit for you, or anyone you know, let me know and I’ll make the connection!

Secret Easter Egg - Next week we’re launching a free job board for part-time opportunities 🤩! If you have part-time talent requests (think freelancers, consultants, advisors), let us know here! The form takes less than 3 minutes to fill out. We’ll be sure to include your opportunities when we launch 🚀

Most Recent Awesome People 🙏

Evan - PR and content pro. Evan is a marketing and comms genius who’s helped his clients land features in TODAY, Reuters, the New York Times, CNN, and more. He’s even worked on viral campaigns with Snoop Dogg, Lady Gaga, and President Obama’s inauguration in the past.

Jeff - ‘Jeff of all trades’ designer. Think of him as the freelance designer who can work closely with your teams when you need an extra expert on hand. Jeff is trusted by Google, REQ, The Knot, Via, Amazon Publishing, PayPal, and more. He once worked on a Google campaign featuring Lizzo!

Michelle - Executive assistant queen. Michelle is the founder and CEO of Squared Away, a network of military spouses turned EAs. They already work with a few of my besties, including Cee Cee Shnugg (Boom Capital) and Chaz Flexman (Forward Foods, ex-a16z & ex-Pattern Brands).

Want intros to anyone here? Lmk and I’ll connect you!

❤️ ❤️ ❤️