Why Top Startups Choose Persona To Recruit Talent

Recruiting is hard. Recruiting for startup roles is even harder.

This is because startups require people who are adaptable, resilient, hard working, and great problem solvers. Finding people who have all these qualities is no easy task.

Most recruiters are not good at rigorously evaluating these soft skills. This is because the most common vetting practices used by recruiters have no ability to accurately measure them.

The most widely used vetting methods are:

  • Unstructured interviews
  • Resume review
  • Reference checks

All three of these vetting methods are superficial and unreliable. They’re also easy to game.

Unstructured Interviews

Unstructured interviews merely measure how well someone can speak and how charming they are. Individuals who are more introverted or nervous are unfairly penalized.

Resume Review

Resume review rewards people who are good at collecting impressive logos or who went to a good school. However, not everyone who went to Harvard or Stanford is smart and resilient. And not everyone who has worked at Google or Goldman Sachs is going to be a reliable team member.

Reference Checks

Reference checks as commonly done rarely provide useful information. Very few people will speak honestly about people they know. They don’t want anything negative to get back to the applicant, who may now harbor a grudge. Plus, giving out a bad reference can also put someone in legal jeopardy.

Given all these things, it’s not surprising that most recruiters have a hard time hiring world class startup talent—especially in non-technical roles.

Persona’s recruiting process is built to attract talent that’s perfect for startups.

Our hiring process has been designed from the ground up to find talent that’s perfect for startups. We mostly focus on non-technical roles, like:

Finding top talent for these positions is challenging because their performance is due to soft skills, such as problem solving ability, attention to detail, orderliness, communication ability, etc. There are no easy-to-administer (and score) tests for these skills. For technical roles, there are plenty of reliable ways to vet talent. For example, you can use LeetCode, HackerRank, etc. in order to gain a good sense of how well someone understands a particular development language.

How do you do the same thing for problem solving ability? Attention to detail?

That’s what we at Persona specialize in.

How We Systematically Vet Top Talent

The Persona recruiting process has been built to attract talent that’s perfect for startups.

Our background is in behavioral science, and we’ve used our in-depth understanding of cognition and behavior to develop a vetting methodology that allows us to reliably measure soft skills and find world class non-technical talent.

This has allowed us to become the top recruiting choice for non-technical talent for startup founders. Up until now, we’ve mostly focused on executive assistants and chiefs of staff, and are the leading assistant provider for startups.

Our vetting methodology is focused on measuring four key competency areas for each applicant:

  1. Problem solving ability: How quickly can each applicant learn new things and solve complex problems they haven’t seen before?
  2. Communication skills: How well can each applicant communicate? How well can they write?
  3. Character traits: How organized, detail oriented, reliable, adaptable, resilient, curious, and cooperative is each applicant? Will they make a good team member?
  4. Tech ability: How well can each applicant learn and use new software?

Our recruiting team focuses on finding qualified candidates who are exemplary in all these areas.

To do this, we have job seekers go through an entire process that has been customized to them, so that we can understand what makes them unique and where their strengths and weaknesses lie. We use a mixture of quantitative assessments that we’ve developed in-house, work sample tests, structured reference checks, structured interviews, and other exercises.

By the end of the process, we’re able to understand where each applicant shines, and whether or not they’ll be a good fit for any of the roles we’re helping our clients fill.

We’re not aware of any other recruiting organization in the world that is as rigorous and data driven when it comes to the hiring process. You would be surprised by how much research we’ve done into the predictors of job performance, and how many internal experiments we’ve run to better understand what predicts excellence in non-technical positions.

Each new hire we provide is able to get up to speed quickly and become a top performing member of the organization.

Want To Work With Us?

If you’d like to have us help your company with talent acquisition, you’re welcome to sign up for a call with a member of our team using the sign-up links below

  • If you’re looking to hire an executive assistant or chief of staff, sign up here.
  • If you’re looking to hire a different role, sign up here.

During our first conversation, we want to gain an understanding of your company’s culture, how you’ve recruited so far (job boards, recruitment platforms, etc.), and which roles you’re looking to hire in the next few months. While we primarily focus on non-technical roles, we can sometimes help with web development, data science, and other specialized roles.

The only positions we do not fill are startup recruiter jobs, as that would be a conflict of interest.


Young professionals or experienced hires looking for a role at a startup company can apply for one of our open roles here.

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