Rise of the Acqui-hires

For many startups, hiring is the bottleneck to growth. Not only is the hiring process taxing for a small team, the problem of talent dilution has emerged in all kinds of roles, including developers and designers.

When we first got to the Valley, there were a handful of good companies that were able to attract a large number of really great engineers to work on a single problem. So, when Facebook started in 2004 and started recruiting out of the Stanford Network and some of the neighboring companies, we were able to attract, really quickly, thirty to fifty of the best developers I’ve ever worked…

So you have to ask yourself, if a company like Facebook was starting today, would they be able to build a team as quickly that was as talented and ready to execute on that problem? I think, from my perspective, it’s really unclear.

– Dustin Moskovitz, Facebook Co-founder

I find it telling that Facebook’s and TaskRabbit’s recent acquisitions have rumoured to be acquhires. With today’s low requirements for startup capital and the continuing decline in software/hardware component costs, tech startups will in turn begin to invest in human capital. The pace of VC funding slowing down and more startups are addressing more niche markets/problems/solutions, so we should see a significant number of startups with the talent – but not the means or scale –  go bust over the next couple of years. 

I think that these conditions will create the rise of talent acquisitions in 2012. Your thoughts? 

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