Cohort Spotlight: Talent Architect
Meet the talent that finds the talent for our ventures
Building innovative ventures with the world’s leading companies takes a wide spectrum of skills, along with a spirit of collaboration and experimentation. At BCG Digital Ventures we cover all bases of venture building, from the initial idea to testing and validation to building the product, finding users, and launching it into the world.
This takes experts from all fields. In this series, we’re introducing you to each of our 8 venture-building cohorts, showcasing their approach, the role they play in building a venture, how they work together, and the skills that are required to succeed as we build businesses with groundbreaking impact. For this edition of the cohort series, we’re looking at Talent Architecture.
At BCG Digital Ventures, we build world-class ventures. This requires a broad range of skills engaged by the very best people. Recruiting and retaining the “best of the best,” however, is not an automatic process. Our Talent Architect cohort is dedicated to identifying, engaging, and recruiting the founding teams for DV’s ventures. This talent is responsible for bringing our ventures to life and continuing the success of the businesses into the future.
Loran Fredric, Director and Partner of Venture Talent & Recruiting for North America, describes this cohort’s mission as “connecting the dots.” It’s his team’s job to help both the clients and the candidates understand the vision of the venture as something that is new, disruptive, innovative and different — and to ensure this vision is brought to life as a successful business through the candidates the team sources. “We are the bricklayers and masons, rather than the bricks in the wall,” he summarizes.
Harry Wimborne, Digital Ventures Senior Talent Architect with the London team highlights that the main function of a Talent Architect is to “design and build the organizational blueprint to ensure the business is set up with the right people in the right positions from day one.”
Talent Architects are responsible for recruiting the critical “first of” hires for a particular client or venture, bridging an important expertise gap for a corporate partner who has never hired for this talent or skill set. They are responsible for recruiting and retaining the teams that are going to own and continue to scale these ventures — frequently building entire teams from scratch.
Talent architects play a key role in venture building, working hand-in-hand with the venture team to develop their talent acquisition strategies. This involves advising on things like compensation structures and strategies, taking responsibility for the recruitment and delivery of the full-time talent and leaders who will one day own these ventures when they graduate from Digital Ventures. Harry explains that “While our colleagues are focussed on building a great product, we spend our time making sure that we have designed the correct organizational blueprint and then find, hire and reward the best people possible to turn great products into great businesses.”
To succeed as a Talent Architect, Loran emphasizes the importance of knowing the market and being able to advise clients off the back of this — a job spec could be bare bones, just an idea scribbled on the back of a napkin, and a good Talent Architect will know how to bring this to fruition and build out a job profile. He sees it as his role to inform and educate the client in this respect.
Harry further describes that this role is for someone who is “very solution-oriented and organized,” stressing the value of curiosity and open-mindedness in helping him succeed in the role and open his mind to new opportunities or hidden gems of talent.
In terms of the typical career path for a Talent Architect, the DV team comes from a variety of different backgrounds. Many have worked in traditional HR roles, but not necessarily in a ‘search’ function. At Digital Ventures, they might start out in a research capacity, before moving into a proactive recruiter role, and then transitioning to senior client leadership and interaction functions, with directors leading on commercial and strategic responsibilities for the cohort. Harry notes that this role involves a generalist and highly transferable skill set, meaning a pivot to anything is possible from this space — “it just depends on the hill you’re willing to climb.”
A favorite project for Loran during his time so far at Digital Ventures involved hiring thirty first-time digital roles at all levels for an iconic American brand undergoing a significant digital transformation through BCGDV. Digital Ventures worked with the company to build their interview and assessment capabilities from scratch, and assisted them in making key hiring decisions.
“We are in the people business — it is intrinsically rewarding to see that you are helping people, whether that’s helping a candidate find their next job, or helping hiring managers make those critical hires,” he explains. And his passion has certainly translated into action — Loran was recognized by HRO as Talent Acquisition Leader of the Year in September 2021.
As for what makes this such a great cohort? Harry says that he loves being the face of BCGDV: “I am typically the first person that the future employees of our ventures will speak to when they first embark on the hiring journey with us, and I will need to earn and deserve their trust throughout so it’s imperative I give a good professional account of BCGDV, our ventures, and our clients from the get go.”
Fundamentally, Loran says that Talent Architects “want to leave it better than we found it — we anticipate, and look around corners, and that’s the fun of the job.”