Why this founder left the VC world to help tech companies fix their people problems

by Michael Hines
April 23, 2018
Ethos Chicago tech talent strategy
PHOTO VIA ETHOS

Ask a thriving tech company what the secret to their success is and the first thing you’d hear is “our people.” That’s a bit ironic, as the industry writ-large is known for having people problems. At the end of the day, tech companies often struggle to recruit and retain their employees.

Alida-Miranda Wolff knows all about these issues from her time spent at Hyde Park Angels working with the firm’s portfolio companies. After dealing with the people problems of startups on a daily basis, she decided to launch a talent strategy company of her own: Ethos.

“Our goal is to shape the talent and develop the culture within an organization to drive its performance,” said Miranda-Wolff. “We want to make every tech company a ‘best place to work’ by investing in their people and giving them work that’s purpose-driven.”

We want to make every tech company a ‘best place to work.’”

Ethos’ goal is to help companies grow their businesses by developing both their talent and culture. The company’s approach is four-fold: hiring practices, diversity, vision and values, and career pathing. Ethos is launching its hiring practices and diversity services first, because you can’t refine a company’s vision and values or career path structure if there are no employees.

“We can’t worry about the other stuff until we have the right people through the door and they feel stable enough that they’re going to make it through two years,” said Miranda-Wolff.

Ethos’ initial offerings include a custom-designed diversity strategy designed to align with a company’s overall business goals as well as a complete hiring plan that covers everything from role design to interview structure and onboarding. Miranda-Wolff will manage the company’s day-to-day and client relations, while co-founder Kaleb Dumot, who founded and runs tech recruiting search firm Integrity Power Search, will focus primarily on business development as the company finds its sea legs.

For now, Miranda-Wolff said the firm’s immediate focus will be meeting with companies and learning about what they want and need.

“Every conversation that I have, I feel myself slipping into this place and thinking about all we could do and all we could make,” Miranda-Wolff said.

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