Entrepreneurs must sometimes think as strategically when acquiring talent as they do when figuring out what software or other technology to invest in.
Here’s one example to consider when looking at talent acquisition for your own business. Square, the company responsible for the handheld credit card reader, is taking on engineers from another tech startup.
Square has apparently absorbed the team of photo sharing app Viewfinder.
Adding to the Team
Square’s takeover seems to be of the acqui-hire variety, TechCrunch reports. This means Square is probably less interested in the Viewfinder app itself than in hiring on some of the talent behind that app.
Two members of that team, Spencer Kimball and Peter Mattis, are also known for creating the popular open source image manipulation program GIMP.
Kimball and Mattis are former Google employees who will become part of Square’s senior management team.
Focus on New Square Features
The newly acquired talent may be put to work developing the company’s recently launched Square Market. The site is a new venture which aims to give free eCommerce stores to all Square users.
In an announcement on the official Square Engineering Blog, CTO Bob Lee wrote:
“The team is incredibly talented, having built an app that blends beautiful design and highly technical engineering to create personal, human experiences. This too is our mantra at Square, and the Viewfinder team’s expertise in building simple, elegant mobile applications will help us in our mission to make commerce easy for everyone.”
Lee will only say that members of the viewfinder team will be working on “seller initiatives out of our New York office.”
A post on the official Viewfinder Blog noted:
“We love how Square keeps engineering novel solutions to problems people didn’t imagine could be fixed. Their products have already helped millions of local businesses, and the future is more exciting still. We knew Square was the place for us.”
While the results of the Viewfinder team’s efforts will almost certainly be of importance to small and medium sized businesses already using Square, there are other lessons here.
Acquiring the Right Talent
Finding talent can be a tricky business and often starting with professionals whose work you admire can be a good first step.
It’s also a good idea to be sure that new talent will fit your company culture as well.
It may be a good idea to ask for recommendations from your existing team. (According to Lee’s post, he, Mattis and Kimball are all close associates going back to their Google days.)
The results can often be better than simply reading through a stack of resumes.