What is the Company Matchmaking Process?
Before finding out their placement company and city, every Fellow is matched with a handful of VFA Partner Companies. Fellows then must interview with and receive an offer from one or more companies. VFA ensures every Fellow is placed with an excellent company that is a great fit.
We placed all 40 of our 2012 Fellows at promising growth companies, the first Fellow on March 15th and the last on August 1st. The majority of hiring decisions occurred between late April and early June.
For more info on how VFA chooses it’s cities and companies, visit our FAQs page.
Matchmaking and Placement Timeline
The Matchmaking and Placement Process
There are 5 steps to the VFA Fellow-Company Matchmaking and Placement Process:
Matches between Fellows and Companies are made based on what we know about the Fellow, the Fellow’s preferences, and the needs of our companies.
First, Fellows receive a survey to share their skills and preferences for role, company type, location, etc. VFA can’t guarantee your first-choice placement — you might not be precisely what the company needs — but every Fellow ends up placed at a company that’s a great mutual fit, based on their skills and preferences.
Meanwhile, our Partner Companies are informing VFA whether they are hiring this summer, then give us their hiring wants and needs in terms of specific jobs and cultural fit. VFA develops relationships with each startup, usually through on-site visits and trusted referrals from our in-city partners. We rely on these relationships and partners to help identify which companies would be good fits for a Fellow based on quality leadership, relative financial stability, and a high-potential working and learning environment.
VFA matches each Fellow with several companies for interviews, based on preferences from Fellows and Companies as well as our team’s experience of what makes a good match.
Once a match is made, each Fellow is responsible for managing his/her own interview process, with VFA providing guidance, support, and additional matches as needed.
The first part of the formal interview process is a phone interview with the partner company. At this point in the process, the company may also ask the Fellow for a Skype interview, work product or additional interviews, depending on their regular hiring process.
If the first round of interviews goes well and the startup would like an in-person meeting, they’ll invite the Fellow to the city for a company site visit and in-person interview.
Site visits are a chance for the Fellow and the company’s team to get to know one another to determine culture fit, and for the Fellow to impress the company enough to potentially garner an offer. Most Fellows only go on one or two site visits before finding a great match.
For the Fellow, the overnight site visit gives the opportunity to explore the city and meet with VFA Fellows and supporters who already live there. VFA provides contacts in each city, and covers the cost of site travel.
If the site visit goes well and the startup thinks the Fellow is a great fit, they will extend an offer. It is the Fellow’s right to accept or reject any offer.
Once placements begin in August:
- Fellows become full-time employees of the company
- Salaries range from $33K- $38K depending on city, and companies have the option of offering equity or options
- It is at the company’s discretion to provide the Fellow with raises, promotions, equity, bonuses, etc. based on performance
- There is no “end date” to a Fellow’s tenure with the company, but they commit to work there for at least two years
For more information about companies VFA works with, you can visit our Current Partners page.