Silicon Valley job seekers are approaching the job market with a level of caution which has been uncommon, until recently. Candidates are prioritizing stability, size and money in the bank over paper valuations and the promise of growth, said Carolyn Betts Fleming, founder and CEO of Betts Recruiting. They are also more concerned with burn rates and revenue, she said. (Betts Recruiting helped Kolhatkar find his position.)
"People are being more analytical and thoughtful in the decisions they are making," she said.
As a result, tech giants and well-funded unicorns are likely finding it a little easier to hire top talent, said Jon Bischke co-founder and CEO of Entelo, which makes recruiting software.
"When the market is not as red hot for start-ups, it is easier for bigger companies to compete for red hot talent, especially the engineering talent that is so sought after," he said.
The incredibly competitive market for engineering talent is partly to blame for small start-ups' desire to attain lofty paper valuations and offer potential employees highly-valued equity, said Sam Angus, corporate partner at Fenwick & West. The Securities and Exchange Commission is now fielding an increasing number of calls from employees concerned that their startup equity might not be as valuable — or liquid — as they had hoped, said Chair Mary Jo White on a recent visit to Silicon Valley.