Retained & Contingent Search for SF Bay & NYC Startups

Seeking a Startup Job Hiring For My Startup

About Us

HSF Consulting's core business is retained search for early to late stage technology startups in the San Francisco bay market. Our clients retain us to place engineering and product leadership talent at the Executive and Director level.  Clients also retain our team to cherry-pick hard to find or niche hires essential to their growth.  After placing key decision-makers into our clients, HSF continues working with those leaders on a contingent basis to staff out their organizations.  Our philosophy is best described as a consultative "LISTEN FIRST" approach to creating long term relationships while striving to add value and differentiate ourselves in the market by providing "QUALITY OVER QUANTITY," highly targeted, and expertly aligned results for both candidates and clients. 

Why We're Different

We're the bay area’s only executive search firm for startups specializing in both retained and contingency search that caters to the San Francisco bay market with a reach extending up to Toronto, across the Pacific to Honolulu, and Tokyo. Our core philosophy and search methodology brings a level of thoroughness, attention to detail, and relationship building that's been lost in the transactional world of today's recruiting market. Fancy algorithms, quirky job boards, and body-shop websites will never replace an authentic recruiter's credibility nor their ability to align the flavors in your hallway with the personality types that you need to get to market before your competition.



Quality over Quantity

The best balance of "do it right" and "get it done" means we strive to send you that one candidate or one job that ticks of all your check boxes. You achieve a competitive advantage through hiring the best people or finding the best job in less time and focusing on what your other priorities in life.


Relationship-driven and we meant it! NO spamming jobs or resumes. NO "send me an email and I'll get back to you." We ENGAGE and have meaningful conversations to get to the core of the matter. SLOW DOWN...invest a little... give us your ATTENTION... and we promise you'll get better ROI.

Startups Only

We only work with Bay Area startups and the Venture Capital funds backing them. We understand the unique challenges of going from 10 to 20 employees, or from 50 to 100 plus. Startup DNA, Disruptive, Passionate, Multiple Hats, Lean, etc - WE GET IT!

Who Are You?


Recruiting an early team of "A-Players" to your startup is by far one of the most challenging and important things you need to do as a leader.  We spend our time tirelessly sifting through the market, sourcing, interviewing, contacting, pre-screening, compelling the best talent available while drilling into every tangible and intangible skill ask us to screen. We present you with not just a resume but a pre-qualified candidate who aligns with your culture, and already understands your value proposition. 

Quality over quantity, plain and simple.

HOW WE work with startups


Fee Structure
Like any startup, we focus our efforts on the projects that will deliver the highest returns. Retainers take priority over all other searches as they provides the best return for both client and search firm. Contingent search agreements are available.
The bay market is one of the most competitive globally for talent and an unusually long or unclear and poorly defined interview process significantly increases the chance of losing a candidate to a competing offer. Accordingly, we concentrate on being extremely efficient in our service and vet searches with clear, well-defined, and efficient processes.
Decision-Maker Access
To have a the best understanding of a search and the business objectives surrounding a search, direct access to a decision maker is required. We’re less effective when searches are run solely by HR or Internal Recruiting teams and as a result are not prioritized. We spend considerable amount of time taking a job orders from hiring managers directly.
Compelling Story
In order to attract top shelf talent, there must be a compelling reason for the candidate to have interest in your startup opportunity. Equity alone isn't enough to outsell your competition. We take our time to understand and evaluate your leadership team, backers, career growth opportunities, and your compelling story to the marke
Sense of Urgency
We don't like wasting either of our time which is why we work with you upfront to define and determine if there is clear sense of urgency. Jobs unfilled for extended periods of time, too many agencies involved in a search, or under-market fee terms generally indicate to our team a lack of sense of urgency.


Recruiters are not gatekeepers, rather they should be guides and ladders helping you to get ahead. A good Recruiter can be your biggest advocate and advantage.  If you are ready we will start by first asking you about your aspirations and motivations. We'll take our time to get a complete picture of your background, personality, and needs before making assumptions or sales pitches. No baiting, we only start talking about a new job when the time is right and when we found an opportunity that aligns with your goals.




We Listen First
We identify talent based on current client needs. First contact focuses on asking if there’s a variance between where you’re today and where you want to be. We have ideas for you but we don't assume to know what you want or what is right for you. We work to fully and completely understand the issues, needs, wants and frankly the realism you have before offering solutions.
No sales pitch
A typical call you might expect with a recruiter involves them pushing an agenda and their client on you. NOT with us. No selling or marketing you 10 jobs. Our team is trained to identify talent, qualify them, and spend time up front listening, thereby more effectively providing, fewer, but better calibrated matches.
If you're not interested in getting to know us and answering a few questions then we might not be the right firm for you. We are respected for the credibility we have in genuinely understanding the difference between SME’s and mediocre talent, just as much so for our ability to place candidates into the right role. The majority of our candidates work with us repeatedly, and often become our clients. We'll let you know we can't help or point you in the right direction rather than sell you a pig with lipstick on it.
Actually adding value
Our approach involves thoroughly listening and asking questions not only with candidates but clients alike. Our depth of actual client knowledge and their job orders allows us to provide candidates a more holistic view of a startup's management, team, interview process, expectations, and offering beyond the typical resume hand-off you get in the market. We've also in the habit of providing advice and insight when the only benefit was purely to build a relationship with you for the future.


"I am a big fan of Andy and his team. He is a pleasure to work with and delivers great talent. Andy helped us make several important hires in a very difficult hiring market. "

Uber Exec

"I have been working with HSF for several years. They have helped me hire multiple talented product managers, engineers, and data analysts. He(Andy) is dedicated to the searches, highly effective, market knowledgeable, and very transparent. "

AdTech CTO

"We have worked with HSF now to fill 3 critical roles - two for hands on architects and one for an experienced community manager. They have always exceeded my expectations when it comes to how quickly they present excellent candidates. Somehow they find the people who are not only great for the position, but also ready to make a move."

OpenSource Foundation Exec

"Andy is unique in his ability to find the right candidate. He takes the time to get to know candidates and makes them feel taken care of. At the same time he asks probing questions to help uncover the exact needs of hiring managers. He helped my company (now part of Google) with a key Android opening. We hired the first person he sent us! I highly recommend his recruiting."

Google Exec


Founder and a Principal Recruiter of HSF Consulting, Andy has over a decade of experience in the recruitment industry both in the US and Asia markets.  He is an internationally seasoned and relationship driven business owner, recruiter and talent consultant working with San Francisco bay area Venture Capital funds and their portfolios of start-up investments. Advocating a listen first approach and a quality over quantity mindset, Andy works with his team placing C level and upper management executive talent down the individual contributor engineering level into early stage disruptive technology startups across the US and into Canada. Some of the firms Andy has worked with have gone on to IPO or through successful acquisition by firms such as Google.  He is based full-time in Honolulu and is regularly in the SF bay or NYC meeting clients, VC's and candidates.  See his LinkedIn below for more information and references.

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