News & Views


Madrona Appoints Veteran Talent Executive, Shannon Anderson, Director of Talent
AUTHOR: Tim Porter

We are very excited to welcome Shannon to the Madrona team today as Director of Talent. The talent and recruiting role is crucial for startups and Shannon will supercharge Madrona’s recruiting efforts to help our companies find the right people to scale their businesses quickly.
Shannon will lead Madrona’s Talent function in three key areas:

  1. Power Madrona’s talent hub. Identify and develop top leadership talent and rising stars that will fuel Madrona portfolio companies, potential new investments, and enhance the Pacific NW startup ecosystem.
  2. Be a strategic HR business partner to portfolio companies, with a strong focus on bringing best-in-class talent acquisition practices to the portfolio.
  3. Be a Talent Advisor inside Madrona, providing a Talent perspective on the firm’s investments and decision-making.

In Shannon, we feel very fortunate to have found a proverbial “unicorn” given her experience in all of these areas. Very few, if any, other people have Shannon’s set of experiences that are so relevant to Madrona. She has been a hands-on recruiter, both in the “go-go” days of Microsoft and in running her own talent firm. She has recruited for leadership, engineering and business roles. She has been a Talent leader inside a VC firm (Ignition), and thus has experience with how a venture firm works and how to engage with portfolio companies. Most recently, at Recruiting Toolbox, Shannon has been training companies “how to fish” and become world-class at talent identification, acquisition and retention. All this is combined with Shannon’s massive network of friends and contacts made during her years contributing to the Seattle technology ecosystem.

We see how the right people can make or break a company – and when you get those people on board it can change growth trajectories – or conversely, can be too much overhead early in the game. Shannon is adept at not only finding people but understanding how companies grow and when certain roles are needed.

As Director of Talent at Madrona, Shannon and Talent Associate, Matt Witt, will partner with Madrona’s portfolio companies to define, develop and refine their talent roadmaps, create compelling employment branding, great candidate experiences and fully develop their recruiting and selection capabilities.

When Shannon approaches training for HR and recruiting teams at startups and mid-size companies, she focuses not only on teaching hiring managers and executives how to find and attract the best talent – but, equally importantly, she teaches methods that enable the interview and selection process to create a great 2-way fit, ensuring happy and productive employees that stay and grow with the company over time. As a recruiter, Shannon did this herself – which helped to create an 80% retention rate for key roles.

“I’ve been immersed in the greater Seattle ecosystem for many years. We are fortunate to have so much talent here – and a lot of new talent coming to the area,” commented Anderson. “My role is to help companies attract and keep the right Talent; that’s what gets me up and excited every day. Madrona has been a crucial component to the startup culture here for a long time, and I’m excited to be on the team and to get involved with our portfolio companies to create even more value and success for the Seattle region.”

Shannon is also a frequent speaker and entertaining blogger on all topics of recruiting, HR, and talent. You can find some of her work on Medium.




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