40 Minute Mentor

February 14, 2024

Sandra Schwarzer: Transitioning careers & putting people first at Index Ventures

This week’s 40 Minute Mentor is Sandra Schwarzer, VP C-Suite/Board & EU Talent/Community & Insights Team leader at Index Ventures.

Sandra works with Founders and executive teams on people related issues, including talent strategy, culture and DE&I, and advises Index’ portfolio on their most senior hires.

Before joining Index, Sandra has had a really varied career, including being a headhunter, leading the Global HR, Security & Facilities functions at Open Society Foundations, George Soros’s $23bn private philanthropy, and led INSEAD’s Career Services.

In today’s episode, we unpack the realities of transitioning careers, the complex relationship between recruitment, culture and organisational strategy, and we bust some VC myths along the way.

Sandra Schwarzer
“You need to figure out what you really need. Not just the role now, but looking at the future and at the competencies you need in your organisation. Figure out how you build a very complementary team, rather than having people who are all the same.”

Sandra Schwarzer

Tune in to discover

Why VC is far from transactional  [2:01]
Growing up in East Berlin [3:20]
Stand out moments from her earlier career [10:56]
A passion for people [14:25]
Lessons from being a headhunter [16:19]
Her perception of VC & why she joined Index [18:54]
The power of relationship building in VC [20:13]
How to transition from headhunting to VC [22:54]
A deep dive into the Index structure [26:01]
Working with Founders who own their story [29:36]
Hiring top talent: secrets to success [34:04]
Getting to know candidates outside of work [39:22]
Retaining talent in uncertain times [41:19]
Working with headhunters – the recipe for success [44:54]

Listen on

Helpful links

➡️ Connect with Sandra: https://www.linkedin.com/in/schwarzer/
➡️ Find out more about Index Ventures: https://www.indexventures.com/

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