It takes a unique kind of job candidate to work at a startup. Rather than staying on task in a cubicle in corporate America, startup team members must juggle endless responsibilities and pass through multiple company positions each day. And when you’re putting a team together for the first time, job descriptions don’t even exist yet. So how do you decide who to hire?
To find out what single quality is most necessary for a startup’s first hires, we asked a panel of eight successful young entrepreneurs from the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) for their take. Turns out the most important attributes of a startup job candidate are all about personality and working style, not skill sets.
1. Humility Hits the Spot
Startups, entrepreneurs and young people aren’t short on ego, so I keep an eye out for humility. New hires have to be smart enough to know what they don’t know, and not have such an ego that they aren’t willing to do what it takes to learn the business. It’s not to say they shouldn’t have confidence or speak up and disagree, but successful businesses don’t have room or time for a battle of egos that takes focus away from the issues or decisions at hand. Additionally, lack of humility often means that employees are afraid to admit when they’re wrong or ask for help. That won’t work in the early days of a startup. Humility is especially important in new hires who need to be willing to pitch in at any level and be able to move forward with decisions that are made, even if they disagree. - Susan Strayer, Exaqueo
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