Every Startup Should Look for These Six Characteristics When Hiring

The startup industry is booming and provides millions of jobs every year. Startups are constantly developing and changing, and therefore, they should be taking the hiring process extremely seriously. A bad hire can be extremely costly to the work environment and, as well as time-consuming. Additionally, Fast Company says that 41 percent of companies say that a bad hire has cost them at least $25,000. Hiring the right employee, on the other hand, leads to increased worker productivity and a successful working relationship.

A recent Mashable article explains that startups often find themselves in a difficult situation when hiring because they are competing for top talent with huge, well-known corporations. Startups, however, can’t always compete when it comes to salary negotiations.

New companies should focus on looking for employees that, while talented and promising, might not fit into the traditional corporate employee mold. They may not necessarily shine on paper, but stand out in these six essential characteristics:

Curiosity: Look for people who are hungry to learn and innovate. They should challenge themselves and those around them to constantly evolve and expand their skill set. These are the people that think outside of the box and typically are a lot of fun to be around, which is an added bonus.
Passion and enthusiasm: Employees should be fully invested in the startup and its mission – anyone who isn’t will just bring everyone else down. They should crave responsibility and be willing to drop anything to learn something new.

Audacity and ambition: Startup employees, as previously mentioned, don’t typically fit into the cookie cutter mold of corporate employees. They should be edgy and unafraid to take risks.
Cultural fit: Hiring based on skills listed on a resume alone is not a smart move in the startup world. Their sense of humor or quirky personality should fit seamlessly into the office culture, and they should bring something new to the table.
Strong skillset: Startups often require one employee to perform several different job roles. It makes more sense to hire one person to take on three different roles than three people who can only take on one, especially in a new company. Startups are dynamic and ever-changing, so employees should be flexible and willing to embrace that.
Integrity: A good guideline for hiring anywhere, not just startups, is to hire someone who is humble, open, self-aware, and resilient. Employees should be able to admit when they make mistakes and learn from them. Failure is inevitable – especially in the startup world – but it speaks volumes of an employee’s character when they are able to take setbacks in stride and press onward.

Hiring is a daunting task, especially in a startup. The stakes are high, and each new hire will make a tremendous impact in the company. Following these guidelines will ensure the right hire is made the first time around.

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