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When recruiting and screening job applicants for the startup world, you need to look for a few important personality trails. You should be especially mindful of these characteristics when you’re considering a job seeker who has long been in the corporate world. Because the structure and expectations of corporate America are so different from that of the startup world, even a candidate with the right skill set may fail horribly at a brand new company.
For entrepreneurs and those working in the startup world, screening job applicants for creativity and flexibility is a must. Although many of the usual rules apply when your startup is hiring—candidates should be professional, have relevant experience, and a good work ethic—you also want to look for must-have characteristics that apply specifically to the needs of a startup entity. Ideal candidates should be able to come up with creative solutions to problems and be innovative. They should be resourceful and possess a high degree of flexibility. Startups often have to change directions quickly and they also run into unforeseen circumstances. When recruiting for your startup, look for people who can roll with the punches and deal with circumstances that change continuously.
Candidates who need a lot of structure and routine likely won’t make the best employees for a startup company. Likewise, candidates who can’t be flexible with their schedule or the types of jobs they perform generally don’t make good employees for startups. Starting a new business often requires staff to be extremely flexible with their schedule and with their job duties. One day a staff member may have to put in 16 hours and the next day he or she might have to redo the project with a new approach. Also, because startups can sometimes run with a small staff, employees may need to pitch in and do work that isn’t in their job description.
Although the world of startup companies can be both exciting and rewarding, it takes the right kind of person to be a good fit. Ideal candidates possess creativity, flexibility, and a willingness to do whatever needs to be done. The best employees for a startup company will want to take ownership of their contributions to the company, and they’ll enjoy the feeling of creating a business from the ground up, no matter what it takes.
Not sure how to find out whether your candidates have the traits you desire? Read this post on behavioral interview questions »