5 Qualities Startups Look for in New Hires

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Employees who will stay through thick and thin and will ride through slopes of uncertainty are difficult to find. Most startup founders say that while raising money, closing deals, and making sales are challenging, hiring their founding employees is the hardest. The reason behind this might be because they want experienced people to be the first few employees in their circle. Unfortunately, many of these employees are used to the structure of an established venture -- a setup very different from that of a startup.  A candidate who has an amazing resume and the right skills may not fare well in a brand new company.

As such, the hiring process becomes more complicated as startups have to zoom in past the resume, and into their personalities. To help both employers and potential new hires with connecting, here are some of the qualities wanted:


The unpredictable, tough, and long hours of a startup environment will put to the test even the most dedicated worker. If an employee doesn't believe in the company's goals and vision, they will crumble when faced with difficulty. In a startup, people who will go the extra mile and excel in everything they do are needed. They are the ones who are there to stay and are determined to build the business from the ground up.


Due to the nature of startups, it is not surprising how it changes directions quickly. New companies change its course more often than not to find what works and what doesn't. As such, an employee should be able to adapt quickly to the changes and be ready to adjust with the new circumstances while keeping the quality of work and morale high. Also, because startups usually run with a small staff, an employee may have to do work that isn't part of the job description.


Integrity means doing what is right even though no one's watching. In the workplace, it's doing a great job whether or not the boss is there to see it. More importantly, it is being honest and trustworthy in order to keep the foundation of the workplace solid. For startups, these traits are needed not only to get the job done but also to protect the company's best interests.

Team Player

A strong, dedicated team that shares and collaborates can take your company to greater heights faster than individuals who are immersed in their own tasks. As such, a new hire should listen actively, communicate effectively, share openly, and show commitment in order to grow in a startup company. Team players look beyond their own work and care about the team's overall output. They also show ownership and don't take flight when problems arise.

Walks the Talk

It's easy to draft plans, list to-dos, and promise deliverables. The difficult part is actually taking action in order to implement the tasks at hand. Great startup employees take more time doing than planning in order to reach a common goal. If ever they do something that doesn't work out, they are quick to think on their feet and learn from it.


Next to raising funds, hiring employees should be the next important task as it can make or break a startup company. Having a team with the same goal powered by the same enthusiasm will make a startup thrive and give it competitive advantage.


Posted 11 June, 2015

Nikki Hernandez

Wired and Inspired | Content Coordinator, Freelancer.com

I'm the coordinator of Freelancer's Case Study Program. I write inspirational success stories of employers and freelancers. When not busy writing, I play video games.

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