Entrepreneurship, Posts by The Startup Girl, Start up Life

Top 5 characteristics for working in a start up

3 Nov , 2014  

Hiring for your start-up can be a critical decision. Creating a functional team is difficult, particular traits that are often suggested to look out for are the smart and qualified individuals, however this doesn’t always translate into the real traits you should be hiring for. There are certain characteristics to look out for in candidates that can make your hiring decisions easier.


  1. Responsibility:Working in a start up presents an array of opportunities, your team will rely on you and only you to deliver the work that is expected of you. Play your cards right and you will be able to take on as much responsibility as you like, however not many individuals are willing or can deal with responsibility. A start up will want to know that you are willing to ownership of your work and have the drive to see it through.
  1. Passion & drive:

Also considered as a ‘never say die attitude. A start up would expect all employees to share the same passion and drive for the product as the founders. This is a high expectation, start-ups should look out for candidates who show real passion and drive to take the company to the next level. Look at the candidates’ interests and the more aligned the core ethics of the company are with the candidate, the better.

  1. Creativity & ideas:

In start-ups, a common situation is finding creative solutions to problems often involving a limited budget. This is where idea generation and creativity come in handy. Say for example you need ways of reaching your first milestone of 1000 active customers. The last thing you need is someone who needs to take direction and strategy from someone else on the team. Look for individuals who have a structured thought process as to how they will implement their ideas.

  1. Flexible and be favourable to change:

The path to success is never clear. Developing a product/service that works in competitive markets is going to be an iterative process, therefore having employees that understand how and when priorities should shift is a massive plus. On the other side of the spectrum, employees expect more flexibility in start-ups. Workplace flexibility can bridge the gap between rising competition and the need for top talent. Read here for 4 reasons your start up should embrace workplace flexibility.

  1. Capacity to learn:

It’s okay to not know everything. There may be no set procedures to carrying out a task and in a start-up there is a high likelihood that your work will involve several different areas of the business and this is why proving you have a capacity to learn quickly is a definite trait start-ups admire.

Factors that will affect your decision will depend on the characteristics of the start-up. The smaller the team, the more you will need to look out for people who can take responsibility and have an attitude to get things done with minimal guidance. The more innovative the start-up, the more likely you will want to hire those who are willing to put their ideas on the table.

See more articles on what traits every start up hire should have:



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