Jillian Kurvers

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Hiring software helps businesses of all sizes run pseudo-HR departments easily and cheaply. Great! Small businesses and startups don’t have the bandwidth to spend months hiring mediocre people, after all. Even with the technology though, you need to know what kinds of employees will best fit your growing business.

Search for these 5 characteristics in your employees

1. Intelligence

Duh. But seriously, your early employees will have to take on a lot. Deep, wide knowledge in their particular fields is an absolute must. Drive and determination are wonderful. They are. But startups may not have the time for second chances or learning curves.

Hiring software can quickly issue an early round of skill tests and evaluations to make sure your employees know what they need. Plus, your first employees will probably be the ones training new hires down the road. They need to be the best you can find.

2. Ambition

You may be hesitant to hire sharks. Nobody wants to hire the person who forces them out. But don’t let that fear stop you from hiring the hungry kind of people who want to get out and do things. You need talented people who are eager to use their talent.

3. Fight

You’re not right all the time. Sorry, but nobody can claim a 100% track record in decision-making. You need your employees to challenge you when you’re wrong and offer solutions to the problems you can’t solve.

Think of it this way: what good are brilliant employees, if they never voice their intelligence?

4. Interactive

This melts intelligence and fight down into a bowl of business. Make sure your fresh employees know how to really listen to feedback. You won’t have the time to constantly correct unaligned production. You need employees who communicate honestly with you, understand your goals and can deliver the results your business needs.

Oh, and don’t forget the good communication starts with you. 

5. Scrappiness

Be absolutely positive that the people you hire know what they’re in for. A startup is no place for people who expect processes written in stone, tidy reports of past results or dependable “how to” guides. A lot of people can say they know what that means, but few understand the reality.

This will probably be the hardest point to communicate. People are used to school, university life and entry-level jobs. In those settings, they have never honestly been told that the canvas is blank. Most people are used to:

  • “get it done”
  • “do it this way”
  • “do it at this time”

That’s not how startups start, live and grow. It’s up to you to hire the people who know the difference and won’t feel instantly uncomfortable when the training wheels come off. It’s a real issue and unfortunate reality in many cases, so don’t take it lightly.


Do you have any criticaly important characteristics that you found in a small business or startup? Do you have any tips for finding them with your hiring software? Leave a comment below of your example and share us on FacebookTwitter or LinkedIn. We’d love to hear more hiring ideas.


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