Young Upstarts

All about entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship, ideas, innovation, and small business.

What Skills Should You Look For In Potential Employees?

interview

You’ve put a lot into making your start-up what it is today. So, when the hunt for your first few employees starts, it’s only natural to be a bit nervous. You want people who’ll fit into the start-up way of life; people who’ll work hard for a start-up salary; people who are passionate; and people who can add something to your business.

You’re likely to receive a huge number of resumes when you do advertise: everyone wants to work for a start-up these days. If all your applicants have similar experience, how can you set them apart?

Well, you need to read between the lines, and see who has the skill set most suited to your needs.

Teamwork.

You might not have a large team, but in a way, that makes teamwork even more important. When there’s only a few of you, it becomes very obvious very fast if people aren’t pulling their weight. So, you need someone who can trust be a solid team player, and not worry about having to re-do everything you asked them to do. Likewise, you want someone who can flit between roles, and cover the team’s work. You probably won’t have enough of a budget to hire more than one person to cover a department’s worth of work, so if people are sick or away, the rest of the team has to be confident and knowledgeable enough to cover up for them.

Self-motivation.

On the flip side, you also need someone who can work well in isolation. You don’t want to be micro-managing your employees: you’ve got enough on your plate with running a start-up! You need someone who can confidently take on a project and run it from start to finish, with minimal guidance from yourself. Someone who can do this, and take responsibility for your actions will enhance your business to no end.

Tech-savvy.

With so much software now available, your business could be doing a lot more with what it’s got. However, it’s unlikely that you’ll have the time to explore new technologies – let alone see how they can improve your business. So, you need someone with enough tech-knowledge and digital know-how to be able to explore these avenues. From marketing automation to on-cloud data back-up, you should find an employee who can add value to your business in this way.

Personable.

You might have the best-qualified person for the job in front of you, but if you can’t imagine spending all day (and often all evening) with them, then they’re not right for the company. While being a friendly, easy to get on with person isn’t a skill, it’s something that you need to take note of while interviewing. You need to choose the right personality to fit into your company – a big ego or disruptive personality can quickly cause problems in a small team.

Fast learner.

In start-ups, you’ll know that one person will normally have three or four roles. So, you should find someone who has the capacity to learn skills in a different area. They might only have a working knowledge of a few roles, but the ability to learn fast and pick up new skills will be invaluable to your success.


Young Upstarts is a business and technology blog that champions new ideas, innovation and entrepreneurship. It focuses on highlighting young people and small businesses, celebrating their vision and role in changing the world with their ideas, products and services.

Tagged as: , , , ,