What Startups Look for in Employees

Grace Holden

In many ways, startups are exactly like any other business; they’re a team of people united in propelling an idea to its overall goal. However, startups require specific skills from their employees as their aim is not only to make a profit but develop and expand into well-rounded businesses. Interviewees must fit the startup mould to be successful applicants!

How to tell if a company is a startup

Believe it or not, startups can sometimes be difficult to spot! Some startup companies have been around for five years, and others that are just getting off the ground. So, how do you know if a company is really a startup?

Startup businesses tend to have far fewer employees than large businesses like Amazon and Google. Employees will likely be working individually or within a small team. This requires them to be resourceful and of independent thought, as they are likely to have much more responsibility on their shoulders than they would in a big company. Startups are also growing businesses and tend to experiment with their identities on an ongoing basis. Employees must adapt to changing circumstances and directions and know how to respond to different aims and objectives.

It’s also important to note that startups are often unsettled businesses. They are companies in their infancy, growing financially or looking for investment. Startups are unpredictable in every sense, and employees need to be able to keep up with what’s required of them and be able to make predictions about where the company is going.

What do startups look for in employees?

So, we’ve established what a startup is, but what are they looking for in their employees? Although it should be noted that every startup is different, and therefore have different requirements, there are key skills that every startup will expect from a team member.

1.     Customer-focused

Customers drive businesses, not the other way round. Customers should be the focus of every single decision a startup makes. Employees must keep in mind what the consumers want and how they can cater to their needs! When a consumer approaches team members with a problem, they should work quickly to solve it and learn from any mistakes.

2.     Fast learner

Because startups often consist of fewer team members, new employees are likely to be saddled with a greater workload and responsibility. Employees must make decisions quickly, but not rashly. Learning on the go can be difficult, and it’s important to be confident in your decision making.

3.     Passion

Startups can at times be highly stressful as well as exciting. Having an interest in the work and a passion for the end goal will help employees get stuff done when motivation starts to wane. Employers are also looking for people who share the same values as they do so that the company can move forward with a collective goal.

4.     Humility

When you’re doing well in business it can be all too easy to develop an ego and forget to do the hard work. When we’ve done something well, it’s important not to rest on our laurels and drop our focus. Employers are looking for people who are team workers and always put the business, rather than themselves, first.

What employees look for in a company

It is not simply startups themselves who have requirements for their team members. Employees themselves come with their expectations about what they expect from the business they work for.

1.     Flexibility

Many startup employees are balancing lots of different things in their lives, including work, education and family circumstances. Companies that provide flexible working hours are more likely to get the best out of their employees. Moreover, startups often involve lots of creative work and allowing employees to work when they feel most creative will yield better results.

2.     Diversity

Startup businesses need to be diverse. Having employees with different skill sets and strengths and weaknesses help build a well-rounded business and enable team members to bounce off one another. Additionally, ensuring a business is making suitable accessibility arrangements ensures that employees with additional requirements feel valued and safe.

3.     Recognition

Employees want praise from their team leaders and bosses. Not only does this let them know they are doing the right thing, but also helps to motivate them to continue to do well. Employees also deserve recognition for their work, so if a team member comes up with a great idea for the business, they must be credited for their contribution.

4.     Respect and Trust

If business leaders didn’t trust their employees, nothing would ever get done. It’s important employers take gambles on what their team members can do so they can learn and grow in their field. Moreover, if employees are not respected, they may leave the business and could also tarnish a company by telling others of their poor treatment as an employee.