Article: 5 things Start-ups look for in Candidates

Author: Praachi Pathak, 
              Recruitment Associate, ROPOSO

Praachi Pathak, Recruitment Associate, ROPOSO
All start-ups these days are working towards identifying and solving unique problems. But, this energetic environment is not meant for everyone. A solid resume is no guarantee of employment, it's the specific type of person who can adapt and thrive successfully in a lively start-up atmosphere.

Following are the personality traits and skills that set apart the candidates hired at start-ups from the ones who miss out on this opportunity: -

Passionate go-getters - The right candidate has to be passionate enough about the start-up’s ideology, and closely identify with its mission, to be able to make sacrifices for the organisation. Rather than finding someone who is joining for his/her potential financial gain, young start-ups bring in those who have done their googling of the business right, know who their target customers are, and share a vision towards the organisational goal. Besides, when people love what they do, work feels like play – it’s interesting and has all your focus.


Proactive problem solvers - Great candidates don't just have the capacity to do their job right, but get the start-up spirit to the table by being the risk takers and hands-on-doers. Hence, while recruiting, one must pay attention to critical and analytical thinking, sense of ownership, and initiative taking abilities. Someone who is smart enough and understands the importance of being resourceful is always preferred. As the old saying goes, they need to be able to ‘Jump off of a cliff, and build their wings on the way down’.

Multitaskers/flexible personas - The start-up environment is constantly changing. Hence, rather than hiring for a specific role, recruiters look for people who can be moulded to fit the most urgent needs of the company and succeed in a fast-paced environment by quickly switching gears without any complaints.

Team players - Start-ups are like close knit families, wherein each member works long nights and early mornings together. Which is why it's important to hire individuals who fit into the team dynamics. One needs to be compassionate and willing to make connections with others on the team.

Positive attitude - Building a start-up is not easy, not all experiments work. Therefore, the idea is to hire people who imbibe this understanding and remain optimistic even during rough times. There should be no time for skepticism when things do not go as planned - such as slow funding or less satisfied customers. An essential hiring criterion should be to try and get people who have a solution – a focused approach rather than fixating over problems.

Finding the right hires for a start-up is not easy - working skills can be taught, lessons can be learned, but personality is (more or less) set in stone. However, when one does find the suitable prospective employees, they definitely add value and innovation to a growing business, and help gain momentum for the long-term benefit of the organisation.


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