Want a shot at landing your dream startup gig? While having a polished resume and company connections can help get your foot in the door, it's your ingrained character traits that will likely determine your ability to thrive and make an impact on the business you're so eager to work for.
Ten entrepreneurs from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) share qualities they believe all new hires must possess in order to land a coveted position in their business.
"The Internet space changes so quickly that what worked even two years ago may not work now. The best employees are not necessarily the most experienced, but are rather those who can learn the new rules of the game the quickest. Usually these people are smart, creative, have an insatiable love of learning, and are always striving to improve their game." --Charlie Graham, Shop It to Me
"I've found that with the right hire, new skills and procedures can be easily learned. That willingness to learn new things and forget old ways, however, will probably never change. That's why I look at a new hire's coachability first, and their previous knowledge second." --Elle Kaplan, LexION Capital
"In a startup, everything changes quickly -- whether it is your product roadmap, skills of your employee, titles, or market/industry you are in. For example, in the last two years, we rewrote our whole product and changed the tech stack. It is very important that the new hire does not become stuck on what title and role she is looking for or a certain type of work she wants to perform. You should join a startup for the vision." --Shilpi Sharma, Kvantum
"Respect means a new hire will treat his co-workers, clients, and others fairly and consistently. When a new hire has respect for differing opinions and positions, mutually agreeable resolutions can be discovered. Respect also means accepting the cultural, socio-economic, and personal beliefs of others without letting those interfere with getting the job done." --Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now
"Ambition is the most important trait for any hire. Typically ambition begets a number of other positive traits. Ambitious people are hungry, have energy and passion, and are ready to work. They're motivated by achieving success. However, you need to be careful of the occasional negative accompanying traits, such as ego or lack of ability to work with a team." --Carlo Cisco, SELECT
"When you're an early-stage company, there's nothing more important in your hires than passion. That passion should come in the form of passion for the job they are being hired for and passion for your business. In order to create a culture that excites and motivates employees, it is essential that the core team is all highly passionate." --Joshua Dorkin, BiggerPockets
"At AquaMobile, I only ever hire people who can demonstrate that they are lifelong learners. In order to survive in the long run, businesses need to be able to adapt, so I'm looking for individuals who can continually adapt as well. I find that people who are constantly taking initiative to learn new skills on their own bring new ideas to the company and grow with it as well." --Diana Goodwin, AquaMobile Swim School
8. Non-verbal communication skills.
"Articulate and effective non-verbal communication is 100 percent critical for every new hire. The majority of our company communication is conducted via typing on the keyboard, so if you're unable to communicate well via email and text chat, you will not do well at our company." --Todd Garland, BuySellAds
"We're in the business of helping others be successful, so our team members have to be deeply motivated by this purpose. It's something we ask about for any hire. While other organizations might not have this core value, aligning your personal goals and motivations and the company values is huge." --Alan Carniol, Interview Success Formula
"In today's world, companies that do not adapt to new methods and technologies fall behind. I look for each of my new hires to be flexible and adapt to the ever-changing market. We often have to change our internal processes and a non-flexible employee who gets stuck in an old way of doing things is much less valuable to our company." --Patrick Barnhill, Specialist ID