Talent Acquisition

Should You Hire Potential or Experience for a Startup?

So, you’ve decided to start a business. Without a doubt, you’re probably quite anxious to start making money right away. However, before we talk profits, there is that team of employees to consider first. After all, it’ll be your team that will be the ultimate difference between the success or failure of your startup.

If this is your business, it will be important to note that hiring for a startup is much different than hiring for a large company or well-established venture. And if you don’t want to end up in the 75% of startups that fail, you’ll want to focus on hiring individuals who will stick with you to help focus on growing your company, instead of employee turnover.

When recruiting for a startup, one common obstacle that business owners have is deciding between talent and experience. While there is a slight possibility that your startup recruits will have both talent and experience, often you will need to choose one over the other, but both are incredibly valuable to your business.

Survival of the fittest:

Prospective recruits who have raw talent often have the upper hand when it comes to adapting to change, usually very quickly and without fail. Why? Unlike experienced candidates, those with raw talent tend to be more open to change and how to adapt to it.

However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that more experienced employees will refuse change altogether. They more or less have assumptions as to what will work and what will not be based on their previous successes and fails, but change has a way of negatively impacting the performance of these individuals.

Dedication, dedication, dedication:

There is no question that individuals with exceptional experience prove dedication to some degree. After all, they’ve made it a point to advance in their education. Similarly, if these same individuals stayed with previous employers for a significant amount of time or have completed more training, this could certainly be a sign of longevity as well. However, longevity does not always lead to productivity.

It’s true that while self-taught individuals may not have a fancy degree, these individuals often prove to be more dedicated as they usually have a lot more to prove in order to be considered. This is simply because candidates with raw talent don’t have the experience to fall back on when things go awry, which isn’t usually a problem for others with more experience. For example, if an employee worked at the same company for 30 years and was let go from his position, chances are that his experience will speak for itself when looking for another job. While his experience doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be more productive, he’ll likely be the most dedicated employee you’ll get.

Everyone’s got an ego:

What business owners tend to forget when recruiting is that whether they choose raw talent or experience, everyone will have an ego. Don’t get me wrong – experience can be great to have on your side as a startup – however, an employee’s ego can easily damage their job performance, as well as office culture. Even raw talent can have an ego, possibly even bigger than that of a more experienced individual. While they may not carry a full resume or have a college education, they’re naturally talented, which can even make them more ego-worthy.

When all is said and done, in terms of loyalty, it looks like raw talent wins. As a startup owner, raw talent tends to be more grateful towards you and thankful for the amount of experience you’ve given them. Experienced candidates, on the other hand, may not feel the need to exceed, but they’ll be able to meet your work expectations.

In an ideal world, we would jump at the chance to hire the most talented and experienced individuals; however, this is not always the case. You have your budget, values, and expectations to consider, so choose the candidates who you think will best serve your startup and help it grow.

What steps do you take to recruit the right employees? Share your comments below!

Author: Nick Rojas is an online entrepreneur and passionate journalist for who enjoys sharing his knowledge on business startups, globalization and business solutions, wh0 wants to start his own business someday. 

By Guest

This post is written by a guest author. If you are interested our sponsored content options, check out the the Advertising Page - we look forward to hearing from you!