November 28, 2011

Passion or Experience: What Startups should Hire?

By SiliconIndia, Monday, 28 November 2011, 13:50 IST

Fremont: The initial stage of a startup is filled with vacuum that needs to be replaced with people who are able to cope up with the initial difficulties of starting a business. In big companies, employees are conservative and are trained to prepare long and detailed reports, make sure that every document is perfect quality and every bit of diligence has been done. But the case does not stand true for startups.

Startups are always on their toes, ready to run, take decisions instantly and if wrong, admit them and work on refining them. What they need are people who can cope up with these changes as fast as they are made. So, it is a big question whether a startup should hire employees with passion or experience.

Passion can make a person work for the company as if they are the owner of it, and finding such people are the right fit for your organization. A startup employee should have passion for his work along with the growth of self and the company. Such persons are able to dedicate long working hours with enthusiasm to learn more. These people adjust themselves with the changes and trends that the company undergoes. Passion needs to be mentored to stabilize the ship and then experience. However, passion has limits, and without experience, passion will diminish overtime in many cases, leaving the enterprise to decay.

On the other hand, an experienced employee brings with him a long term of work experience with other companies. They are much familiar with the corporate environment and easily fit the work culture of the company. They do not need to be managed through out. Also experience without passion settles for commonplace solutions, ones without risk.

Experienced people sometimes are stubborn enough to accept changes as they are used to a certain situation. They have their own metrics to work on. Even they are comparatively less inclined towards learning new things faster than the passionate one. For a startup, days and nights does not matter, neither should it for its employees. People with passion are stuck around and enjoy the challenges of new things being thrown their way. In certain cases, even hiring people with lack of passion, motivation and drive may lead the owner to realize their decision being inept.

Whatever may be the trait, it is proved that people who are believers in your product have higher rate of committing to their jobs and working with passion than those who need to be trained and thought about what actually goes on in the company. In several cases, the selection between passion and experience depends on the position and the role they need to fill. For certain positions, experience will help fly your company high, but passion is something that is needed to keep the flame of determination burning.

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