Why Hiring Just for Experience Is a Really Bad Idea
The Entrepreneur Insiders network is an online community where the most thoughtful and influential people in America’s startup scene contribute answers to timely questions about entrepreneurship and careers. Today’s answer to the question “How do you build a strong team?” is written by Feris Rifai, CEO and cofounder of Bay Dynamics.
When you’re building a team, it’s important that you surround yourself with like-minded people. That doesn’t mean people who share the exact same opinions as you do, but people who share the same perspective in regards to problem-solving and opportunity-seeking. You want team members who approach challenges as opportunities. Instead of looking at doors that may close due to a particular issue, they look at doors that may open. You also want individuals who share the passion that you have, but for their area of expertise. They should be focused on achieving success for themselves and for the company as a whole. By surrounding yourself with like-minded, passionate teammates, you don’t need to worry about micro-managing. You can trust them to lead their own projects without you looking over their shoulder because you know they want to succeed just as much as you want them to.
You should also look for individuals who fit into the culture of your company. During the interview process at Bay Dynamics, I make sure the candidate meets with a variety of my team members so that they can offer their perspectives on whether or not the candidate is a good fit. If we all agree the candidate fits into the fabric of our company, then it’s a no brainer. If some of us disagree, then I will investigate further as to why some of my team members don’t think the person is a good fit. A company is a group of people working together to achieve a common goal. Therefore, you need to hire people who you know can work together successfully.
I also appreciate employees who seek the marathon and not the sprint. Building a company is like driving down a winding road with twists, turns, and forks. You want to hire people who enjoy the journey and embrace change—people who enjoy the view directly in front of them instead of strictly looking for the finish line.
While finding individuals with a certain level of experience is important, I do not believe experience is the be-all, end-all. I would rather hire someone who shares the same perspective, passion, and values than someone who has none of those attributes but does have a wealth of experience. Experience may temporarily get the job done, but the right perspective, values, and passion is what helps a company reach new levels and become a true differentiator in the market.
You want continuous innovators on your team who bring in fresh ideas and a positive outlook. They are the ones who will challenge the status quo and are not afraid to take risks. You also want people who listen to those around them. They should absorb the compliments as well as the concerns and continuously work to solve various pain points and search for ways to improve. We strive to hire people who can take a customer or a partner complaint and turn it into something that’s even better than what we had in the first place. That way, all parties, customers, partners, and internal team members are engaged in the process.