Contributed By


Donna DeCarolis

Founding Dean of the Close School of Entrepreneurship at Drexel University

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Hire the Person - Not the Skills

April 11, 2016

Even more critical than a identifying a candidate with particular skill set is assessing whether or not there is “culture fit.”

Probably the most essential responsibility you have is to hire the right people – particularly in a startup situation, when all hands are on deck. Clearly, finding the person with the right set of experiences and skills is important. Even more critical is assessing whether or not there is “culture fit.” “Culture fit” doesn’t necessarily equate with personality traits. It has more to do with whether or not the candidate believes in your mission and possesses the company’s core values.

And as a startup, here is the big question. What are your company’s core principles? This goes beyond overarching values such as integrity and trust. Think about those standards that are specific to your company’s purpose and strategy: for example, the ability to decide quickly under pressure; being customer focused; taking initiative under conditions of uncertainty.

Specifics about your company culture should be prominent in the job description and your social media. It should also be part of the interview process.

Remember, that it is easier to train and develop someone’s skills and capabilities, but not so easy to make them align with your culture.

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