Entrepreneurship · Startups

What do you look for in an employee?

Ioannis MSc IT professional

September 25th, 2016

Regardless of the business, stage, industry, etc. what do you really look for when conducting interviews?

Christopher Cioffi CEO at mPoint Media, Inc.

September 25th, 2016

Ioannis, Before you hire anyone, establish a culture document and outline the values you want to be evident in the working atmosphere. Then use this as a guideline for hiring people who are aligned with the culture you want to foster. No detail is too small when it comes to what you want. I have a culture document that states our open policy for discussing salaries, how you are expect relate to others, our policy for work place education and our commitment to support an employee, etc. It has been my experience that if you establish your culture from the inception of your company then you will attract better people. It certainly isn’t a fool proof way to avoid bad hires. However, everyone in the company signs the statement of understanding that they will abide by the culture. What I have found happens is people help each other adhere or in times when they are having difficulty remind them of their commitment. In my opinion a bad hire can be disastrous in a startup. If you are driving towards an MVP, release date etc. one wrong hire can cause you to lose months of momentum. I have taken people with great cultural fit over experience and I am happy with this decision. If they like where they are working, their commitment to being as good as they can be is amazing. Build the space that you would want to work in, hire great people who are aligned and then you can get out of their way and watch them become larger. Regards, Christopher Christopher Cioffi Christopher@inception3.com office +1.646.867.1905 mobile +1.917.664.0771 skype ccnc150

Jan Bruaene Vice President of Engineering at RTI (Real-Time Innovations)

September 25th, 2016

I have a long list of interview questions, and a battery of technical questions. However, at the end I think it comes down to four qualities: 

1. Does the person exhibit a love for the art? Whatever the art may be: programming, UX, writing, painting, music, etc. A talented (aerospace, chemical, mechanical, etc.) engineer, who loves programming, is likely better than a mediocre computer science graduate.

2. Is the person curious? Some of the best folks I know are knowledgeable about many subjects. They are always curious about how things work, or why something doesn’t work.

3. Is the person of high integrity?

4. And last, but not least, does the person exhibit grit, perseverance, and endurance?


Mike Moyer

September 26th, 2016

Many managers think of their employees as "A, B or C" employees. In some cases, companies actually get rid of "C" employees on a regular basis. I've never seen anyone actually define what it means to be an A, B or C employee so I took it upon myself to outline how I think it breaks down:

A employee- takes the company forward in a meaningful way. Goals are benchmarks, not the end game. Puts the needs of the overall business first with an understanding that personal rewards follow corporate gains. Bolster's team spirit through optimism, energy, creativity and respect.

B employee- maintains the status quo, service the business well, strives to meet goals. Focuses on personal compensation, but is happy when the company succeeds

C employee- has a negative impact on the overall growth and expansion of the team's efforts. Brings negativity and skepticism to the process, builds walls in an attempt to protect their job knowing that it may be in jeopardy. Blames others for failure and lack of advancement.


Vlada Piddubna Head of Business Operations at CyberCraft Inc.

September 26th, 2016

"I value people who want to learn and do better, as it's much easier to learn a new skill than learn a new attitude". Actually, in most cases it's impossible to make people learn a new attitude. So look for people with the right attitude and a sparkle in the eyes.

Tom DiClemente Management Consulting | Interim CEO/COO | Coach

September 26th, 2016


Rob G

September 27th, 2016

integrity, dependability, cultural fit, 'athleticism' (meaning possessing a broad base of skills and a drive to succeed at whatever goals you set and can 'play a variety of positions depending on need'). 

Neil HereWeAre Want To find-close Business Online without competition Before They Google Search? We solve this problem 1(508)-481-8567

September 25th, 2016

What do you look for in an employee?

One of the key things we must look for and uncover in recruiting and then interviewing a potential employee has nothing to do with skills, prior successes, nor ability to do the job.

It's actually this: Does the person really fit in with the general "corporate personality"? That fit will define if the employee even has a chance to succeed regardless of great success elsewhere or will even want to stay once hired.

Included in that "corporate personality" are critical things like how people( management candidates and specific job type candidates)
-  act as themselves and with others
-  like to be managed v the usual management/supervision style at the company
-  are they mostly Introverted or extroverted, work alone or in teams,
-  type of supervision they actually need and want v where they need their independence to work on and manage doing their job.
-  interact with each other, clients/customers, socialize, 
-  type of managing style as in delegate and let the employee do it with the manager checking in/reviewing on up to strict micromanaging, 
-  work together, get and receive advice, communicate
-  empowerment to make decisions or not

Yes, that's a "company personality" and its the real word definition of what its like to work at the company. The employees "personality" as in their way of thinking, way of working, approaching, doing the job and doing things" must be a great fit.

If the way a company is or gets things done and it's core personality is too different than the potential employee, the potential employee, if hired, will fail, not because of lacking skill or experience but because of being a complete fish out of water in the company's real world working environment.

Get to that "match" early on in an interview and be brutally honest with yourself on if there is a great fit with the "corporate personality". Get below the hood, find how a person is and likes to work and, no matter how great the applicants credentials and accomplishments have been elsewhere, if the "corporate personality" fit isn't there, don't hire them.

David Johns Providing experienced entrepreneurial, educational choice and non-profit management consulting.

September 25th, 2016

Character. David Johns Entrepreneurial and Educational Management Consulting (610) 937-0992

Nigel Dessau Chief Marketing Officer at Wellsmith, LLC

September 26th, 2016

Lots of good answers in this idea but I want focus on a different point. If you are hiring millennial you will need to think about what makes them join and why they might stay. This will be linked to their 'passions' or 'mission' in life. You can find this out by asking questions about them and 'their story'. That means you need to listen to what matters to them and see if it crosses over with what matters to you, your team and your businesses. If it doesn't, then it really doesn't matter how qualified they are for the job. They will not stay and you will be back to square one.

Sheri Murad Regional Head of Talent Management, North America at Firmenich

September 26th, 2016

Skills are transferable, fit is not.  Making sure that the person "fits" the culture of your workplace, maybe even to the subculture of the team/department they will work in, is critical.  While you can use behavioral based interviewing, some people interview really well and then they start and you can't believe the person working for you is the person you interviewed.  I've recently started using Predictive Index assessments, which more of a psychometric tool that looks at a person's motivation and fit to a specific position.   Which ever way you decide to assess your candidates, be sure to look at "fit".