Starting a business is not rocket science, IT’S A LOT HARDER… Okay, so this may be a slight exaggeration, nonetheless, starting up is not easy. A lot of resources, skills and bucketfuls of luck are needed. It’s safe to say that a single founder certainly can’t do all of this. A team of like-minded, driven individuals is key. The tricky part in that case is figuring out who to hire.
Startups…Don’t be afraid to make young hires!
Do you hire someone with 20+ years experience or a fresh faced 19 year old? Stereotypes have been created about young people (we’ll say 18–25), most notably of their inexperience and the inability to take on responsibility. This can be true to a certain extent, however there are many more attributes young hires can bring to the table, and with the right leadership, the shortcomings mentioned above can be successfully developed. So, let’s get into it.
A young person tends to bring fresh zeal to a team. They will have new ideas and novel ways to approach challenges. Your challenge after hiring them will be to channel this newfound enthusiasm into productive work.
They soak up information like it’s going out of fashion! As it could be many’s first job they are eager to learn as much as possible about new software, methodologies, skills. Just make sure you are focusing their learning so it is relevant for the job at hand. There isn’t much use in someone learning a coding language when they are focusing on sales.
Not jaded by previous experiences
More mature employees will have had different jobs in different industries and some may have been jaded by those experiences. Having to learn new habits and break old ones can also be a challenge. Young people are more like a blank canvas, with only good habits to learn.
Young hires are digital natives. They grew up with the technology that your business is using, this allows them to pick things up relatively fast. Brooks’ lawI believe can be applied when taking on any new hire but if they already know their way around the software, this loss of productivity can be minimised.
Employ the talent of tomorrow today
The Elon Musks and Mark Zuckerbergs all started somewhere, could it be within your startup? Aspirational entrepreneurs will constantly be seeking new challenges, if this is nurtured within your own startup then you never know what could happen in the future! They may not stick around forever so make sure you get the most out of them before a young hire decides it’s time to move on.
Demand less pay
Are you a bootstrapping startup? Young talent will demand less pay which can really help you stretch out that cash cliff.
Not afraid to fail
Taking risks is a tricky one. An individual with years of industry experience will naturally be more risk averse, which is necessary in some lines of work, however startups are all about risk taking and you want someone who is not afraid to leap into those chasms of uncertainty to get results.
With the exception of filling very technical roles, hiring and training young people can be a huge benefactor for your fledgling startup. And besides, if you don’t take them on, the corporate world will!