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12 Traits All Startup Employees Should Have

Posted March 6, 2018


Startups can be brutal. In a new business with tight resources, there’s vast opportunity for both massive success and total failure. That’s why startups need excellent employees to keep things afloat.

Here are 12 personality traits that are essential in every startup employee. Look for these characteristics as you make your next hires.


Personality Trait #1: Fearless

The risky nature of startups requires a high level of fearlessness. You need risk-takers. At startup Good & Co., they call it “smart recklessness,” where someone can see the odds stacked against them, and take risks anyway.


Personality Trait #2: Resourceful

Startups also need people who are good at making a lot out of a little. This is the quality of resourcefulness and involves being a good problem solver, seeking out new resources, and overcoming obstacles.


Personality Trait #3: Self-motivated

When there’s a small staff and big workload, there’s no time for micromanaging. That’s why startups need self-motivated people - those who are proactive, fast decision-makers, and able to make things happen without a lot of self-doubt.


Personality Trait #4: Full of integrity

Startups need employees who can be trusted to work ethically, even when the boss isn’t looking. Seek out candidates who show integrity. This can be judged by looking for traits like trust, credibility, fairness, and openness.


Personality Trait #5: Quirky

A new business thrives on diverse points of view. Look for diverse people who form a complementary team. Don’t be afraid of hiring quirky people who have a mix of unusual backgrounds. Oddballs and mavericks inspire creative energy within a group, according to Virgin Media CEO Richard Branson.

Personality Trait #6: Confident

Fast decision-making is essential at a startup. That’s why startups need people who have the confidence to act rather than deliberate for hours on end. Confidence works hand-in-hand with other personality factors like resilience, positive self-image, and acute sense of self.


Personality Trait #7: Not money-driven

Money-hungry people will feel dissatisfied at a startup. Dollars are stretched thin, and monetary rewards usually come pretty far down the line. Look for people who find job satisfaction in things other than money, like camaraderie, environment, esteem, and personal goals.


Personality Trait #8: Respectful

Good customer service is crucial for a startup. Find people who behave respectfully in all aspects of life and you’ll know they’ll treat your customers right. Respect includes good listening, politeness, follow-up, and engagement in smooth back-and-forth conversation.


Personality Trait #9: Caring

Startups need good teamwork, but teamwork isn’t really a personality trait. It can be hard to detect in an individual interview. So look for the trait of caring, which boosts morale. If someone genuinely cares about their coworkers, they’ll tend to be a good team player.


Personality Trait #10: Goal-oriented

Every startup has a mission. And every startup employee should be relentlessly goal-oriented toward that mission. Goal oriented people don’t give up in the face of disappointment, and they actively talk about succeeding at the mission, day after day.


Personality Trait #11: Fast learner

At a startup, there’s very little time for training. Most of the work is learn-as-you-go and doesn’t have a clear correct answer. Employees should be fast learners who accept that education comes through trial and error.


Personality Trait #12: Upbeat  

Employees of startups often face scrutiny from their friends and families, who may view working there as a risk. And even within the company walls, there’s bound to be waves of negativity on challenging days. Startups need upbeat employees who stay positive regardless of challenges. Look for traits like optimism, resilience, and a good sense of humor.

Need to bring the right employees into your successful startup? Connect with GoGig, the job matching company that helps you find the right personality fit.

Click For The Jeff Bezos GoGig Personality Profile

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