When you’re starting out you typically have to choose between hiring for experience or loyalty.
It makes sense to look for experience. But founders who have done it before will prioritise loyalty first. BRW young rich-lister Sam Prince explained this to me with the following analogy.
You have to build a basketball team from three categories of players:
- The best players on the planet.
- The young, up-and-comers with that look in their eyes.
- The veterans — played for decades but have only ever been role players.
Category 1 players aren’t going to play for you. You’re too early stage — you don’t have the money and you’re not a clear title challenger (yet!). So you’re left with Category 2 and 3 players.
When you hire, the tendency is to look for people who have worked for Atlassian and the like. People will typically load up their starting five with Category 3 players.
Instead, pick Category 2 players and complement their loyalty and drive with the experienced advisors. Remember, it’s not just about Category 2 being loyal. It’s that you also believe they will grow into Category 1 players.
This is great news if you lack experience and want to work for a startup. All you have to do is show them you’re committed and hungry.