Great on paper, but do you hire her?

21 Jun 2005

Rich Sloan

Rich Sloan is chief startupologist and co-founder of StartupNation and host of StartupNation podcasts. He is also co-author of the acclaimed how-to book, StartupNation: America's Leading Entrepreneurial Experts Reveal the Secrets to Building a Blockbuster Business. Rich encourages you to make a comment under his blog posts or send him a personal message at member nickname, "Rich," here at StartupNation.

Latest posts by Rich Sloan (see all)

We’ve been throwing lots of challenges at you lately–like… what would you do if you had an opportunity to sell a product but knew it wasn’t really what the customer wanted? Or what would you do if someone dangled startup money in front of you, but it came with some serious strings attached?

Well, this week, we’ve got another test for your entrepreneurial instincts. Here’s the scenario:

You’re running a small "consulting" company. There are 5 people working there–you, two consulting specialists, a bookkeeper and an admin.

Because demand for your services has been strong, you’ve started a search for a new consulting specialist. And you’ve found some amazing candidates.

There are two finalists. One is extremely experienced and qualified. The other is much less experienced but extremely passionate and likeable.

You’ve been smart to have each candidate sit down with your team members to figure out if the chemistry is solid.

What you’re hearing from the team is that the "highly qualified" candidate, Terry, has a different style and approach to business than the other team members do. One other thing: she doesn’t really seem like the kind of person you’d want to spend a lot of time with. But, man! She is picture perfect on paper (though a little more pricey).

In contrast, you’re hearing that the other woman you’re interviewing, Sara, has a lot to learn. But she’s gutsy, likeable, bright, optimistic and less expensive than your alternative. The big risk is that she’s unproven. And you know each hire is critically important to the success of your business.

If you have to hire one of the two, which one do you go with?

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