In the past, I’ve found that companies of all sizes generally like people with some start-up experience when taking on new talent.  However, it’s the SMBs that really see the value, particularly those based in technology.  People who have worked for startups generally have gained experience in various areas surrounding their specialty.  It’s the nature of many startup operations…the need to wear many hats.

But lately, I’ve heard a few comments from people that wearing of many hats probably means the person was not able to focus on their core responsibility (even from startups now looking for people).  Well, from my experience this could not be farther from the truth.  Most people I know that have worked in startups have had to do at least 150% of their core job PLUS the “other hats”.  This is a huge advantage when qualifying someone because you are getting a contributor who knows their core responsibility and how other functions interact with it.  People with this type of supplemental knowledge usually see the bigger picture better and are more capable of offering non-standard solution options.  They are also not afraid of taking on challenges outside of their core expertise and you’ll probably never hear them say “but that’s not in my job description”.

Add this to the other benefits of startup folks (high energy, ability to work under extreme pressure, over performers, flexibility, etc.) and you have a winner.  All you need is to harness these benefits with your superior management capabilities :)

So, next time you are thinking of bypassing a startuper, stop and have a chat with this person.  You might find a winning combination of experience, drive and aspirations.