To be or not to be: That is the question when taking a chance on a new hire


You are assembling a team at the infancy of your startup. Each hire needs to have a clear definitive roll and yet at the same time he or she needs to wear many hats; you simply do not have the money to hire at will. Candidates come and go. You have an endless number of interviews. You are not merely hiring a person for a job, you are also hiring a personality fit for the team.


My partner and I are both attorneys with Masters degrees. We have a lot of education. While the diplomas may look impressive, I am more impressed with people with a real world vibe; "street smarts" is what my father used to call it.

We get this candidate. Her resume is ok. We have her in and she kills it in the interview. She says all the right things: great energy, professional, very intelligent. The problem is, she has been out of the workforce for seven years (presumably to raise children). Now, without getting into a philosophical discussion about are we wrong to not consider her as a viable candidate or not, I will say, while presumably raising her children, she started her own internet company (a small, but viable idea she converted into a beautiful site).


No identifiable work experience on her resume, tons of confidence, chutzpah, moxie, and willingness to get the job done.

As the founder of a company who is betting his life and his family's life on each and every hire, what would you do?

Punt, right?

The problem is that I live by my intuition. And my intuition told me that this woman could crush it.

So, to be safe, I hedge.

I ask if she will consider employment as an independent contractor to start. We give each other a three or six-month trial. We see how she performs, and she sees if we are everything we promised. If everyone is happy in six months, we turn her into a full time employee.

This is the way all parties win. I like equations like that.

She can take the task and knock it out of the park and we can see if she is a good team fit... a trial run, if you will.

As a founder you always want to assemble the best team possible. Personalities are an essential component in assembling a team. But you should never rule someone out because they don't have the perfect education or exact background you need. I believe in people. I believe you need to look into their eyes and see if they are telling the truth. They will either sink or swim and you will know the outcome in a matter of weeks. I believe in giving people a try and seeing what they do with it.

In my opinion, education is overrated. I believe in people and the desire they show.

While not exactly like the moody prince Hamlet lamenting life's bigger questions of existence, I believe you gotta take a chance and give an inexperienced person a shot.

This post originally appeared on The Whole Magilla and was written by Chris Meyer, co-founder of

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