This is always a difficult decision – and for startups one that can make or break a company. Do you hire bright talent – regardless of experience or emotional intelligence? Or do you hire people who have been there, done that and who have developed ways to navigate the complexities of humans-at-work?
We know that competent jerks do not achieve much – which can be one drawback of hiring for IQ regardless of experience or EQ. On the experienced-based recruiting front you have potential issues as well. For some people, too much experience can lead to a well-defined box in which they tend to operate – never to leave the boundaries of their comfort zone. For others, more experience somehow results in less and less boundaries – their comfort zone includes the unknown, and they like to venture there.
It is particularly interesting to watch what happens when two giants in the same industry start showing very different hiring practices. The jury is still out, and this may be too much based on anecdotal evidence, but watch the difference between who Google is hiring and who Yahoo is recruiting. Google seems to be going for raw intelligence – only the brightest math and science PHD’s and cute puzzles to even get your resume into their hands. Yahoo on the other hand seems to be aiming for people with broad backgrounds, and proven track records in innovative corporate environments.
It will be interesting to see the differences in emerging cultures and in market success for both those companies in the long run.