“Startup Founders Are at a Disadvantage When Applying for Jobs”

Originally posted in our July 2022 Top of Mind Newsletter.

In a recent piece published by Yale, we see an interesting pattern emerging. While employers report a need for entrepreneurial skills, they are not very likely to hire startup founders who are applying, “according to a new study by Tristan Botelho, assistant professor of organizational behavior at Yale SOM.”

Interestingly, of the profiles Botelho reviewed, successful startup founders fared the worst in a job search study. But why? Entrepreneurs are adaptable, innovative, and resilient, but they also can appear to be flight risks. As the recruiters and hiring managers see it, not much is keeping an entrepreneur at the firm who has made a significant investment in hiring a former founder. So, how can a founder looking to join an established organization avoid this bias? Finally, and perhaps more importantly, what are we teaching potential founders about being entrepreneurial, and how can they translate those skills to the job market?

One place to start is communicating a commitment to growth within the company. Just like successful entrepreneurs fall in love with a problem worth solving, the best employees make it clear that they see a path to success within an organization.

What can we do?