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Gurbaksh Chahal Headshot

Job Creation and Hiring in Silicon Valley, From the Perspective of a Serial Entrepreneur

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It's no surprise that startups and tech companies are the forerunners in job creation, and Silicon Valley startups are leading the pack. Silicon Valley startups create 11-percent more jobs than NYC startups and 38-percent more jobs than London startups. There is endless potential for innovation at startups in the valley, and these companies are looking for the best employees to bring their ideas to fruition. But, as fast as jobs are created, they can also be terminated in this extremely competitive industry. Startups have a high-risk profile and the potential to crash quickly as much as a high potential to be wildly successful, and I have been fortunate enough to have two successful companies under my belt, ClickAgents and BlueLithium, and am growing a third thriving company, RadiumOne. The key to the success I have been able to achieve, beyond crafting profitable products and services, is knowing what positions need to be created and hiring exceptional people to fill them.

Hiring has become increasingly difficult in Silicon Valley, where everyone is looking for the next best job. Everyone wants a big title and even bigger pay, but many are not willing to put in the work required to get there. I recently came across a quotation from Indiana University basketball coach Bob Knight that job seekers and hiring managers alike should reflect on. He said, "Most people have the will to win, few have the will to prepare to win." Winning takes time, winning takes practice, and, above all else, winning takes extreme dedication, commitment, and drive. Startups are the source of countless jobs, but not just anyone can succeed in the startup world. Hiring managers need to sift through the clutter to find first-rate candidates who are not only willing to go the extra mile but are also excited to do so.

At RadiumOne, we don't go about hiring in the conventional sense. While experience and education, etc. are important, of course, we look for passion -- and it is sometimes the hardest trait to find in potential employees.

We look for candidates who are hungry. They need to have a limitless appetite -- not just for the company and its products and services but for perfecting the little things. Take, for example, Susan Kare of Apple. Remember the first little Macintosh icon? That was all Susan. Her first title was "Macintosh Artist." She was passionate about pixels. Talk about the small stuff. Susan dedicated her time to placing pixels together in meaningful ways to create beautiful icons and graphics that ultimately changed desktop design. When an entire company is built with people who are passionate about the small stuff, the big picture is stunning.

We want to hire people with that same spirit and work ethic. We create jobs, but want to fill them with people looking for a career. Doing the 9-to-5 just isn't going to cut it. I'm not saying that you need to commit to work 80-hour weeks and lose all other aspects of your life; I'm just saying you can't come in, complete the tasks assigned to you, and leave. It takes an entrepreneur to thrive in another entrepreneur's company.

We want to have entrepreneurs working for us; people who will come up with a groundbreaking idea and, instead of just suggesting the idea, will spearhead an effort to get it implemented; people who will take on a brand new project with little direction or supervision; people who will do something they have no experience with, knowing that results may not be perfect but willing to take the risk anyways.

Entrepreneurs don't have bosses; they are their own bosses. They take it upon themselves to get work done, and they learn from mistakes along the way. We hire entrepreneurs like this. And when these entrepreneurs produce extraordinary work and need additional support, new jobs are created and the startup continues to grow.

Job creation is, in the long run, dependent on the employees a company hires from the get-go. It takes proactive and hardworking employees to grow departments and revenue. This remains especially true in startups, where each employee plays a critical role in that company's accomplishments. It is imperative to build a company with those who aspire to bring its vision to life.