Five Non-Technical Skills Start-ups Want In An Engineer

Engineers who have spent some time in the corporate world look for opportunities to enter the start-up world yet, the biggest challenge present before any start-up is to find the best tech talent. That is not because there is a shortage of engineers with good technical skills. It is because the nature of start-ups is such that everybody is required to get more involved in the overall business. There is less bureaucracy and people have to take care of a lot of areas beyond one’s expertise. Hence, the employers want multitasking engineers who can do much more than just coding.

The experience gained while working at a traditional corporate workplace may have made you an ace engineer with solid technical skills. However, it does not guarantee that you will make a successful career in the modern start-up ecosystem. There are several attributes beyond coding startups look for in an engineer. Read the list below and find out whether you have what it takes to be hired by a start-up:

1. Awesome Communication Skills
When you are working in a team of ten people who do the same job as you, the need for extraordinary communication skill gets eliminated. That’s because everybody understands why you are doing the work in a certain way as they all share the similar background. This changes when you join a start-up. You will not have a team of ten people and a manager to explain things on your behalf. You will be responsible for making people outside your department understand the reasons behind doing things in a certain way and how it is going to make the product better.

2. A Penchant for Decision Making
This doesn’t come naturally to people who have worked for a long period of time in big corporate organisations where the power to make decisions is in the hands of people at the top of the pyramid. You get into the habit of delivering only what is asked of you with no scope for making decisions. If you are looking to get into start-ups, then you have to break this habit. Start-ups have little structure. So the hiring managers look for people who are capable enough to take technical and procedural decisions on their own.

3. Being the last piece of Jigsaw Puzzle
It is a known fact that the work culture at start-ups is different from corporates. What’s important to understand here is that work culture differs at each start-up. Some start-ups have processes that they require the employees to follow, some are more spontaneous in approach, some are okay with their employees working remotely, and some expect them to work long hours at the office. You have to find out whether the culture being followed by your dream start-up company is something you would fit perfectly or not.

4. Tremendous Passion for the product
People who have the passion for the product stand out. When the company is in early stages, everybody from the CTO to the entry level engineer is involved in coding and developing the product. There may not be much room for you to present your version of the big picture in certain areas. Nevertheless, you must show interest and tremendous passion in the product the company is trying to create, and you will definitely catch the hiring manager’s attention.

5. Great Contacts
Start-ups who have non-technical founding members find it tough to hire engineers. Firstly, because they lack the understanding of which candidates would be the best to do their work. Secondly, hiring a recruiter to fill position gets a little heavy on their budget. So, if you bring additional engineering contacts that can be utilised for building a team in the future, then you become an indispensable resource for the start-up.

Now that you know what it takes to be hired by a start-up, work on the skills and go get that dream job.

Best of luck!


Article Contributed by:

Megha Raizada is a professional writer working with the premium job portal She has a keen interest in the global job market, but also loves to keep a track of everything interesting happening around the globe. When not writing or browsing the Internet, you will find her creating furniture out of used tires. You can reach her at Twitter and Google+.