Start-Up Competences and Early Stage Hiring: A Contingency Perspective

Vera Rocha, Luca Grilli, Emanuele Giraudo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference abstract in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Early employment growth can be a stepping-stone for start-up scaling. Yet, we have little insights into the factors that can enable early stage hiring. Building on competence-based theory, we posit that initial competences, namely those assembled via founders’ start-up experience and external shareholders, can help start-ups overcome early staffing challenges. However, through a contingency perspective, we demonstrate that a start-up’s ability to leverage those initial competences and hire soon after entry is contingent on its strategic orientation towards innovation. Both internal and external competences are likely to be underutilized in less R&D intensive start-ups lacking innovation-based growth aspirations. We find general support for our hypotheses with a rich dataset of Italian innovative start-ups, and additionally show that early staff recruitment is largely characterized by (positive) assortative matching dynamics in the human capital attributes of the demand and supply sides."
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Eightieth Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management
EditorsGuclu Atinc
Number of pages1
Place of PublicationBriarcliff Manor, NY
PublisherAcademy of Management
Publication date2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020
EventThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2020: Broadening Our Sight - Virtual
Duration: 7 Aug 202011 Aug 2020
Conference number: 80


ConferenceThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2020
Internet address
SeriesAcademy of Management Proceedings

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