How To Start & Grow Your Business

Should Startups Hire Rookies? One CTO Says No.

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    1Hire the best. 2Compensate well. 3Build an international team.
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Startups Misc.

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Just because your business is young doesn’t mean your staff needs to be green behind the ears. In fact, NYC tech startup Smartling has become a $250 million company while strictly hiring senior developers as a rule.

In a recent article on, author Brian Solomon reports that Andrey Akselrod, cofounder and CTO of the fast-growing translation service, has been highly selective in the hiring process.

How to Adopt Smartling’s Philosophy

1. Hire established professionals with a track record. “We’re only hiring senior people. There are a lot of junior developers out there, but life is too hard as is,” Akselrod is quoted as saying.

2. Offer competitive pay to attract top talent–their higher productivity is worth the investment. Also, higher compensation supports employee retention.

Smartling provides competitive salaries that attract seasoned professionals both in New York City and Akselrod’s native Ukraine where competitive pay is easier for a startup to afford.

3. Build a global workforce. Consider areas of the world where talent abounds, competition is low, and the economy is tipped in your favor.

Akselrod is extremely pleased with his team of 60 developers, both those based in the NYC headquarters and in the two offices abroad.

It would seem that investors are pleased as well; Smartling raised $25 million in additional venture capital last year.

Solomon emphasizes that the company’s philosophy from the beginning has been to “find the right people and keep them motivated.”

To read the original article in its entirety, please visit

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