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The Corporate Experience Conundrum

This story appears in the March 2009 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

A few years ago, Affinergy was considering two applicants with extensive work experience at large companies. The Durham, N.C., biotech company decided to pass on both of them. "We couldn't get comfortable with their [inability] to roll up their sleeves," says Jonathan Gindes, 33, co-founder of the 28-employee company.

Whether or not to hire applicants with years of corporate experience is a tricky decision for entrepreneurs. On one hand, these people bring knowledge and contacts to your company. On the other hand, they might not thrive in an environment where decisions are made on the fly, job descriptions are broad and budgets are tight.

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