Experience wanted over creativity in e-business

A third of
dotcom companies were forced to cut staff over the last year, according to
research by PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

The study
also reveals that a quarter of dotcom chief executives now rate experience
above flexibility and creativity as the most important qualities for potential
employees.

The 2001
survey’s findings contrast with last year’s study by PWC which revealed that
eight-out-of-ten dotcom chief executives thought that the race for talent was
the most important challenge they faced.

Kevin
Delaney, a partner at PwC human resource consulting, thinks the findings show
that dotcom companies are in danger in losing the spirit of adventure and
dynamism which was responsible for their initial success.

“What we
are witnessing in this report is a growing bunker mentality among dotcom CEOs
that has led to a drive to recruit more experienced managers, including proven
sales personnel.

“This
focus on survival places profitability and the bottom line above creativity and
risk-taking.”

Delaney
advises HR professionals in the dotcom business to ensure that their companies
do not lose the excitement and energy that attracted talented people to them in
the first place.

He also
recommends that HR departments find the right balance between experience and
the willingness to work in new ways among the people they recruit and that they
identify those employees who have the ability to take the company forward and
plan how to retain them and keep them motivated.

Delaney
believes that dotcom companies risk turning into pale imitations of old economy
companies and that their staff will become increasingly disillusioned if HR
directors ignore their expectations.

By Ben Willmott

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