During the first years of a firm’s existence every additional worker has a strong impact on the division of labor inside the emerging venture. It is crucial that the qualification levels of new employees fit to the tasks that founders want to delegate. Although owners of small enterprises have rated labor shortages and human resource management as major obstacles, there exist few theoretical approaches and little empirical evidence on how to tackle these issues (Tansky and Heneman, 2006; Cardon and Stevens, 2004; Katz and Welbourne, 2000).

Building from scratch means starting at point zero. It is argued that in newly founded ventures the founders’ qualification has a decisive impact on the evolution of the division of labor. At first the workforce is expected to resemble the qualification of the founder and be more homogeneous. As the firm matures, staffing practices change and the workforce becomes more heterogeneous across qualification levels.