In 2016, Aron Vuijsje joined as the first salesperson. Since then, the sales team has grown into a 170 person global team and he’s Sales Director. Over time, the hiring process has evolved to help us hire the best talent – people who are motivated, team players, and bottom-line contributors.

When Aron first started growing the team, we were an unknown small startup company. He didn’t have a large budget or high-profile reputation. That meant he had to hire based on potential and not experience because experience was too expensive. The pool of candidates was made mostly of people straight out of college or looking for a career change.

Aron tried to focus in on the question of potential each candidate showed – could they grow into tomorrow’s leader?

Here are some of Aron’s key tips for hiring the best team:

Pay attention to non-obvious skills

Creative, hard-working, and pleasant are more than just soft skills. These are the people who will build out-of-the-box solutions, find workarounds, and create real customer relationships. With such a customizable solution, we needed people with high levels of creativity to build unique solutions on the product. And they needed to be able to uncover fundamental needs.

For example, if a customer is dealing with a financial issue, the team needs to ask the right questions to understand if it’s a cash flow issue or budget issue to be able to suggest an appropriate solution.

Use demos to showcase skills

Ask candidates to do a demo of your solution. This will help you see how fast the candidate can learn vs. how well they can memorize. Ability to learn and understand is the key and will make them successful.

People who can memorize and regurgitate won’t be successful in this type of role and having them do a demo helps identify those people right off the back. You have to be realistic in what to expect after giving someone three days to learn your product but overall, it allows you to see how someone handles something they didn’t expect.

Don’t ask “what if…?”

When you ask someone to project into the future about an imaginary scenario, it’s easy for them to craft an ideal story. Instead, ask what they did in a specific past scenario. You’ll be able to understand how they think and work with more reliability.

It will be a lot more challenging for someone to make up a story when you follow up by asking to clarify specific details. This lets you into their thought processes and strategic thinking.

Automate the process

Recruiting the right people is time-consuming. Automate as much as you can so you can focus on finding that perfect fit. Whether it’s tracking applications, candidate progress, or notes from different interviewers, the less manual work the better. If you don’t have to spend time on the tedious work, you can spend more time getting to know applicants and carefully considering who is right for the job.

Having a strong team with the right skillset will help your company grow in the short and long term.

In the rush of monthly quotas and quarterly targets, it might seem like there isn’t enough time to invest in careful hiring. But, in reality, having a strong team with the right skillset will help your company grow in the short and long term. So hire smart and you’ll be one step closer to closing more deals.