5 Unconventional Qualities This CEO Looks for When Hiring the Best Person for the Job | Entrepreneur - Latest Global News

5 Unconventional Qualities This CEO Looks for When Hiring the Best Person for the Job | Entrepreneur

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The best salesperson I ever hired had no experience at all.

I ran a company that sold a SaaS product and payments in the beauty space. When a sales position opened up, I was determined to find someone with experience in at least two of our three core areas: B2B SaaS, payments, and/or beauty. While I value education and military experience when hiring the ideal candidate, these are actually just “nice to haves” and not absolute requirements. Simply put: I always want the best person for the job.

In this case, someone at my company recommended that I speak to someone who had no relevant experience. He had not sold software/SaaS, had never been in payments, and had no experience in the beauty industry. He also didn’t have a college degree. After several interviews, I came to the conclusion that I wanted him for the role, even if he wasn’t the “obvious” choice. He had no relevant experience, but here’s what I saw in him:

  1. Heart: Simply put, he was a nice guy with a big heart. He cared about people (his family, friends, team, customers); you could tell it was real. He had a lot of heart, that was clear to everyone who spoke to him, and it will certainly be evident to our customers and prospective customers as well.
  2. Integrity: This quality is not only important; It is the foundation of every successful person and team. People want to do business with others they trust, who have integrity, and who are honest and sincere. These qualities aren’t just nice to have; They are vital to success and creating a thriving work environment.
  3. Organizational skills: Some people have great intelligence and character, but are so disorganized that they become virtually ineffective. There are numerous tracking and organizing tools that are intentionally designed so that everyone can use them effectively. However, someone who is highly disorganized and acts in a chaotic manner by nature will be far less effective than someone who is generally well organized and acts in this manner.
  4. Values: I genuinely relate to this person’s values, both professionally and personally. He was very devoted to his wife and family and I could see that he was a great parent. It was clear to me that he had very strong, well-founded values ​​that aligned well with my own ethos and that of our company.
  5. Intelligence: Often what matters is not what someone knows, but rather their ability to learn new information. In reality, none of the areas I was hoping to gain experience in were “rocket science.” Anyone with the drive and intelligence could learn it. Through my years of attitude, I have learned to value learning ability and intelligence. No one has experience in everything, so it’s important to find a smart person who can figure things out quickly.
  6. Determination/Perseverance: This is a super important feature and not easy to measure, but if you look, the signs are there. In this particular example, it was obvious that this candidate was hard-working, determined, and a “doer.” I could tell it was going to ride harder than I could ever imagine riding it; He had a fierce tenacity, and that’s a quality I really value in an employee.

Related: What Does It Really Take to Be a Successful Salesperson? The answer is simpler than you might think.

Immediately after being hired, this person was busy working, learning, pushing, driving, and selling. His calendar was filled every day with opportunities he had created, and the results were quickly apparent. The bottom line is that it completely exceeded all expectations. In less than a year, I promoted him to lead the payments sales team.

So what’s the takeaway? In short, experience is great and for some types of jobs it is absolutely essential to have the necessary skills. However, do not forget about the qualities that I described above – they are equally important, and in some cases even more important, as they reflect the person’s character. But how do you recognize and evaluate qualities like heart, integrity and persistence in the hiring process? Here are some crucial and slightly less conventional hiring techniques that help determine a person’s character:

  • Eat together – not in the office cafeteria or break room, but in a full-service restaurant. Observe how the candidate interacts with their helpers, with strangers, and with you in a non-business environment.
  • Stay away from your resume. Try to understand the candidate as a person, what drives them, what they are passionate about, what motivates (and demotivates) them, what is important to them, etc. The caveat here is to never ask anything inappropriate, discriminatory, or anything that associated with the person is a protected class.
  • Ask some “behavioral interview questions,” focusing on how the candidate has used their experience and skills to solve real-world problems (not necessarily related to your business or business).
  • Ask them what they know about your company and your products/services. Someone who really wants the job, is smart, organized and persistent will have taken the time to study the company and prepare for the interview. Sometimes you can learn more about a person based on their questions rather than the questions you ask yourself.

Related: The 15 Traits of People Who Are Successful in Sales

After interviewing hundreds of people and seeing what ultimately worked, I’m a huge advocate of so-called soft skills and non-traditional interviewing. Although experience is valuable, it is not the only factor to consider when hiring. Qualities such as heart, integrity, organizational skills, values, intelligence and determination are in some cases equally, if not more, important. I think it is important to recognize and evaluate these characteristics in the hiring process. For this reason, I suggest using unconventional interview practices to get to know the person beyond their resume and assess their suitability for the job.

Give it a try – you might find your best employee ever.

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