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When it Comes to Hiring, Traits Outweigh Experience

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Coming to New York from Australia was one of many big leaps Matt Gould has made. Another was taking his sales and business skills to Australian-based Hatch which will soon launch in the US. Hatch matches people to roles at fast-growing tech companies and Matt is the VP of Sales, Customer Success and Ops (pretty much RevOps). He wants to see an end to broken hiring practices by considering more important factors than a lengthy list of requirements.

We want people to find meaning in work”, says Matt Gould, quoting a line from Hatch, the platform that connects tech companies with junior to mid-level people looking for real career opportunities. Matt is in New York, as VP of Sales, Customer Success and Ops with the company and is steering its launch in the US. Not only does he feel Hatch can fix what’s broken in today’s hiring practices, he also thinks it will make everyone a lot happier in the process.

“We want to disrupt the hiring process,” he says. “People are constantly hearing hiring managers saying, ‘I can’t get enough candidates,’ like the great resignation. There are so many people out there, you’ve just closed it off to those people because you’ve been so specific in terms of what you’re looking for.”

This is where Matt gets a little Professor McGonagall from Harry Potter fame and sees the benefits in transfiguration.

Okay, not quite transfiguration. It’s poor etiquette to turn someone into a bunch of daisies just because you need daisies on your team.

The point is that the person overlooked in the hiring process may actually be the person who can benefit the organization most. It’s a matter of looking at what that individual is capable of, what they bring to the table and not what they put on a resume or what is assumed about their abilities based on recent experience.. By broadening our talent pool and strengthening our onboarding and training processes, we can diversify our companies and improve our outcomes.

It's time to see candidates differently in order to appreciate what they bring to the table.

Five Key Traits

On resumes and LinkedIn profiles, Matt says,“Don’t worry about that stuff. Do focus on their traits.”

In countless discussions with RevOps leaders, he learned there are five common key traits that will help identify great people who will make a big contribution early in their careers.

And don’t you – at some point in the future – want to be known as the person who saw the potential in THAT PERSON? Of course! We all want to be able to spot the ones destined to be rockstars. People that have skills that don’t obviously transfer, but still find a way to thrive in their new role. More importantly, we want to work with them and see all that raw potential come to life.

These individuals are likely to have some experience, but may not be decades into a career or have changed careers once or twice. Therefore, you need to identify the traits that capture the essence of who they will be as employees, leaders and contributors.

“The first one is empathy,” he says.

“For the customer or for the sales, marketing, customer success services teams that are on the front line.”

Resilience is the second trait. When thinking about resilience, Matt refers to a motivational line:

“If you’ve never really failed, have you ever really succeeded?” He says. “When things go wrong, you’re going to dive in and double-down and try to solve the problem if you have resilience.”

The third trait is mindset, where we prioritize individuals who are willing to go beyond the initial or obvious question.

Bias to action is fourth. This is acting before being asked or coming with potential paths forward rather than complaints and problems.

The final trait is problem-solving. These individuals can not only identify and shape the solution to the problem, but they can also communicate things in a way that creates buy-in.

“I think it’s more important to think about transferable skills,” he says. “Those traits that people can bring, irrespective of the background that they come from versus trying to boil it down to, ‘I need someone with one year of Salesforce admin experience’,”

A Shift in the Fabric

As you start to see employees from a perspective of traits, you’ll also start to anticipate how they can grow and thrive. As Matt explains, tech knowledge shifts so quickly it only has a half-life of about two-and-a-half years. The tech knowledge needed for developments three years from now doesn’t even exist yet. Therefore, you need to hire the person who has the traits and hunger to absorb the necessary knowledge when it’s needed, because no one yet has that knowledge.

This makes hiring for traits all the more important so that your new hire will grow, learn and make a difference because it’s in their nature to do so.

For an example where Matt hired someone because of their traits and not their background, check out this LinkedIn post he wrote.

“RevOps is a rapidly growing space, but it’s also a space where you can hire someone from any background,” he says.

Transparency at all Stages

Transparency is about being open, honest and authentic with candidates and employees alike.

“Don’t build a job description that has 100 bullet points in it,” he says. “That’s not going to get you the perfect person. It’s going to attract the opposite of that: a person that is a great fit but isn’t going to add any value beyond those things that you’ve listed.”

Instead, he suggests job descriptions not be overly specific but transparent.

“Who you are as a business, what your challenges and goals are, and how you work…Be upfront about the salary as well,” he explains. “So the person who looks at your job is bought into it from the start, or says, ‘no, this isn’t going to fit.’ And that’s saving you time.”

Ditch the Resume

Matt admits his recommendation to candidates somewhat mirrors the Hatch format, but that’s only because it’s a successful approach. 😉

“Ditch the resume in favor of something that’s more revealing about who someone is as a prospect or candidate,” he says. “We use micro tasks and motivation videos to reveal that.”

It gives applicants a way to say why they are excited about the job and what they understand about the company. It also allows for sharing of their skills in tandem with their personality.

“Once you’ve gone through that review process, understanding their motivation, understanding they could do the job, think about those other core skills and start testing,” Matt says. “But don’t test them in weird, ambiguous ways. Give them an actual meaningful exercise that’s relevant.”

Is it Time?

Would the right new hire make things better?

Matt says, that’s not the right question. Instead ask: What is the problem we need to solve?

Problem identification allows you to define if you need a new sales hire, a new payment platform, a contract employee or a better internal connectivity tool.

“Just be clear about the problems that you’re trying to solve, good or bad, then define the strategies,” he says. “Then think about the capability you need to support that.”

If you are looking to jump into a new role in RevOps, you can sign up and apply to the following roles that are currently live on Hatch, using a rich profile (not a Resume). A profile that allows you to show your motivation, outline your working style and demonstrate your skills.

Here are a couple examples of the roles posted:

- Pinwheel - Sales & Marketing Operations (1st RevOps Hire) - This is the first RevOps role in a company that just raised a $50m Series A. An amazing opportunity to jump in and work closely with the experienced Sales and Marketing leaders to shape the company’s go-to-market direction, and fuel its growth. This is a remote role.

- Headway - Senior Associate, Revenue Operations - Remote or NYC based, you choose! An opportunity to work alongside an ops team with experience at AirBnb,, and Gympass that is improving access to those with mental health issues. This is a remote role.

The RevOps Co-op also has a Talent Marketplace here for those that are hiring, seeking, contracting and consulting. Enter your details and get matched with other members!

Looking for more great content? Check out our blog and join the community.

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