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Sassa Akervall (CEO)
January 08, 2016

CEO Spotlight: How To Hire The Right People


I believe that most experiences in life benefit you at a later point, whether you know it or not. For me, it was all the job experiences I gained while I was on the road to starting our company.


Of course, gaining the knowledge was totally subconscious at the time; nevertheless, when needing some of that skill, I could dig deep within me and find it. I firmly believe that experiences, no matter what they are or how you have gained them, will help you later on in life when you have moved on to something else.

That also goes for getting to know people. Some of them you meet and you just know they have ‘it”. Some of them might have the education and experience, but somehow you know that person will never fit in with the crowd that is already getting along swimmingly.

My concept when finding the right employees has always been to try to sculpt a family away from the family. A crowd that cares and take care of each other. A crowd you want to go see everyday between 9 am and 5 pm. After all, who wants a workplace where you wake up on Thursday morning already dreading the coming Monday? I’ve been there and felt that. It is not a good place to be and it certainly isn’t good for creativity and the all over company morale.

So how did we do it, creating a gang of 17 individuals who have the same goals, dreams, energy, outlook and interest  - all for the sake of doing what is best for the business?

I rely a lot on my gut feelings, which has proven me right many times.  

One example is how I found Rita, our Director of Marketing. While we were looking for someone with the right background and education, she wrote me an email (I still have all of them) and the tone of her voice in those emails struck a chord within me. After meeting her, it was absolutely clear that she did NOT have the credentials we were looking for.

But what she did have was a great personality and a go-getter energy about her that I still think of as priceless. Before we even offered her the position, she laid out her plans for how she would go about marketing our company in email after email to me. She was persistent and positive and I knew she would be doing good things for the company. Those are traits you can’t find by simply looking at a resume.

Now, two years later, the marketing team has grown to three people, and I’m proud to say that with the help of these talented people, we get $8 back on ever $1 we spend! That is a number that is unheard of, yet we hear it every day.

I can go on and on about how we have found people, or sometimes how people have found us, and how that gut feeling has helped me every single time. I’m not a medium with special talents, but having been around the block a couple of times is what has been leading me in the hiring process.

To be able to tell when someone is honest and sincere, is something I’ve developed during many years of meeting and interacting with some people and after laughing, crying and arguing with others.

In other words, life itself is the best teacher.  

Not always going straight for the resume, but taking the time to meet with the candidate and to really take inventory of everything that makes that person… a person that will thrive and grow with us and the company.

And that, my friends, is how to hire good employees and how we created a family away from the family here at Akervall Technologies.

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