Despite his passion for technology, Michel pointed out that without the right people behind it, it’s only capable of so much. That’s why it’s imperative to dedicate time and effort to your hiring process.
“In the end it’s all about people. I’m a strong believer in technology and I love technology, but at the same time, technology is nothing by itself.
“So it’s crucial to have people that are able to do that [operate the technology], but far more importantly, that they are motivated and inspired to do so.
“It’s not only about ‘tech people’ either. In the early days it’s all about building an MVP and finding your product-market fit, but after that a whole new challenge arrives, one that requires different skills.
“Lelian Net, our Ceo, is a great example. We met at the end of 2017 after she returned from working in Africa and Asia. I was impressed by her international experience in scaling tech companies and we immediately knew she was a great match.
“Lelian joined shortly after as our COO and that boosted our development. Together we managed to build a great management team, set up a scalable organisation and focus on this amazing last mile opportunity.
“This was all leading up to the moment we are in right now. A big shift towards full commercialisation which resulted in me asking her to take over the driver’s seat and luckily, she said yes.
“That enables me to focus on leveraging my creative and product skills for Plotwise, empowering her and the wider team in turning the business into a global success.
“I think in the long-run, as you approach building a team it’s about that, if you share the same common purpose, the same goal, the same motivation then it will work. But that’s crucial. During the highs it’s easy, but in the lows, that’s where your team makes the difference.”
COVID is another hurdle businesses have had to deal with when hiring talent. The process generally becomes tougher when you can’t meet people face-to-face, however Plotwise has successfully adapted their hiring strategy to suit the pandemic.
“We had to hire 12 people remotely last year, which means you have to hire remote, onboard remote and let them join the team remote. This is a leap of faith compared to what you did before. We always had people joining for lunch before we hired them and none of that could happen.
“The small window at the end of summer 2020, when we could all meet together at a restaurant in the Netherlands, that was the first time a lot of our people actually saw each other in person. For me, I was, I wouldn’t say worried, but I did wonder how this would go.
“Then we had that session, dinner with the team, some games and drinks afterwards and it was so much fun. I really remember that moment I realised we had actually managed to strengthen this culture despite hiring remotely.”