January 24, 2024

Miika Kestilä

How to recruit junior salespeople & grow them?

Listen now on

Podcast Summary: Episode of #TalentBuzz with Guest Miika Kestilä from Meltwater


  • Host: Discusses talent acquisition strategies in SaaS companies.
  • Guest: Miika Kestilä from Meltwater.
  • Focus: Hiring and growth of junior salespeople within an organization.

Meltwater's Strategy for Hiring Juniors:

  • Organizational Design Decision: Rooted in company history; Meltwater, founded in Norway in the early 2000s, has experienced organic growth.
  • Advantage of Junior Hiring: Aligns with Meltwater's DNA. Management teams typically have risen through the ranks, offering a unique perspective to leadership.

Challenges with External Hiring for Management:

  • Internal Growth Preferred: Culturally ingrained to promote from within.
  • Balancing Perspectives: Actively seeking external insights from other companies and leaders to incorporate fresh ideas.

Sourcing Junior Candidates:

  • Target Profile: Recent graduates with sales or retail background, typically with business education.
  • Strategies: Strong LinkedIn presence, student and school collaborations, direct headhunting, and involvement in social media channels and events.

Transitioning Awareness to Employment:

  • Events and Engagement: Hosting students at the office, participating in after-work events, emphasizing B2B sales as a career path.
  • Sales Training: Meltwater is positioned as an ideal place to learn SaaS sales, attracting ambitious individuals.

Onboarding Junior Salespeople:

  • Intensive Training Program: A two-week comprehensive training covering products, sales methodology, and company operations.
  • Early Involvement: New hires quickly engage in day-to-day work, listening to calls and joining different units.
  • Online Training Environment: Supports the theoretical and practical aspects of the training program.

Setting Goals for Junior Salespeople:

  • Ramp Up Targets: Gradual target increase over the first few months.
  • Focus on Process and Habits: Emphasizing the development of successful sales habits rather than immediate revenue targets.
  • Qualitative Measures: Activity tracking, quality of pitches, and preparation are key early indicators of success.

Defining and Measuring Success:

  • Long-term Perspective: Success is not just hitting targets but also contributing to the organization's growth and preparing for future roles.
  • Challenges in Predicting Success: Acknowledging the unpredictability in junior hiring success rates.

Retention and Career Design:

  • Clear Career Paths: Discussions on career progression start early, with management and sales tracks available.
  • Regular Performance Reviews: Quarterly reviews help align individual goals with organizational opportunities.

Challenges of Junior Hiring:

  • Unpredictability: Difficulty in forecasting who will succeed.
  • Younger Workforce: A predominantly junior team necessitates strong senior leadership to guide development.


  • Recommendations: For successful junior hiring and development, emphasize continuous learning, offer clear career paths, and maintain a supportive environment.

Listen now on

You might also like


How to Measure Your Talent Acquisition Function?
Read blog


7 Metrics to Measure if Your Talent Acquisition Strategy Works
Read blog


5 Talent Acquisition Strategies for Fast Growing Companies
Read blog


How to Make Talent Acquisition Scalable?
Read blog