Bruce Pobocik • March 28
How do you balance speed and wisdom in the hiring process? Our Operations Director, Bruce, shares a Thinkbox story.
Speed matters in our industry.
The digital landscape loves the throttle and agility is often the difference between 1st place and last. But rushing through a key hire is costly and will ultimately slow down a team instead of making it more efficient. This tension between quick and wise is one our TBX team recently felt.
For the past year, our Digital Marketing team has been growing and so have our available services. A few months ago, this growth paired with a vacant seat in our DM department, meant our team needed to hire a Marketing Analyst and hire fast.
The gut reaction was conventional: reach out to skilled external candidates and begin vetting. The rally cry of “get someone in the seat” was loud and fierce. And it wasn’t without good cause. Our billable hours were growing and we needed someone fast. But I asked our leadership team to give me a week to step back and analyze.
My biggest fear in hiring is on-boarding someone that doesn’t match our culture.
We’re a unique blend of scrappy, fun, blue collar work ethic, and a little odd. And that mix is hard to find and even harder to retain.
So I looked inside at our internal team. Everyone here is a Thinkbox person. And the easiest way to retain culture is to keep the people that make up that culture.
One person immediately stood out.
One of our Project Managers, Mark, had expressed a desire to create and deal with data every day. He had also frequently stopped in my office and asked, “What more can I do?” That’s an attitude and a question that makes a coach’s heart race. So I approached our existing DM team and asked them to craft a job description. On the ground people usually see needs with a bit more clarity than managers. And yet, astonishingly few people ask their team who they should hire.
Armed with their rough job description, I approached Mark and did my best not to lead the witness.
It was a perfect fit.
Mark’s face lit up as he read the job details and was eager to begin. I was sold and so was our leadership team. I always reserve judgment until a) a candidate shows me they will come alive in this new role and b) they fit our culture. And Mark had checked both boxes.
Our DM team has been hitting 2017 hard and our company could not afford to slow the growth down with a bad hire. Mark’s addition to our DM team means we’re able to move with speed while retaining an aligned culture. It also allows one of our most competitive employees to love their role and contribution to our team.
Speed, married with precision, makes the agency. For hiring, this means slowing at the curves so you can open the throttle on the straightaways.
The week I deliberated to look inside our internal team slowed us around the bend. We had to slow down. But now we’re in perfect position for the rest of the year. Our culture is steady and our team is tight.
Let quarter two begin.