Jennifer Patterson of La Communidad wrote a nice article for AdAge today about interviewing and finding the right people from the perspective of a small agency. Sometimes asking the right questions is the key to finding the right people.
Make sure people are a culture fit. Culture fit is about more than hiring people you’d want to have a beer with. It’s about work styles, drive, belief in the agency vision. We’ve all worked with that one person who didn’t pull his weight. In a big agency, there’s (arguably) room for this — there are enough people rowing so that one non-committed rower won’t sink the ship. But we’re not talking about those Viking long ships at a small agency. We’re talking about two to three people in a dinghy.
How does your agency make sure you’re hiring the right people? Do you focus more on making sure they can satisfactorily answer all your questions about doing the job? Or do you try and get a feel for personality, common goals and vision, and where they want to take their career? We tell candidates here all the time, its not about what you need as an employee, its about what you can provide to solve that agency’s problem. But that’s a two way street. As the employer, its not always about making sure thhe person you hire can do the job. It’s also about what you do as an agency to make that person part of your team, and make sure your job solves their career needs. We call it “mutual need fulfillment.”