Karl Sakas is an agency consultant operating out of Raleigh, NC. Back for his second appearance on Inbound Agency Journey by popular demand, Karl talks about how to set up an agency hiring process. These practical steps are a great resource for agencies going through the hiring process for the first time!
Overview of the Episode:
In this episode, Karl taps into the topic of building a hiring process for your agency. He shared his 8-Step approach.
Step 1: Define
Before you hire, you need to know who you are. Start the process by defining your long term vision.
- Are you a rapid growth company and looking to sell in a few years?
- Are you a lifestyle company and hoping to maintain control for as long as possible?
- What is the need within your company?
- What are you trying to accomplish by hiring this person?
Building consensus around these topics within the agency is important before hiring a new team member.
Step 2: Elaborate
What is the job description of the person you are hiring? What will their responsibilities be? Once you have this information convert it into a posting for the position. Use it to sell the position. You have to have a well-documented and well defined position before you try to fill it.
Step 3: Share
Share the job posting with your network and your employee's networks. The best matches don’t often come to you through random tracking systems.
Set up a landing page for potential candidates on your website. Use this to track how much time applicants spent looking through your content.
Step 4: Pre-Screen
Review the applications you receive. Some of them will be an obvious bad fit. Send a polite rejection letter to unsuccessful applicants.
These people should receive a pre-screen interview via telephone or Skype. This is a twenty minute interview to get a feel for how they are. This step can save you wasting valuable time interviewing people in person.
Step 5: Interviews
The first step in the interview process is the “not crazy” test. It’s where you dig into the person’s past experience and find out if they are what you need.
Ask them what their biggest mistakes have been. You want them to have learned the most expensive mistakes at another agency so a few mistakes is a good thing!
In the next interview you will want other members of your team to meet with them as well. The department head for the team they will be in should be present.
If the person will be working remotely, you still want to have an in-person interview. Check references first for these people to avoid unnecessary expenses.
Step 6: References
With a narrowed down list, it is time to check references. When you're speaking with references, ask open ended questions. The key is to get the person talking.
Ask references to rate the candidate on a numeric scale from one to ten. Ask them how likely they are to hire them again in the future. Also take a look at who the references are. A reference from a former manager is more valuable than a reference from a co-worker.
Step 7: Offer and Negotiations
When you have made a decision, it’s time to make an offer and negotiate. Remember to check with your attorney about the rules regarding official offer letters.
In your offer, keep things clear. Define the job, the expectations, start date, compensation, and other benefits you're offering. Maintain clear expectations throughout this process to avoid surprises later.
Step 8: On-Boarding
Once they have accepted the offer, it’s time to get ready to get them started. Put yourself in their shoes. They are taking a risk by joining your team. Try to make the process as easy as possible for them.
Take the time to get the little things lined up to make their first few days a great experience. Everyone loves to have business cards, email, and a little welcome all ready to go on their first day!
Communicate your expectations for first day, first week and first month. Clarify what defines success. Don’t leave room for surprises on either side. Rather be clear from the start.
For more on this topic, keep an eye out for Karl's upcoming book Intentional Recruiting: How to Hire Your Marketing Agency's Dream Team by opting-in on his website!