Hiring is one area that I thought would have been revolutionized by now. Cover letters and resumes haven’t really changed, even with the advent of social media, job search sites, and AI technology. It’s still a major drag. It’s the one thing I tell all current and prospective business owners: recruiting will suck your soul constantly and it never gets better. Right now it’s easier to get an STD at a nunnery than to find someone to take me to dinner than it is to find a good UX designer to interview. Why can’t we make recruiting smarter, easier, or faster? My point is to say that I do not like the hiring process. It’s agonizingly slow, boring, and frustrating. Yet I do it all the time. Why??
Well part of the answer lies in the necessities of a digital marketing agency. As the owner of one of the top-rated advertising agencies in Austin, Texas my product is the talent of my team. I need a super skilled staff to consistently deliver what I consider to be the standard Rock Candy Media quality deliverable. That means constantly scouring the universe for digital strategists, social media marketing specialists, search engine marketing experts, web developers, content marketers, video marketers, and web designers. They need to be skilled in their specialty, collaborative with others, presentable to clients, amenable to showing up at an office close to on time five days a week, and respectful of those in charge. A lot of those might seem like basic, common skills but you’d be surprised. I’ll get back to that.
I recruit constantly, even when there isn’t a job opening. I don’t know when the ideal candidate is going to come on the market and I can’t risk the possibility that their availability won’t coincide with my need. That might mean hiring someone who fills a position that we weren’t desperate to fill at the time. As long as the value they bring will help our clients achieve their goals (and our goal of consistently thrilling the client), it’s worth the unexpected expense.
So it’s a necessary evil, but what makes it even more insidious to me is how far I am from our candidates generationally, even if I’m quite a bit younger than the average CEO. Younger candidates seem to hold a different attitude towards work that I can’t connect with.
When I was new to the workforce, I was falling over myself to prove myself to my boss. In recent years, I’ve made the mistake of hiring people who don’t think to google something before asking me (a highly predictive sign that someone is inconsiderate to their coworkers and pretty lazy). I would have never thought to do such a thing in my early 20’s. And back then Google wasn’t nearly as ubiquitous and internet marketing and advertising was untouched territory.
So to other business owners, I want to let you know that all the time you suffer through the hiring process is worth it. If the built up resentment gets to be too much for you, just do a little content writing of your own and publish an article complaining about it.