The Race to Recruit Digital Marketing Talent at Ad Agencies

The Race to Recruit Digital Marketing Talent at Ad Agencies

Digital Marketing has allowed companies to grow faster than ever. With the opportunity to target the right customer in the right moment across any device, the increases in revenue major brands are experiencing have forced agencies to keep up with building up Paid Search, Display, Influencer, Social & Email / CRM Marketing teams.

Ad Agencies are using both internal and external recruiters to achieve success with building up their teams, but that is not enough to guarantee success. Strong HR Leaders in Digital have decided to pursue innovative processes to ensure that they compete in the marketplace. Every HR Leader wants to hire the best talent, and by the time there are interviews, candidates already have a multitude of options. This has created a huge impact on the interview process itself. If a candidate is interviewing with your agency, it is more than likely they are interviewing at 2-3 other companies as well. It is crucial for HR to take the interview process and cut it down to 2 interviews or else you will not be able to get the offer out before competing offers. A phone interview and an in-person interview where all the leaders can meet with the potential candidate is ideal. Get your leaders to meet and give feedback within 24 hours of an interview to make sure if the candidate is a solid potential, the candidate knows and is engaged with your hiring process. When the candidate is a great find, you really need to pull the trigger and give them an offer, and it has to be competitive for the market. If you are a hiring manager, you have hired and interviewed many times over, so when you see top talent you should know what they look like and move quickly.

If your on the fence with a candidate, of course it makes sense to compare to others, but individuals you like, do not wait.

In the market of competing offers and counteroffers, we need to focus in on how to bring on board talent and keep them happy. A lot of that has to do with not just culture, but the compensation package. If your company is below market, there is a big chance that within 6 months, another recruiter will contact your new hire and offer them $10K-$15K more in a base with even more promises for growth. Do your research in the industry and always make a competitive offer that gives candidates a bump in pay. Typically you will see candidates requesting a $10-$15K pay increase to consider leaving their role when it comes to the marketing industry.

The goal is to hire the best and keep them happy. So when interviewing digital marketing candidates, make decisions quickly and offer competitive packages.

VP of Recruiting Shares 3 Skills You Need to Get a Startup Marketing Job

Our VP of Recruiting Shares 3 Skills You Need to Get a Startup Marketing Job

An Interview with our VP of Recruiting, Daniel Miller
Article Written by: Carli Evilsizer from Branderly Media

 

There are so many tips floating around the internet on what startup CEO's are really looking for when interviewing candidates but we were curious if there's any tips specifically for startup marketing candidates. Some of the most common tips when interviewing for a startup include being truly passionate and excited about the role (and more importantly the startup itself!) as well as a "can-do" attitude. But if you are interviewing with a startup CEO for a marketing role, what are a few specific things you will need to prove to get hired? 

We chatted with Daniel Miller, Co-Founder and VP of Recruiting at Empowered Staffing to learn more. Daniel is a co-founder himself and works with many startups hiring digital marketing, e-commerce & tech roles, so he was the perfect person to share a few tips. 

 

1. What is your background?

"For over 6 years, I recruited for a headhunting agency and moved up the ladder into corporate training and management. Then in 2009, I was hired by an eCommerce startup, BuyHappier.com (Now called Digital Brandworks) that literally only had a business plan and yet to open an office. I came on board as employee #2 and built an office up to 40+ employees and we were featured on the Inc 500 as one of America’s fastest-growing companies. We were on the WGN news Around Town segment due to the culture we built, modeled after Zappos. Once the company sold, many organizations found out about my success building up the BuyHappier office, and I was getting calls left and right by startup owners looking to build teams and that is how Empowered Staffing was started."
 

2. Tell me more about Empowered Staffing.

"Empowered Staffing is a recruiting firm specialized Digital Marketing, eCommerce & Tech / SaaS industries. We have a team of recruiters based in Evanston and have experienced growth between 20-150% YOY since our inception in 2012. We have worked with small start ups to Fortune 1000 organizations. We have a fun and energetic team that is dedicated to the success of our clients which has made our firm so successful."
 

3. What are the biggest differences when interviewing for a startup vs a larger company?

"In a startup, there are usually two strong attributes employers are looking for. One, someone that is willing to be hands on and have a get it done attitude. The candidates coming from larger employers, are used to larger structures and being siloed into one aspect of their department, but in a startup you have to be willing to take on additional responsibilities and truly get involved beyond a typical scope of a position."

"The second most important thing, is personality and cultural fit. Hiring in a small company, is all about making sure personalities click and a lot of times, our Startup CEO’s will have 5 very qualified individuals to review but will usually go with the one that is more upbeat, positive & most excited to join the startup in addition to personalities meshing together well." 
 

4. What is the biggest mistake you see candidates make while interviewing at a startup?

There are two:

1) Not being prepared. Always research and review the company and get together a list of three strong/strategic questions. This will show the executive you are meeting with there is a level of engagement in the interview and that you did your homework.

2) Getting nervous and/or not letting their true personality shine through. It is always hard to make a true judgement call on a candidate when it is your first meeting, which is why it is so important that each candidate is very open and transparent during the interview so the employer can get the best feel for the individual they are meeting with. It is our job as a firm to narrow down and send in the top candidates on each search we are on, once the candidate interviews (this is not something they are used to since over 97% of our candidates have a position and they are not active job seekers) it is their job to not only showcase their hard skills but they need to bring their A game with their personality which is hard for anyone during a first meeting with an executive especially if your not a sales person. I know it sounds cheesy, as I learned this from my sister whom is the co-founder of Empowered Staffing, just like in the bachelor the people who can not open up go home first, so to when interviewing for a job, being open and letting your personality shine is key!

THE 3 SKILLS YOU NEED TO GET A STARTUP MARKETING JOB

1. ABILITY TO LAUNCH A NEW PRODUCT/SERVICE

"It is much easier to work with an established company who already has a reputation and launch something to an already existing customer base. In a startup, launching a new product or service to a new customer base is trickier. Innovation, thinking out of the box, the ability to bootstrap ideas to fruition are all very important factors that many people may have but it truly shows when working in a startup company, department or division."

"Be prepared with examples of how you have done it in the past and things that can relate. E.g. If you never worked in a startup, but worked for a major brand on a new product/service/technology with a new customer segment, that could be a great example. Come prepared with successes, things you learned along the way and remember, executive love data. If you have ROI, % increases in revenue, or $$ values that were impacted due to you, executives will be a lot more intrigued."
 

2. ABILITY TO BRING IN LEADS THROUGH DIGITAL MARKETING

"All of us are on devices: smart phones, tablet, computers throughout the day. We are all hyper-involved on social media as well, which is why we see ads that are truly targeted to us every time we log into Facebook or Instagram. The ability to target the right consumer is usually a lot easier utilizing digital methodologies because we can now track consumers better than ever via their demographic & interests and bring the right advertisement to them in the perfect moment as they are browsing online." 

"Search Engine Marketing (SEM or Paid Search) drives consumers who are searching for your exact product or service and getting them to your website via Google or Bing Search engines. SEM/Paid Search is the reason Google became a billion dollar company. It is highly effective in driving consumers instantly to your page the minute you start a strong ad words campaign. SEO is very important, since anytime we search for anything we use google and we pretty much stick with the first page of results. Those results are predicated on websites being thought leaders and having the information that consumers are actually looking for." 

"Startups need business quickly so they can survive and then grow quickly. Digital marketing allows you to quickly build up a customer base and that is why Social Media, Search Engine Marketing and SEO are so important. How can candidates show their ability to bring in leads for a startup? The only way to show your ability is to use work history examples and previous accomplishments that have a true ROI or Revenue increase attached to it. Start up entrepreneurs are already taking a risk starting up the company, so they rather hire smart candidates who have had some experience in it previous to making the hire."
 

3. ABILITY TO EXECUTE ON TRADITIONAL MARKETING METHODS

"Copywriting, partnership marketing, branding, tradeshows/sponsorships, print & marketing materials are still extremely important. Remember, although digital is great and explosively growing, traditional marketing is still much larger than digital. A lot of times, startups may be worried to put all their eggs in the digital marketing basket since it tends to be expensive. Utilizing copywriting, print and marketing material creation, it will allow a sales team to start selling the product. Also, partnership marketing is a great way to bring in revenue by creating partnerships with associations, influencers, or other companies that can make introductions to the perfect customer base." 

"It’s hard to say which is the best, but I would say copy, tradeshow/sponsorships and partner marketing can truly bring about quick success for a startup company." 

Top 6 Skills to look for in Digital Marketing Candidates

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Top 6 Skills to look for in Digital Marketing Candidates

When looking to hire a Marketing candidates, there are certain software, skills and personalities to look out for to make sure you are hiring the best out there.

Check out the list below of the top 6 attributes and in demand skills to look for in each of the digital marketing positions that would fill a marketing team.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM):

  • Strong Excel Skills
  • AdWords Certification or strong experience with Adwords and other software programs for SEM management like Kenshoo, Marin, etc.
  • Knowledge of SEO
  • Basic Technical/Programming skills is a huge help
  • A/B Testing principals
  • Strong Content/Copy and Communication skills

Email Marketing:

  • Use of Pardot, Marketo, MailChimp
  • Ability to analyze campaigns
  • A-B testing
  • Understanding of SPAM rules
  • Experience with Segmentation & List Building
  • Ability to talk about successful email campaigns prior | previous open rates & how they drove engagement

Analytics:

  • A Love for Data!
  • Strong in Google Analytics
  • Advanced SQL & Excel Skills using Pivot Tables, V-Lookups and if possible Macros and Visual Basic
  • Experience with Tag Management: Google Tag Manager, Adobe’s Tag Management are two common tools.
  • Strong ability to do A/B testing
  • Experience analyzing Display, Programmatic, SEM & SEO is ideal

Search Engine Optimization (SEO):

  • Experience using SEO analysis programs (There are many, inquire which ones they worked with)
  • Strong with Google Analytics
  • A Love for Content Strategy
  • Technical and Programming skills
  • Previous examples of getting websites to the first page of Google
  • Ability to discuss some of their white hat SEO strategies

There will always be companies that use different software programs and skills that are not common among most of the industry. It is key to find candidates that are adaptable and Tech Savvy enough to change with the times and learn the new methodologies. No matter the skills, remember to assess personality – you want to find the candidates that love what they do and want to find a workplace that they can drive growth and success. Top Digital Marketing candidates are a hot commodity in our economy, especially since the unemployment rate is at an all time low and candidates are receiving competing offers. Be sure to keep your interview process streamlined & short or else you may risk losing the best and brightest.

 

What Business Owners Need To Know About Hiring An Effective Marketing Team

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What Business Owners Need To Know About Hiring An Effective Marketing Team

This article was written by our Co-Founder, Sarah Yeverovich & also published on Forbes.com

Some of our success at Empowered Staffing is due to operating in the SaaS/tech, digital marketing and e-commerce/retail industries, where most of our clients have a revenue stream that stems from an online platform. Because online sales and properly marketing your business online is so important, we have been able to help a lot of companies that want to start investing in their marketing efforts by growing their marketing teams.

I have worked with a lot of small to midsize businesses seeking marketing managers, directors of channel marketing, PPC/SEM specialists, email and CRM marketing leaders, analysts and more. The one major thing in common for all these companies is that they experienced a tremendous amount of growth once they had the right marketing team in place.

Step One: A Qualified Marketing Lead

A clear lesson we've seen proven time and time again is that it is extremely important to hire an expert in marketing who can learn the specifics of your company and help choose and deploy the best marketing strategies to get you the best ROI. The right recruit will also be able to help with identifying out which roles to hire internally and which roles to outsource to an agency.

 

It can be difficult to figure out what that first hire or role should look like when you are eager to start building an in-house marketing team. I see a lot of companies combining two or three separate roles into one when making early hires, which can turn off potential good candidates. Start by identifying the three must-have skill sets and create the job description around those key areas. First-timers can also search the title or key responsibilities of the position you are looking to fill and find similar openings online to get an idea of what your role should look like.

When vetting a lead marketing candidate, add these helpful questions to your interview process:

  1. How do you measure success/accountability from your team once a new marketing initiative has been put in place?
  2. What are some things that you noticed from our site/ online presence that you liked and some areas that we are lacking in? (This helps to see how much research the candidate has done on your company and gives you some insight on their initial ideas and way of thinking.)
  3. Tell me about a time where you came into a new position and drove success. Tell me about some challenges along the way and how you overcame them.
  4. When you took over marketing operations, where was revenue at and where did you take it to? (This follows up on the previous question and addresses ROI.)


Step Two: Mapping The Marketing Team

The first hire of an internal marketing department is usually the hardest, and there are so many factors that differ from company to company. This is why it's a good idea to confer with other departments and leadership to define the role based on your specific needs and company goals. After you onboard a marketing lead, it is much easier to make future hires, as this lead should be able to define the supporting roles and design a starting point. It is also a good idea to create a sample organizational chart of what you would like your marketing team to eventually look like to map out marketing leadership and staff.

When you are growing your marketing team, remember that one of the biggest challenges could be the pace of hiring and attracting the best talent.

If you find a candidate you love, do not wait to move forward in your interview process with that individual. In a perfect world, it is always nice to have a choice of candidates to compare before moving forward with a hire, but many marketing positions are hot right now. With this, the unemployment being low and the need for internal marketing teams on the rise, you should be quick to hire if you find a great fit. These candidates are being approached daily — even if they are not actively looking for a new opportunity. If they are interviewing with you, chances are they are interviewing with other companies as well and could get snatched up in a matter of days.

To attract the best talent, be sure include some information on your job description about why someone would want to work at your company. Share details of the culture, benefits and in general why your company is a great place to work. Some recruiters or hiring managers get scared by this, afraid to hire someone who is "all about the money" or benefits. But remember, that is not what is going on in most candidates' minds. When you sell your company by sharing this information, you attract individuals who are passively job-hunting. The more enticing and excited about the culture of your company you are, the more you can attract top talent.

Just like in school, a student with straight As will not necessarily be accepted into the top colleges — the student needs to set themselves above the other fierce competition. So too must a company put its best foot forward in attracting talent by creating — and promoting — a great culture and workplace.

The Management Struggle

 The Management Struggle

There are many publications on management and the many struggles managers face. For me I was on both the top performing employee and manager side and there is one struggle that I see very often and could lead to losing your top employee.

A manager has a lot to do in their day and most managers DO NOT want to micromanage. In ideal situations the employees would all be good, ethical, hard working individuals and the manager would just have to pat them on the back, talk strategy and have minimal meetings so each person under them can do their job effectively and efficiently. Unfortunately this is not the case, some individuals take advantage of great management and try to get away with doing little work, not following up when expected or letting things fall through the cracks. In this case, a manager has to put more focus on the individual who is slacking and has little time for their best/top performers.

This is a huge issue!

Managers should always be giving attention to the top performers, the ones who technically need very little management. Top performers love acknowledgment that they are doing a good job & appreciated. They want to feel like management is taking the time to meet with them and has an interest in their day to day activities. When you show your top performers love and attention, they work even harder as they know their good work is not going unnoticed. This retains your best employees because great workers love meaning in their role and a company that secures a long lasting future together. Like any strong relationship - nurturing is key.

Always make time for your top performing individuals as the ones who are slacking probably have a short term future in their position/with the company.

Some meeting ideas for top performers:

-Talk about growth and where they can be in 6 months, 1 year, 3 years plus if they continue down this path

-Ask what you can do for them or any areas they feel like they could use some mentoring or additional training

-Talk about their personal goals within the organization or what areas they would like to improve in/ get more results in and then take those metrics and put some rewards into the mix when the employee reaches his/her goals.

I understand that most managers have their own long list of responsibilities besides management but make your great employees your top priority and it will pay you back tremendously.

 

5 Strategies for Hiring Millennials

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5 Strategies for Hiring Millennials

Today, we need the best and the brightest. That young talent...those who question the way things are done. Those who create faster processes and are so technologically advanced it makes us question what we actually know…the Millennial.

Here are the five core strategies for hiring Millennials:

  1. Ensure Title/Responsibility Growth is to be expected for hard work and dedication and that they will not be in the same role 1-2 years down the line. Talk about how others in the role have grown and where they are today in the company.

  2. Company Culture is one of those things that you either have or don’t. If you don’t, work on it…right now! Everyone wants to work for the company that has crazy wall colors, employee outings, open door policy (Executives can be easily communicated with), free snacks/coffee, employee gamification and more. Millennials need to feel like they are joining a Google.

  3. Work/Life Balance & Flexibility…don’t worry, Millennials are hard workers. Sometimes they work so hard, they really just need some flexibility to feel they still have a social life. They need to feel like they can have a normal life outside of work. Telecommuting on certain days of the week for jobs such as design, development and the like are very normal. Remember, this generation was taught to “work to live” not “live to work”.

  4. Compensation is so important! Some companies are really trying to low ball salaries and it is getting harder and harder for them to hire the best talent. It is creating rotating door environments, especially in cold call/sales environments. If you want to give a lower salary, that is fine, just make sure the upside, bonus or commission opportunity allows for the individual to make a normal wage. Out of college $26,000 to $35,000 base salaries are normal for sales roles if the commission can allow them to double their income. Within Marketing, college grads are making $35,000 to $40,000 + bonus potential. Within Engineering, college grads are getting hired between $65,000 to $80,000. Every industry and role has their pay scale, do not fall below the norm. Given 3-5 years of experience, these individuals are making $20K-$50K per year from the starting wage. Often times Millenials will need to jump jobs in order to get the bump in salary. The goal is to keep the talent happy and on board. Typical 2%-4% yearly raises are not working to retain talent. Watch out the rising talent and compensate them, either with a commission or bonus structure. They deserve to be well compensated or else they will jump ship!

The Sell: You can have all the right things and offer amazing benefits, but if you don’t have someone really selling the opportunity to come and work for you, you wont be really getting the best talent. Those who are doing such a good job and are well taken care of, that they don’t even know about your opportunity since they are not actively on the job hunt. It is CRUCIAL to have an internal HR team dedicated to talent acquisition and well connected recruiting firm to constantly go out and find the best profiles and talent and actively pitch them on what you have to offer. How your company is presented and spoken about is very important – pay attention to your tone of voice, how excited and motivated you are to work for your company and share your opportunity in way that is intriguing. Never lie – but do not undersell and always put on you’re Sales hat, because recruiting is a sales job. If you can’t sell the opportunity of working at your company, you cannot be on the phone actively recruiting the best and brightest talent. Make sure your internal recruiter or HR Rep is the right person to be representing your company. You only get one chance to entice a potential candidate about a particular role... make that presentation count!

Do you really know how to interview candidates?

Do you really know how to interview candidates?

How stressful are interviews?

If you are thinking "really stressful" then you are the norm and if you are the one conducting the interview then you should remember this during your interview.

I have heard too many people write off amazing candidates in the first 5 minutes of the interview for things that should not be deal breakers. Interviews are stressful, let the candidate warm up to you before getting into the drilling questions.

To see someone's true colors, I suggest that the person conducting the interviews talk about their company and open position before the candidate has to open up about themselves. This allows the interviewee time to get comfortable and relax.

Instead of asking questions to drill the candidate, you will get a better sense of what they do and how they present themselves if you ask them "tell me about your career history from when you started until now." You will get a lot of information and get a good sense of the individual.
 

Some things to look for when you go over their career history:

-If they say "we" did... and not "I" did, that is not a good sign. You want people who can talk about the contributions they made to the company.

-Listen for accomplishments, review past goals/metrics, and a clear overview of what they have been doing with reasons for leaving a company. If they go over all of this without you asking for each detail at each position, that is a good sign.

-Remember not all people are sales people, if you are filling a more technical role with little people interaction then don't judge so harshly on social skills as it might not be as important in their role.

Some other things to look for during an interview:

-Sometimes it's the things people do not say that speaks louder than words. Be aware during your interview. Did the candidate shake your hand, are they chewing gum, flicking a pen, how are they dressed?

-Allow time for the candidate to ask you questions. Do not get thrown off by this, it means they did their research and are interested in the position and company.

- Did the candidate ask you if there were any concerns with them doing the job? If so great! They do this so they can address those concerns and this means they really want the position.

-See if they close for the next steps. If you are interviewing sales people, this is key, they should close you and this means they are also not afraid to ask for business.

Lastly, remember your opinion can change from the first time you meet someone to the second. Think about a friend who you might have not hit it off with at first but are now close with. If you are on the fence about someone it might be worth it to give them a second shot after reviewing more candidates. You don't want to write off a potential great person for your company!

My employee does a good job but has a bad attitude: What do I do?!?

My employee does a good job but has a bad attitude: What do I do?!?

One of the most hated and nerve racking things to do is to fire someone. Sometimes you can change habits of an employee that is not doing what needs to be done but sometimes you need to bite the bullet and let them go.

One of my long time clients said they had an employee that was doing their job but had no respect for the management team and was creating a bad culture in the office by having a negative attitude and speaking badly about the company with coworkers.

Even though someone might be good at their job, if they are disrespectful and create a negative vibe in the office this needs to be nipped in the butt right away.

Here are some steps on what to do:

1. Talk to them: Figure out what is going on and why they feel the way they do and try to make changes to help them feel better in the workplace.

2.  You also need to be upfront and let the employee know how important culture is and how negativity and disrespect is not tolerated in the office because it impacts other employees that do not feel the same way.

3. If you get to the root of the problem and both employer and employees are making changes for the better and the employee is more positive than great, you fixed the issue through open communication!

4. If the problem persists, you can give the individual another warning and if you don't see changes after that time it is best to let them go. Chances are they are probably looking for other opportunities anyways or are in the wrong job/industry and as hard as it is to let them go right now, it will be a lot better for your company and other employees.

Again getting rid of an employee should be the last option but culture and attitude in the office is so important for a company's growth and survival. If you have the open communication with the problem-employee and make changes where it is needed and you are still not seeing a change for the better you need to bite the bullet and part ways.

10 data Scientist interview questions job seekers can expect

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10 Data Scientist interview questions job seekers can expect

Daniel Miller was interviewed by By Alison DeNisco Rayome from Tech Republic. Check out her article below.

Demand for data scientists continues to grow, and the job market is hot for those with the right skillset.

Data science job candidates can expect a variety of technical questions and exercises that depend upon the position and the company. But outside of tech know-how, adequately describing your skills with communication, teamwork, and creative thinking is key.

"To assess if a candidate can be successful as a data scientist, I'm looking for a few things: baseline knowledge of the fundamentals, a capacity to think creatively and scientifically about real-world problems, exceptional communication about highly technical topics, and constant curiosity," said Kevin Safford, senior director of engineering at Umbel.

Demonstrating that you have a strong understanding of the business at hand and how data can be used to reach business goals will also set you apart.

"In addition to many technical questions—knowing your algorithms, knowing your math—a great data scientist must know the business and be able to bring strong ideas to the table," said Rick Saporta, head of data science at Vydia. "When hiring, I would rather have one creative data scientist who has a strong understanding of our business, than a whole team of machine learning experts who will be in a constant 'R&D' mode."

Here are 10 questions that you might be asked during an interview for a data science job, from a number of people currently working in the field.

  1. Describe a personal or professional project in detail.
  2. Tell me about a time you had to work with someone who is not data-savvy on a data science project.
  3. Tell me about a time you had to work with very messy data.
  4. Tell me about the most complicated data project you have worked on, and what you were able to do in order to achieve success.
  5. What are your favorite data science tools and techniques?
  6. How do you generate results when you don't have enough data or your data is corrupt?
  7. Tell me where you think data science is heading—both in the short term, and in the long term.
  8. Can you outline your process for diving into data and sharing findings with the broader team?
  9. What is the size of the biggest dataset you have built models on?
  10. Tell me about the most unique insight derived from a data set that you compiled.

These questions were contributed by:

  1. Kevin Safford, senior director of engineering, Umbel
  2. Kjell Carlsson, analyst, Forrester
  3. Daniel Miller, vice president of recruiting, Empowered Staffing
  4. Niranjan Krishnan, head of data science and innovation, Tiger Analytics
  5. Chad Stoecker, leader of managed services, GE Digital
  6. Rolf Olsen, chief data officer, Mindshare

What to do in the first 30, 60, 90 days with a new Employee

What to do in the first 30, 60, 90 days with a new Employee.

The highest turnover time is in the first two months of hiring an employee. The first couple months with a new employee are key in determining their long term success with a company. You want to make sure you are there for your new hire as much as possible, which is why the best time to hire a new employee is during a slow time where you can really take the time to mentor and train them. It is hard enough coming to a new company, learning new systems, getting acquainted with new people and learning the company's way of doing things. This becomes so much worse if the new employee is thrown into the weeds of things without a hands-on trainer or manager really showing them the ropes the first couple months.

 

Employers, it is crucial that you have the time for your new employee after hiring them. Here are some ideas to implement to ensure success:

 

  1. Have weekly meetings to see how they are doing. Measure progress and set expectations for them to work up to each week.

  2. If they do something wrong, come to them right away and address the issue so it does not happen again. Remember new company, new way of doing things, you can not reprimand, if the employee did not know the correct way of doing something or even worse if they make a mistake and nothing is said.

  3. Get them emerged with other employees; have a group lunch, happy hours, or something that they can do with the team the first month. This creates a good culture and gets them a little more comfortable with the current team.

  4. Praise them for performance! If they think outside the box, make a great suggestion, stay after hours...let them know you notice these things. This goes a long way and they will want to go above and beyond again. Everyone likes to be noticed for the great things they do!

 

If you are a hands on manager in the beginning and take the time to care for and groom your employees into what you want them to be, then you do not have to be a micro-manager in the future! This will ultimately save you time and money :)

The Internet of Things is Changing the Entire Production and Supply Chain

The Internet of Things is Changing the Entire Production and Supply Chain

Daniel Miller was interviewed by Adam C. Uzialko at Business News Daily. 

The manufacturing industry is undergoing a dramatic shift centered around new technologies that offer the promise of greater efficiency, speed and higher quality. A central component of this shift toward Industry 4.0 is the internet of things (IoT), which serves as the frontline of data capture in the modern factory. What's more, this datacentric focus extends well beyond the shop floor; the entire supply chain is coming under the watchful eye of IoT-enabled devices.

What is IoT?
IoT broadly refers to a network of devices and sensors capable of capturing and communicating data with one another. The sensors in the system enable the collection of granular data, for example, from assets like machinery – energy consumption, heat levels, uptime/downtime – or the tracking of goods in transit.

"When it comes to supply and production, having internet-enabled production lines provides a direct line of information about the current supply and demand of any given product," said Robyn Edgar of the mobile software developer Hifyre. "It allows manufacturers to fine-tune their process by tapping into data-driven strategies." 

Oftentimes, this data is made actionable by artificial intelligence. Machine learning algorithms comb through the collected data for anomalies to flag and returns notifications and recommendations to human decision-makers. Organization-wide data can also be transmitted to any mixed reality devices employees might be using, whether on the factory floor or in the warehouses.

IoT in the production process
The data capture enabled by IoT primarily drives greater overall efficiency by helping to optimize each phase of the production process. Whether it's general day-to-day operations, the health of machinery, or reducing energy consumption, information collected by IoT devices supports better decision-making and quick alerts when something is going wrong.

"There are certain limitations on the production capability of every manufacturing unit, but industries are continuously looking for growth and efficiency, which can be achieved by the implementation of IoT in the manufacturing facility," said Pankaj Kumar Raushan, lead analyst of smart manufacturing at MarketsandMarkets. "IoT helps in collecting all the relevant data from the very core of the machines, which further can be analyzed to find any gray areas in the system or any scope of improvement."

A major benefit of the bird's-eye view offered by IoT is preventative or predictive maintenance. For instance, when a machine uses excessive energy, overheats or begins severely vibrating, management can see this data and perform maintenance before a critical failure occurs.

IoT implementation also promises smart energy management. This type of system can identify waste and opportunities for improvement, reducing energy expenses and boosting efficiency in the production process.

"IoT can be implemented within the actual manufacturing equipment to create more efficient processes, [and] it will allow downloading updates to upgrade machinery on demand," said Daniel Miller, a tech and manufacturing recruiting specialist at Empowered Staffing. "We will see a realm of tech production that will be more efficient then we have ever seen before. [IoT] will create many wins for a multitude of manufacturing, construction, farming and technology sectors."

IoT-powered supply chains
IoT doesn't end at the manufacturing plant. The network of data capture and analysis can span the entire supply chain, from resource procurement through product refinement and tracking to notifying end users when a product needs maintenance or replacement.

Samantha Radocchia, co-founder and CMO of Chronicled, envisions a unified system where these oft-disparate parts of the process come together leveraging IoT and blockchain. One project Chronicled is working on with Responsible Gold aims to track gold production "from the mine to the vault."

"You can envision a world with more automated supply chain processes, using many sensors working together to trigger these events," Radocchia said. "For the first step, raw gold from the mine is placed in the container, which is sealed with a microchip. At that point, it's registered with a mobile device … and then at every point where it changes hand, every sensor is another signature."

Using blockchain enables more than just simple tracking, Radocchia said. Automatic triggers include transfer of custody and even release of payments in escrow accounts once products reach their intended destination.

When that destination is the final consumer, whether a business or an individual, IoT still has a role to play. For consumable products, companies can alert their customers when maintenance or replacement is needed, or even monitor for anomalies or problems.

"In the era of industrial IoT, exchange of information between supply chain and production is in real time," Kumar Raushan said. "For example … integration [of asset tracking] with IoT technologies will help in gathering a deeper level of information and probably alert the operator of areas of concern.

Integrating IoT with supply chain also helps in accurately determining the exact location and condition of the product, which helps in precise production planning, Kumar Raushan said. However, integration is only implemented in bits and pieces at this point, since it involves lots of infrastructure changes and cost.

Challenges and barriers
The cost of true, full scale IoT implementation is a major barrier to mass adoption. While companies are already starting to implement IoT systems, many are incomplete and will take some time to grow to the level of a truly comprehensive system. Still, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC), total IoT investment topped $800 billion in 2017, and the research organization anticipates growth eclipsing $1.4 trillion by 2021. However, as is often the case with emerging technologies, the cost of sensors is falling over time, making IoT a more accessible technology.

Another major barrier are "data silos." In short, this means a lack of interoperability, either due to technical challenges or an unwillingness on the part of companies to work together. Radocchia said combining IoT with blockchain can change this, without the need for companies to expose their proprietary information to one another.

"The challenge is most of that data is siloed," she said. "There's one sensor tracking packages, one tracking temperature, one verifying packages entering the warehouse; none of these devices are really able to talk to each other unless there's a direct integration through API. Without that central backbone, it's a challenge to see the world and supply chains work as efficiently as they could."

And finally, there's the elephant in the room: security. The IoT, by its very nature, means more devices connected to a network, offering potential attackers more entry points and increasing attack vectors. There's a lot manufacturers of IoT devices can do to improve the security situation, but maintaining best practices and establishing firm policies around security remains the responsibility of the company implementing the system.

Hiring...should it be filled in house or by an agency?

Hiring...should it be filled in house or by an agency?

You might be shocked to hear this from an owner of a recruiting firm but here it goes...NOT ALL ROLES SHOULD BE FARMED OUT TO RECRUITING FIRMS.

One of the most common questions I get when speaking with my clients is why can't we find the talent you find for us? My answer is simple, time & resources! All a recruiting firm does is recruit, we are constantly speaking to candidates that could fill various roles and we are referred by candidates to passively seeking top talent that usually do not apply to positions online. We have time to actively recruit because that is all we do! It is not about putting up a job posting or sending a message and seeing what sticks; it is about networking, making calls, and doing research to hunt and find the best talent for each client.

Our clients, unlike us, have many other tasks and hiring is usually just one drop in their big buckets which makes it way more complicated to make a hire.

Having said all of that, it does not mean that some jobs should be farmed out right away to a firm. For most companies, every dollar counts and chances are you will need to use recruiters for those "hard to fill", executive level, hyper growth mode positions...so save your dollars for those roles and try these tips when you are trying to fill roles internally.

-Be on the look out everyday for top talent. Whether you are sitting in a coffee shop or going to a networking event be on the lookout and approach people you think would be a good fit for your company. You are probably thinking, this is nuts, I am not going to go up to a stranger in Starbucks and promote my company. You are wrong, you should be doing this! If you see someone who sticks out, who is put together, conducts themselves in a way you like, during an appropriate time, go up to them, introduce yourself and hand them your business card. Tell them they really stuck out to you and although they might not be looking now, you would love to hear what they do as you never know what opportunities your company could have in the next couple months AND that could match what they do! Remember, sometimes the right personality can learn the hard skills needed for the job.

-Check your Facebook, LinkedIn and any other social media sites for connections and reach out to them. Recruiting is about being proactive and hunting down what you are looking for, not waiting around to see what mediocre people come your way through a job posting.

-Speak at events and let everyone know what you do and about your company. Try and go to 2 events each quarter (networking, events around your personal hobbies or interest...). Meet new people and promote yourself and your company. The more you get out there the more people you will meet.

-Take a chance on fresh talent. Go to a top college in your area and recruit interns that have the potential of staying with your company long term.

-Give your employees a referral fee and start the recruiting process with your own top talent. Good people stick together. If you have an all star employee, ask that person if they know anyone for the role you are trying to fill. This will possibly not only land you another talented individual but you can praise your current employee by wanting to hire another individual with the same work ethics and drive!

Key Questions Recruiters ask Hiring Managers Beyond... "What are you looking for"?

Key Questions Recruiters ask Hiring Managers Beyond... "What are you looking for"?

Our client relationships are about trust and creating long term relationships. When we take on a new client, we feel as though we are part of their internal team and like to understand all the ins and outs of their company, culture, long and short term goals, and everything around their current hiring process and needs.

There is a lot a strong recruiting firm truly needs to discuss with a client before filling a role and here are some key questions to ask during a discovery meeting with a client that are sometimes overlooked:

-What big initiatives are you working on over the next year?

-Have you hired for this position before? If so tell me about that.

-What does your hiring process look like?

-What is your turnaround like on a candidate we submit to you?

-Are you happy with the office culture? Are there things you are looking to change?

-What would you like to see in x department over the next year?

-What are key traits you look for in a candidate besides what is on the JD?

In addition to the typical questions asked by recruiting firms, the above questions give recruiters deeper insight on the overall company goals and what they are trying to accomplish with the hires.

eCommerce & SaaS Hyper-Growth – Roles you need to hire in-house ASAP!

eCommerce & SaaS Hypergrowth - Roles you need to hire in-house ASAP!

After working in eCommerce/SAAS environments both as an in house recruiter and agency recruiter, I have seen a lot. I have seen failure and success, and I attribute it 100% to hiring strategies. So you have an amazing technology or products for sale…now it’s time to hire the infrastructure to make your organization grow and scale to that next level!

#1 is MARKETING: At one eCommerce company, I saw tremendous growth when I hired an ex-President of one of the stronger ad agencies to come on board as a CMO. We obviously, as a startup, could not afford a typical CMO salary, so we were able to put together an equity, bonus and compensation package that intrigued the move. This CMO changed the nature of our marketing strategy which enabled crazy growth. A Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) is a crucial hire and needs to be focused on almost immediately. Allow the CMO to invest in PPC, eMail & CRM, SEO & Social strategies. This is very important.

*Trick to hire these people: Taking them out of ad agency settings is always ideal. They are usually paid less then brand side at the agency and really have a desire to get to brand side too. A lot of agency candidates are highly motivated to get into a start up too!

#2 is SALES: First start by hiring a very strong Sales Manager that has a mentor type personality. Someone who understands KPI’s, CRM, sales strategy and is very hands on. Someone who is not afraid to jump on calls and can teach the “close”. Do not hire the aggressive intense, red face sales guru - the decline in morale and culture is soon to come when these guys are on board.

Everyone wants a cold calling inside sales team. Especially in the beginning, to draw in revenue ASAP. We target people willing to make next to nothing with a crazy strong commission program and promises of grandeur to increase output. This model creates high turnover and sometimes can hurt the culture of your company almost immediately. The most ideal situation to make this work is to turn on lead generation marketing efforts and get your sales reps to start closing on leads vs making 100% cold calls. Make sure to have a CRM in place, goals, scripts and contact data. Without this, Sales Reps will not be efficient or successful.

*Trick to hire: Hire Sales reps by doing college campus recruiting. It’s a great place to find amazing talent that is not discovered yet. Save on recruiting fees and just hire a mentor type manager who will teach grads to do sales. Don’t just hire someone that was already in sales, paid a $28k/$30K base salary and is looking to leave due to XY&Z or else they will be looking to leave you too.

#3 TECHNOLOGY: I sometimes think of this as #1, since without the right tech in place, your company probably cannot even exist. I list it as #3 since most companies founders in eCommerce start by hiring a company to create the technology, application or website and then focus on building a company around it. I think hiring an in house CTO who has a strong hands on development background is crucial for any SAAS or eCommerce organization. You need someone that understands the code and really can figure out if your development and tech teams are doing it right. Too many times CTO’s are hired without a coding and development background, which can be a huge problem if you don’t have a strong internal development and coding team already in place. A lot of co-founders are the technology backbone of the company, so make sure to build a team of developers and analysts under you to ensure your scaling your company’s technology.  Hire individuals coming from big companies who are looking for a more entrepreneurial setting, I find these tech gurus to be the best and most motivated.

*Tech candidates make a lot of money. Before you go and hire a developer, figure out exactly the experience you need and understand that anyone working at a big company in a development role will probably be looking for $80K-$100K+ to move. If this is out of budget, hire someone 1-2 years out of college, with 6 months or so of eCommerce/SAAS experience… they will be closer to the $60K-$70K salary range.

#4 OPERATIONS:  A Strong Admin or Operations Manager can make your life so much easier. You have to do payroll, pay invoices, inventory, clean the office, get food for the sales floor, plan events, etc. etc. etc. There are too many odd ball things to do in a day, and without a solid operations team, you will go insane. Make sure to start off with a right hand “man” so to speak. Hire a high level Admin who can really handle an operations type job. These people will make your office run very smooth.

*Hire individuals that are coming from very stressful, fast paced situations. They will be able to handle the crazy growth that happens in a start up office and not get freaked out when the work load doubles as your company grows. Candidates coming from light industrial, distribution, logistics, law firms and the like are great to hire. They can handle crazy insane situations as if it were an everyday normal occasion. Do not be afraid to hire older operational people – I personally think they are the best, both in admin and operation management roles.

#5 PRODUCT MANAGEMENT: This is my favorite hire. I love hiring individuals who are in charge of merchandise (in settings of eCommerce merchandising) or technology (SAAS environment). These people are smart, operationally savvy, understand marketing, sales, technology, software and systems and is able to tie all the layers together. They are great with customers, understand strategy and really are the people that make your client and customer support team look good.

*The Trick to hire: Make sure to hire individuals who are already working with a product or technology similar to yours, so the learning curve is minimal. These roles need to be individuals who understand your product or technology so well that they are the smartest person in the room when it comes to your product. These hires take time, but are well worth it.

All of the above hires are crucial, and yes there are other roles, but focusing on these 5 areas can take your company to a whole new level. Make sure to you have someone in place that can focus on interviewing and dedicating time to recruitment. Without Human Capital, companies would not exist. For any hard to find hire, make sure to use a contingency recruiting firm. If you want to hire the best or compare the applications you have to others, it is ideal to have a recruiter making cold calls and presenting your company and opportunity to the best talent already in a job doing exactly what you need to be done. Posting a job ad and hoping to god that applicants will flood in, just isn’t smart. We need to be proactive in every element of building a company - recruiting needs to be a focus at all times.

 

The Perfect Interview Process Timeline - 5 TIPS

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The Perfect Interview Process Timeline - 5 TIPS

The perfect interview process really depends on the role and the complexity of the position. In the eCommerce,  SaaS & Digital Marketing world, among many other industries, the interview process is crucial for success! I like to base the timeline to hire off of salary/level of role. For roles that pay under $40,000 per year, hiring processes should be about 1-2 weeks. For roles that are $40K-100K, ideally 2-3 weeks. $100K+ roles, typically 3-6 weeks. Here are 5 tips:

  1. Some candidates who are more passive in the job search, make sure not to scare them off with trying to interview and hire within a week. This can be a huge red flag in the candidate’s mind.

  2. Make sure to check references after the first in person interview if there is interest. Reference checking can clear many of our concerns fairly quickly.

  3. “A strong candidate that has the desirable skill set is like an ice sculpture in 90 degree weather”, Brian Binke, one of the largest managers in construction recruitment nationwide. If you wait too long, they will melt away- because another company will hire them or they will lose interest in a company that is stalling when they know how solid their experience is.

  4. Make sure to understand salary expectations and figure out where the candidate is in the interview process with other companies. You may lose out on a candidate if they get hired before you finish your process. Candidate transparency is key.

  5. Make sure Managers allow time throughout the week to interview. The biggest pain is scheduling! We need managers to really work around the candidates schedule, since most top candidates are currently employed and really need managers to be flexible so they can actually interview without the candidate's current employer being suspicious.

5 Tough Questions to Ask Candidates

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5 Tough Questions to Ask Candidates

Asking the tough questions produces the best candidates at the end of the interview process. Don’t be in fear of asking the hard questions. Its all about your company and hiring the best; a bad hire could cost too much of a loss culturally, monetarily as well as emotionally.

  1. Is it about the effort or the result? Those who focus on the effort, are not looking for results and are thereby, more interested to show someone they can do everything under the sun but when it comes to results, its NOT their fault if they cant produce…since they are doing X,Y and Z. We need result oriented individuals.

  2. How would you describe the Sun to a Blind Person? This question really helps with understanding the candidate’s creativity, communication and putting the candidate on the “spot” to see how they think on their toes.

  3. Accomplishments? They have been working for 3-5 years and they cant list a real solid accomplishment? Hmmm….well, I think its safe to say you don’t just need someone with a pulse, rather someone that can actually make things more efficient, create new streams of revenue, has the ability to be promoted quickly due to taking on more responsibilities, etc. Don’t ever settle for someone that is just average, hire the smartest & best and surround your organization with talent that makes a difference.

  4. Digging into reasons for leaving: If you are hiring a Sales Rep who bounced jobs every 1-2 years, figure out the why. Dig in…don’t take the answer “ mutual decision” and “layoff”, figure out what happened. There was a layoff? What happened internally with the company, was there a financial problem? Howe many others got laid off? Was it just that candidate in a large 500+ employee company? Hmmmm…….be smart and really search for the true answers. Ask if they would get a positive reference from their former manager. How many times have we hired the job jumper and we now clearly see the reason why they never worked out…don’t be fooled by simplistic candidate answers!

Why are you looking to make a change? Everyone is going to tell you, “for growth”. But sometimes it just doesn’t make sense. If a receptionist applies to a receptionist role, how much growth is there actually going to be. We need to expand on it and really figure out the true reason for these individuals to be looking. Sometimes we all waste our time interviewing candidates who get to the end of the interview process and decide not to leave their current employer since they are actually happy and this role is just a “lateral move”. What happened? What is really the true reason for these people to go on an interview in the first place!? Figure out where they are compensation wise and where they need to be, align where they see themselves in 5 years with this potential role. Really make sure it all makes sense, because if it doesn’t, I can guarantee you, these candidates will decline the offer, take the job and leave, or take the job and you realize they are bad at what they do and that is why they decided to leave their former role thinking the same role will actually be different in a new company.

4 tricks for Recruiting the non-job-jumpers!

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4 tricks for Recruiting the non-job-jumpers!

We need to constantly hire the best talent, and usually these talented individuals are not the most active job seekers, which makes it tricky to “hunt” them for your open position. If an employee is doing a kick butt job, and is compensated well for it, why would they ever leave? Here are four key things to consider when going after the stable professional, those who have been with their company for 7,8,9 or 10+ years….

  1. Understand who they are: They get recruiter calls all the time, so if you are preparing to email or call a potential candidate, make sure you really look into their resume and profile, see what they have done and get a feel for their career path. These individuals will only switch jobs if it makes 110% sense to do so. They need to feel confident you understand the industry, their resume and what the right next step in a job would be.

  2. Pay Increases: These individuals who have been stable are usually people that are paid very well  or on the rare occasion severely underpaid but unbeknownst to them since they are so out of touch with the job market and what others are paid due to them being happy and not actively interviewing in years. Pay will play a big role in defining a job jump for them. If a candidate is making $100K now and you offer $120K, that extra $20K + the potential bonus you are offering, can really be enticing. Do not offer these individuals roles at the same level with the same pay they are at now…who wants to leave a stable situation for an unknown at the same pay!

  3. Sell the Opportunity: Do not hold back…once these individuals are on the phone, they need to feel like everything aligns. You need to sell the opportunity…. Differentiators about your company, your success stories, the ability to grow, the benefits, work/life balance, culture, executive team, management style, etc. You need to make it seem like it would be insane not to interview for this potential role.  Have this spiel planned out and ready to go. Do not forgot what message you are trying to create about the company. Type it out and bullet point it – this will be crucial, as we only have one chance to sell a candidate on the opportunity. Although you will have screening questions to ask to really make sure they fit what you are looking to hire, there needs to be a balance throughout the whole interview process of screening and selling the candidate on the job.

  4. Take it SLOW! These candidates are not in a rush and if they feel rushed to make a decision they will back out. Make sure to check in with the candidates throughout the process and make sure they are comfortable and excited to move forward. Take time and do not rush the interview process where they need to make a decision within 1 week of the first interview. Allow the interview process to take about 2.5-3 weeks, so the candidates feel like they have time to really come to a decision. If you make them feel rushed, they will think the opportunity is either unstable or being forced upon them.  Really act as their hand holding HR partner throughout the process so they feel taken care of.

 

Empowered Staffing's Recruiting Expertise

Empowered Staffing

Empowered Staffing's Recruiting Expertise

Empowered Staffing connects the fastest growing companies within the digital marketing, eCommerce, SaaS/Tech, manufacturing & healthcare space with the top talent they need! We are committed to finding new and creative ways to attracting the best talent to fit your needs!

The success of your company is all about the people you hire. Empowered staffing finds the talent that not only has the skill set but fits the environment and culture of your organization.

We focus on what our clients want in a candidate and only send them the talent that matches their criteria.

We have worked with some of the biggest names in the digital advertising space along with huge retailers, eCommerce & SaaS/Tech companies. Our clients range from 10-1000 plus people and VC backed startups as well. A lot of our clients have been with us since the beginning because they know we get them the results they need in their most crucial times.  It is our priority to create long lasting partnerships with our clients by giving them the personal attention they deserve!

  • Empowered Staffing focuses on contingency recruiting

  • We work with VC funded Startups to Fortune 1000's

  • 95% of our clients have come back after the first time they worked with us for their hiring needs

  • We have placed over $50 million dollars in salaries in the last three years