One of the wonderful things about running my company is building and managing a successful team…but wait, is it always great? No, but like everything else, I have learned a thing or two over the years and refined our communication and work flow processes so now whether we are doing projects for present clients or have a new client coming on board, we are a well-oiled machine as they say. Here are a few tips for hiring and managing your dream team:
- When someone comes to Creative Concepts looking for a position, I always take the time to read their resumes and consider their background. Most of my present day team came to Creative Concepts this way. Hiring someone who has investigated your company and already knows they want to work there is half the battle.
- When interviewing a potential hire, I do what everyone does and ask about their background and what they want to do, but I also ask if they didn’t have a care in the world, what would be their most perfect job? Answers I have gotten have ranged from writing to running their own PR firm which said to me that they fit into Creative Concepts but when one person said horseback riding, I wished her luck with her job search and said no thank you because I really do feel everyone should follow their passion and do what they love whether they work for me or not (and sorry, no horseback riding at this social media agency). I did have one person submit her resume multiple times for a business development position…she didn’t understand that to sell social media services you have to have an online presence and understand at least the basics….she walked away mad but am I hoping she has found the perfect position that is more suited for her background.
- Once people come on board, I touch base with them often even if they are directly reporting to someone else within Creative Concepts. I ask how things are going, ask what they like and what isn’t working for them. Hearing their feedback allows me to learn if our process is generally working, but it also helps me to know if they will stick around which is important to know quickly because training takes time and money. I also take these opportunities to learn more about them overall which helps me to understand their future path within Creative Concepts. Writers, for example, all don’t head in the same direction internally. We have one writer who has evolved into a client services role and another who is now Editor of all client content. The fact that they are both doing what they love enables longevity within our firm.
- When we have new client work, those who have been with us the longest don’t get first dibbs on the work as it is given out to the people who best fit the client. Seniority should never compromise our clients. If everyone on my team is doing what they love for clients they can relate to, it actually saves money and the clients are excited by the work we produce.
- I believe in total flexibility as a manager. I have a lot of moms who work for me which, as a category, is an untapped market still to this day. These moms have different needs in their schedules based on what happens at home so if anyone on the team doesn’t have a client facing position, and they get their work done by the end of the day well in advance of deadlines and its high quality, then I don’t care about the how, when and where. We have multiple communication tools that help us to stay on top of our work whether someone is in their car heading to a football game at 4pm or sitting in front of the computer in the office at 6am so it all works: clients, team and I are all happy!
- As per mistakes? Everyone makes them! I only bring on great people who take pride in their work so if a mistake is made, I am usually the calmer one between us. I believe all mistakes can be fixed either with time or making a simple correction so as long as people learn from every issue, then I am good (if they don’t learn, then that is another case entirely).
- Because social media is ever evolving, I am very happy messing around with every new social network and every new approach but many on the team aren’t like me so I take the time to push them individually and drive them to learn and expand their approaches to their work. At the end of the day, this makes most of the team happy and those who aren’t know to leave and find a slower unchanging environment. Everything always works out in the end.
- And if you hire smart creative people, you have to allow them to do what they do best. Once I trust they know the client and the goals, I always leave the work in their hands so they can do what I hired them for. It saves me time and shows how much I respect them which I believe is motivating.
- Hiring ethical people who can be trusted is essential to every business so this isn’t necessarily the last item, it should just go without saying.
Every company is different of course and every manager has a different style so it can be hard to make magic happen every day but as long as you, the manager and leader, listen, respect, educate and appreciate those who work for you, you are off to a great start.
Valorie Luther, Founder Creative Concepts, follow me @CreativeConsult