- Thinking analytically
- Achievement oriented
- Tolerance for ambiguity
- Owning mistakes
Read on for more details about what we look for when hiring at (un)Common Logic.
Who We Are and What We’re Looking ForOver the years I have had the opportunity to work with some amazing people at (un)Common Logic. Folks such as Barbara Cavness, Donna Lagow, Brandon Jones, Josh Cuttill, Annie Duke, and many others are not only digital marketing experts, but wonderful humans to boot.
Like all marketing agencies, we are always “blessed” with one of two problems: 1) the need for more clients or 2) the need for more teammates. When we first began the company, we focused on finding clients. As we’ve grown, our agency has reached a size and reputation such that we are more often faced with the challenge of finding, hiring, and retaining top quality talent (which is especially challenging in a city like Austin).
Over the past few months, I’ve had the opportunity to “dive in” on this problem. Through this process, I am reminded again and again of this important adage: “Hire the person, not the skillset.” For us at (un)Common Logic, that means a person with the characteristics that fit into our culture. Don’t get me wrong, if we can find a “right person” SEO hire with deep SEO knowledge, all the better. However, I would much rather find a “best athlete” who is a rock-solid fit than a “good enough” fit with deep experience.
Over time, we have found that the people who thrive at (un)Common Logic all share the following traits:
- Think analytically. I care more about knowing that someone thinks analytically and can use data to solve problems than I do about specific skillsets. Being able to consume a dataset, identify trends, and figure out actions to take are core to just about anything in digital marketing. We can teach someone the specifics on how to adjust bids or set up targeting. But if they don’t love the data that underlies everything, they will not succeed.
- Achievement oriented. If you don’t like to keep score, don’t become a digital marketer. You can see this in the composition of our team. (un)Common Logic has former college athletes, competitive ballroom dancers, marathon runners, Yu-Gi-Oh tournament competitors, among others. One of my favorite people at (un)Common Logic has a secret nickname of “the Disney princess” because she is so bubbly and kind. You would never guess that she is also one of the most competitive people I know who is driven to win for her clients and our agency every single time.
- Tolerance for ambiguity. Each day is different, and each problem is unique. Folks who need consistency and stability at the DNA-level of their jobs are not a good fit for agency life. Those who thrive here think more like Captain Kirk in Star Trek:
“You know the greatest danger facing us is ourselves, an irrational fear of the unknown. There is no such thing as the unknown. Only things temporarily hidden, temporarily not understood.”
- Willing to own their mistakes. I love the story of Tom Watson Sr., the former CEO of IBM. One of his sales reps lost a big deal which the company had counted on for growth. The rep, after explaining the reasons why they had lost the deal, handed in their resignation. Watson handed the resignation back to them and asked, “Why would I accept this when I just invested $1m in your education?”
We all make mistakes. The question is: what do you do about it?
- Do you own it?
- Do you care enough about making a mistake for it to bother you?
- What do you learn from it?
- How do you use it to make you better?
Those who can’t quickly and directly answer these questions are not a fit for our agency.
- Ability to persevere. One of my favorite hiring stories involves a candidate who applied for a job with the (un)Common Logic team 10 years ago. His job application was unremarkable (he had almost no work experience), but his cover letter happened to catch my eye. His letter began with the line, “Digital marketing is a like a tomato…” and went on to make the connection between a tomato and digital marketing.
I am so excited about the future of (un)Common Logic and the growth we are seeing. To continue our trajectory, we need to find the next generation of Barbara’s, Donna’s, and Brandon’s. To do so, we will continue to A/B test and improve our hiring process, knowing that we will continue to be successful if we hire those future leaders who are the “right fit” for our company.
Do you know anyone who thinks analytically, is achievement oriented, has a tolerance for ambiguity, owns their mistakes, and is perseverant? We would love to talk to them regardless of their digital marketing experience. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.