Why You Should Hire the Unqualified

Hunger Trumps Years of Mediocre Experience

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How do you hire well today? As disciplines integrate, agencies grow more nimble, and roles merge, it's becoming clear that you no longer have to hire for specific skills, but rather for brains and fire.

Marc Brownstein Marc Brownstein
Allow me to explain: Smart people can learn new roles quickly. Isn't it better to hire a smart, eager candidate than to hire someone with 10 years of experience in, say, account management, but zero years of doing it superbly well?

Other roles in the agency business are changing, too, broadening the definition of "qualifications." For instance, a traffic manager is now a hybrid at more progressive shops. It's part junior account executive, part traffic mananger, part production person. These days, he's often called a project manager, or producer. Point is, do you have to hire someone with those specific skills, or just someone who's bright, has excellent organizational skills, and is an effective communicator?

Looking at new agency roles this way, we can bring more talent into our industry, and be less reliant on finding the perfect candidate with exact experiences and industry skill sets.

Same applies to senior-level hires. What qualifies someone to be a strategic planner, publicist, head of client services or a senior copywriter? I believe it's fire in the belly. Brains. And the ability to compete and win. At least that's what I look for. Makes job searches a lot more compelling, and brings unexpected talent into your agency.
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