Sometimes, You Just Get Lucky

Sometimes, the Best Talent Finds You

By Published on .

Doug Zanger Doug Zanger
As our company grows, we have to address plenty of issues, not the least of which is who we choose to partner with. We're very small and our model at this point is based on a few key people with freelancers and interns peppered around. So far, it seems to be working well. However, as we take the next step in our evolution, it's clear that we need to think a little more seriously about who we put in the game and what their roles will be. Though it can be a challenge to find good people, sometimes you just get lucky and find someone like Emily.

Emily came to us out of the blue. A graduate of the Art Institute of Atlanta, Emily has a degree in audio engineering and experience from one of my favorite stations in the country, CBS's DaveFM. What stood out to me first was her attitude. She completely and fully understands what we're hoping to achieve and she feels that she can be a major contributor. She did a few smaller tasks at the beginning, but I then threw her to the wolves with a complex multi-market project. It was perfect. She completed everything way before the deadline, crafted the audio beautifully and was immaculately organized.

There is some good talent out there. However, the best talent in the world won't work at all if they run counter to your goals and, most importantly, your beliefs and philosophy. We've cycled through some talent who looked great on paper but didn't exactly fit. Admittedly, our business is a little different and difficult to get a handle on at times, so we expect to flop a few times before we find the right blend of talent to see it all through.

One thing I noticed is that our staffing philosophy and direction may have to change. I thought that certain support pieces had to be in place to start 2009, but we're rethinking that in light of the tremendous talent we've been so fortunate to find. Since we're so audio-centric, Emily will become a key piece of our foundation. We're obviously going to continue to need support in other areas, but this may shift our focus a little bit and escalate our ability to deliver a wider range of audio and content options for clients.

As a small agency, it's just nice to be able to take things off a very large list that seems to grow daily as the industry and market changes. I'm finding that it takes equal amounts of trust and the discipline of letting go a little. By putting faith into some key people, it allows us to focus on the things that matter most for our growth. The bottom line is that evolving an agency is very hard work and you need as many good people as you can get.

Luck doesn't hurt either.
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