Well I say that, in actual fact I have recruited two people into the Head of Product roles from within our agency group, NASA did not really come into it, although I am sure some people would claim it! It is something I am asked all the time – where do you recruit from? What type of people should we hire? Will my Head of adserving do?
One thing I am sure about is that I fear the return to the days of when search took off and they became a hugely overpaid, under experienced, high churn group of individuals, around 2005 it was a merry-go-round of people in the search teams with each agency ignoring their best search strategies and allowing us all to bid up the price endlessly. It was partly this factor that led to search teams not being as efficient as they could have been since staff costs got out of hand. There is a danger of us returning to those days within the exchange space, but at the same time I believe we have more choice, on the basis you are a little more open minded.
As I said at the top a common question is what type of people do you employ, I struggle to answer that. Looking round the team we have people from adserving, mobile DSPs, agency, Data, and so on, so yes of course they all have some common DNA but that is not the key. Curiosity is the key, the desire to want to learn, to want to look under the bonnet and see what is happening and to do it all the time not once a month. Everyone in the team has that, and in my opinion that makes them different from the majority. Too many digital planner buyers have become a little too process driven and not inquisitive enough. They are not questioning the numbers, they are not trying to work out a different way, or challenge a target, too much is paper pushing and and that is why the new generation of people, as much tech as media are different BUT because you work with tech does not make you an immediate candidate.
When I interview I want to see passion and interest, I want to see a history of someone who likes the ecosystem and has been reading about it before they even got the job, I want them to know all about the space, without really knowing all about it because the one thing they lack is working experience. Come in and challenge us, come in and want to understand more. We don’t mind what your background is, just show us that you don’t just want a job in this new space because you think you should.
I have seen some really good candidates, often those who are actually working in competing trading desks, we have never employed one. Too many of them looked like they fell into it rather than wanted it. So for those starting to recruit the interview recipe to grow a team is curiosity plus desire sprinkled with a big dollop of instinct (perhaps the key ingredient at the end of it all).
Audience One Demand is always happy to receive CVs and always on the look out if you want to fire them over.