When a marketing agency has a strong company culture and wants to hire people who will stay and grow with company you must weigh character before competence.
Skills can always be learned and improved. As a marketing agency you are likely prepared to hone new hires’ skills to meet the standard operating procedures of your organization anyway.
Whereas character is compilation of values embedded in a person over a lifetime.
Character correlates to how an employee will respect deadlines, their colleagues and quality of work clients expect.
It is important that hiring managers within a marketing agency don’t “fall into the trap of thinking attitude is character,” as Jason Jones, Ph.D. a workplace psychologist warns.
He delves into how attitude is only a reflection of character and “almost everyone shows up at an interview with a wonderfully positive attitude. Attitude can be faked, and this is especially true in an interview.”
If you look back at the people who have quit or been fired from your marketing agency, you will likely notice the reasons relate directly to their character.
Did they demonstrate poor quality of work, not getting along with colleagues, refusal to adapt, tardiness or not meeting deadlines?
These are all reflections of a person’s character and they have drastic impacts on a person’s work.
Certainly, we don’t suggest you build a marketing agency of all juniors with minimal experience but good values.
Depending on the role, experience and competence matter to varying degrees.
However, gone are the days when years of experience multinational brands on a CV could be the only qualifiers. In today’s market the crucial components to decipher from candidates’ CVs, interviews and any case studies or assessments is that they have both the right character and competence.
At our marketing agency, we place a bit more emphasis on character.
This is can be done by asking questions that require the applicants to your marketing agency to tell you stories about how they handled difficult situations or a situation they wouldn’t like to be in.
“…if a skill can be learned then the only distinguishing factor between two people of the same skill set isn’t what they know but rather how they learn and how they apply what they learn amidst adversity,” says Jeff Boss a senior Advisor at N2 Growth.
This is exactly why when your marketing agency is considering candidates, you must challenge them to reveal how they behave when faced with a problematic obstacle.
One scenario our marketing agency asks our applicants to describe is a time they had to learn something new.
This often takes some provoking from the person conducting the interview, as candidates often cop out and simply say they researched.
However, when you guide them to a specific occasion and ask follow-up questions to get them to elaborate on parts that may have been difficult and strategies they implemented to succeed, you can get them to reveal quite a lot about their character.
Through our careful hiring process you can ensure the team at our marketing agency has the character and competence to effectively promote our clients.