Monday, June 15

Spotting Talent: Copywrite, Ink.

While there are many personality and assessment sets that claim to know when someone might show promise as a leader, there is no substitute for spotting top talent than seeing their work. This holds true inside and outside of the organization.

What To Look For In Talent

• Performance. When you're an outcome-based communication company, the numbers don't matter as much as meeting the specified objectives. We look for people who do what they say they can do. It's surprisingly rare to find such people because so many have been coached to tell you what they think you want to hear as opposed to what they can actually do.

• Initiative. Some large firms have positions that are easily taught with turnkey systems, but communication is mostly situational. It requires initiative at every turn, with everyone looking for solutions that have yet to be considered by anyone. The best of them are seldom found in compilations of best practices that litter the net.

• Relationships. Some people mistake the concept of relationships as those who have the largest networks. The irony is that most communication firms benefit from the strength of the established relationships and not the number of contacts in today's electronic Rolodex.

• Problem Solving. Since every communication program is unique, it often requires the best practitioners to find new solutions. With the current state of change within communication, there are plenty of challenges to overcome.

• Work Under Pressure. Some things never change. Communication remains an industry that is built upon increasingly rapid response and a steady stream of deadlines. However, even with shrinking production windows, those who stand to excel are the people who can do it but never show it. As G.K. Chesterton once said "The reason angels can fly is because they take themselves lightly."

Welcoming Hadley Thom

Several months ago, I had the pleasure of meeting someone who exhibited all of these characteristics, first in class and then as a point person for our not-for-profit account. So when she met with me over coffee a few weeks back and said she was looking for a fun and challenging position with our company, it only seemed natural to find ways to make it work.

As an events manager for Aid for AIDS of Nevada, Thom was responsible for fundraising and event planning, including the AIDS Walk Las Vegas and the Black & White Ball. She was also responsible for the organization's marketing and public relations efforts, which included the development of its first social media program. During her time with AFAN, the AIDS Walk Las Vegas set records in total fundraising and individual donations. In 2009, more than 8,000 participants raised over $401,000.

She is now joining Copywrite, Ink. as a communication manager, and will be responsible for communication program development and client services for a diverse range of clients. Over the long term, we envision her taking a lead position for our growing team of communication analysts and specialists.

A few months ago, I wrote a post about what it takes to be a leader during an economic downturn. However, the lessons applied there aren't really confined to management or financial outlooks. They are meant for everyone.

After all, as much as companies can easily energize new employees, new employees can sometimes energize a company. And if you haven't found anyone like that lately, there is a good chance you haven't been looking. You can find our newest addition here (LinkedIn) or here (Twitter).


Michael McDermott on 6/17/09, 10:44 AM said...

Great article and oh so true!

Rich on 6/18/09, 8:59 AM said...

Thanks Michael.

There is finite supply of talent and too many companies are passing them by in favor of catering their view of the recessionary pressures. Except, people are not numbers or the total sum of positions.

You have to make room for the right fit.



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