What I Learned from Hiring 50 People in 2022

GALE grew a lot last year. Like, over 70%, a lot. The creative team alone hired 50 people and contributed to the boost in growth that landed us on Adweek’s 2022 Fastest Growing Agencies list and Ad Age’s 2023 A-List.

While the experience of managing this fast-paced expansion was exhilarating in the moment, it was also hectic and hard.

Here are a few reflections on what I learned after hiring and working with so many new, amazing people.

1. It’s a team sport

This may seem obvious, but it’s worth stating… It takes a huge team to attract, hire and retain the best people.  

There are many parts to the work – from our online presence that shapes our reputation to the creative leaders who vet thousands of portfolios and meet hundreds of candidates…And, if you're lucky enough to have one, a dedicated talent and recruiting team who shepherd the entire process.

Every platform and person at the company plays an integral role in building a high-functioning team.  

2. Help people self-select

During interviews, people often ask, “What characteristics would make someone successful here?”

I get the point of the question, but I think one’s ability to be successful is a two-way street where capabilities from both parties, the business and the employee, are important to consider. I try to reframe this idea by talking about the people who have the most fun here, and who genuinely add to our culture.

Then, when I use words that align with GALE’s values like accountable, curious, or passionate, it’s easier for the candidate to decide for themselves if this is the right role for them.

3. The 5 p.m. Friday Test

I can’t claim credit for this one. A while ago, a senior client told us we won the business because we passed the “5 p.m. Friday Test.”  

Here’s what that means…

Almost by definition, a meeting at 5 o'clock on a Friday is a drag. He said, “If I don’t want you in that meeting, then you’re not the right fit. I want people who will bring a positive attitude and some ideas, otherwise, they’ll just make an already sh*tty meeting even worse.”  

I thought that was a great way to state a simple truth: we want to work with people who bring their best to work. And I try to keep that top of mind for everyone I meet.

It's been a year of great change at GALE, and while there were plenty of challenges along the way, our growth has been an exciting time of collaboration, new ideas, and ongoing learning.