After two years of working with a leading online marketing company, my hiring tactics have changed dramatically. Prior to working with Oneupweb, my career had primarily been in the insurance industry. It was my naive belief that recruiting insurance professionals would easily be transferred to hiring SEO professionals.
I was so wrong.
Very early, I learned that SEO folks prefer a slanted and off-beat sense of humor.
We don’t really care about dress codes or give much credence to a rigid business hierarchy or fancy titles. Happy employees create better output, which tends to bring more success for everybody involved. Sure, this industry isn’t a good fit for everyone; however, it’s crucial to work with people who have compatible personalities and a reliable work ethic. I believe it’s much easier to take someone with an awesome personality and great initiative and train them in SEO than it is to try training the bad attitude out of someone who may already have an extensive SEO background.
We are a small SEO/SEM firm, so it’s crucial that we all get along with each other, because the alternative of working around a bad apple is not an option. Many of us are transplants from other states, some are locals who have moved away to the big city only to return home for the quieter comforts and the higher quality of life available here.
Because of our diverse backgrounds, after-hours meetings at the local pub or weekend get-togethers are common. We all have unique senses of humor, ambitions, and hobbies; however, it’s the pleasant and complementary personality quirks that really make our company tick. Gossip at the water cooler just doesn’t happen; we all row in the same direction. That’s what works. The end goal is the same: we succeed – everyone succeeds.
What are some of the qualities we look for in hiring SEO folks? Here’s our How to Tell if You’re Awesome list:
* Be able to tough it out, because situations can become difficult or stressful;
* Know how to speak freely and honestly with others;
* Take initiative and know how to keep yourself busy;
* Have good sense of humor;
* Can you write well? You are going to do a lot of it;
* Be passionate about your job, the internet, SEO, and client success;
* Realize that, sometimes, you’ve just got to suck it up and get through some mundane tasks;
* Take possession of your work and be accountable for the struggles as well as the successes;
* Stay up on pop culture, literature, and technology;
* Be genuine.
It’s a tough industry. And while we’re not like the Roadrunner, with Wile E. Coyote chasing us all day, we do have anxious clients who believe in our proven ability to deliver results. As such, it can be hard to find that special someone who can be passionate about search and realize that sometimes, you have to crawl through the mud (keyword research, link building, etc.) for a client, and to uphold the hard-earned reputation of the company.
My goal is to find that someone who really embraces that work ethic, can roll up their sleeves and get down to it, then smile when the results roll in.
If you have thought about working for an SEO firm, and this attitude sounds good to you, please visit Oneupweb and take a peek at our career section. And if you are interested, be sure to include a cover letter. We love cover letters; it makes us want to look at the resume. Unless it’s just a bad cover letter. Nobody likes that. (That’s a joke, see? Well sort of a joke anyway. I mean, nobody really likes a bad cover letter. See, there’s another one.)