Hook’s Hiring Philosophy

Ideas by Cara Schaeffer, Associate Recruiting Director

How we hire

At Hook, we do things a little bit differently—the way we always have. Where some companies prefer the well-worn path when it comes to building teams and campaigns, we have always been passionate about making new things and trying new ways of making them. The only way to do this is to partner with individuals who share that passion.

In the early days, that was the only thing we could go on when it came to hiring. We didn’t have the reputation that the larger agencies had—or the talent pools. Many of our early hires were people who loved creating and had multidisciplinary skills. Some came with formal education, others had only a strong self-taught energy and a learn-as-you-go mentality.

As we got bigger, and our reputation grew, we never steered away from believing that the best work comes from people with a passion for creating. That is the ultimate leveler.

Our culture is incredibly important in making Hook the company it is and the people are the foundation of that, which is why we put so much time into finding voices from a variety of diverse backgrounds to round out our teams.

Today, our hiring philosophy is one that highlights the individual, always prioritizing the craft and the person behind it, not where they learned it. Looking beyond the Ivy Leagues, the college degrees and portfolio schools allows us to find talent that has the right skill set even if they don't have what some may deem are the "right" credentials in order to be successful.

Where we hire

In order to do this, we think outside the box when it comes to diverse sourcing strategies. Not everyone goes to college, and they’re not all on LinkedIn. Many are but if we solely focus and rely on LinkedIn alone, we’re potentially missing out on hundreds of incredibly talented candidates that live elsewhere.

There are a variety of niche communities, organizations, job boards and conferences that are dedicated to highlighting diverse voices in our industry. Places like Where are the Black Designers?, Diverse Creatives, and Women Who Design. We source directly from hundreds of communities like these that are dedicated to highlighting the people and the passion.

When we hire

We’re also strategic about when we hire, being cautious about not scaling up quickly because we got a new client or project, and then parting ways when a campaign ends. We prefer to focus on opportunity hiring, especially when someone can provide massive value in the way we approach projects and fill necessary skill gaps on teams. It’s easy to use the phrase “not a culture fit” when a candidate presents thoughts and ideas that are very different from our own, but different perspectives are important in creating diverse teams.

Along those lines, we never rush our interviewing and hiring process just to fill the job. We don’t track against key performance indicators like “time to fill.” If there’s a business need, we’d prefer to hire a freelancer, allowing us the opportunity to find a full-time employee who will be additive to our culture. Someone who shares our values and is stoked about their future working with us. And if that freelancer ends up loving their time at Hook and wants to join full-time—great! A total win-win.

So as mentioned, we do things a little bit differently. Not just in the way we show up for clients and how we support and collaborate with our teams, but also in the way we treat our process of identifying and hiring key players who continue to make Hook an amazing place to work. The work we produce is critical to our success, but what really matters are the people who do it and the experience they have along the way.

Interested in joining the team? All our open roles are posted here!