To understand why I need what I need in a new hire, you have to understand the business. [inlinetweet prefix=””Do what you love.” – Steve Jobs” tweeter=”” suffix=”#NewHireWishList #SharedWisdom”]The advertising business isn’t just a job, it’s a way of life.[/inlinetweet] Take it from me, it’s like no other business in the world. It’s not a tap you turn on and off. You don’t (in fact, you can’t) turn on at 8:30 a.m. and turn off at 4:30 p.m., particularly if you’re leading a team. I think people who are really good at what they do (in any industry) are always thinking about what they do: how they can do it better; how they can do it differently for better results; how they can streamline the process to get where they’re going more effectively and yes, get there faster. They’re always thinking about “ideas” and marketing and advertising is all about ideas.

 A platitude that’s a bit overused maybe, but there’s still plenty of truth in it: “Work smarter, not harder” 

Work smarter, not harder: I want people who really believe that. You’ve seen the posters. But there’s plenty of truth in those four little words.

I never know what will spark the idea, or when it will come, I just trust, from experience, that it will come. I want that characteristic in a new hire.

It’s a Saturday morning, my business hat is off. It’s summer, I might be having a coffee on a patio, at the farmer’s market, anywhere; but I’m probably thinking about a new client, a client presentation, or an idea for a new campaign. It’s the middle of the week, I could be in an airport, a cab, at a restaurant, or just taking a walk down by the lake with my husband after dinner. Maybe I’m in the middle of a presentation for clients, totally focused and an idea pops up, completely unrelated to what I’m doing. Everywhere I am, anything can spark an idea.  This might sound like I never stop working and in a way, I don’t.

It’s partly the business and partly me. [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=”-Miriam Hara, CCO, 3H #ExceedBeyond #SharedWisdom”]I’m still excited about what I do, even after 27 years.[/inlinetweet] I still get up in the morning passionate about our projects. It’s not that I’m always consciously thinking about work, it’s that I can’t help not thinking about it. I want people around me like that.

The business is not just me – I rely on my team. Most of them have been with 3H a long time. All of them have passion. And I want people with passion. I need them:


  1. Passion for the industry and the creative process.
  2. The desire to win!
  3. Willingness to learn and the ability to wear many hats.
  4. Someone who adds value to the process, who is flexible and won’t freeze when things go wrong, because in our business, like in life, something always does!
  5. Someone who isn’t afraid of ‘working without a net’; meaning that it’s okay if they don’t know the total background and details of a job, they run with the things and know it will work it out and they’ll eventually catch on. Being okay with not knowing is really important!
  6. Someone who is thick skinned and doesn’t take things too personally.
  7. No overblown egos. Confidence is what I want and it’s not the same thing. Egos make life difficult for everyone else. Strangely, it’s the kind of business where ego doesn’t belong, although we don’t think of the advertising and marketing business that way. Ego is insignificant to clients — it would be troublesome. They hire you because they already know you’re good at what you do.

There’s a number 8, but the heading says 7 so I’ll just say that for number 8 a sense of humour is hugely important. I want someone who finds things funny, can see humour where it’s sometimes hard to see it. There’s more to hiring the right person. Things that maybe you don’t often think about when you’re hiring; quirky characteristics that can enrich company culture on a day to day basis. (I’ll talk about them in an upcoming blog.)

It’s such an important aspect of business, finding the right people because it affects so many aspects of the business.

Send me your thoughts on what you look for in a new hire. #NewHireWishList #SharedWisdom #ExceedBeyond