Avoid Hiring Anchovies. They’re Bad For Your Brand

At Tag, we have a zest for life, sunny-side-up-attitudes and a belief about being good citizens. We get out of bed every day and “look forward to what ‘it’ can be.”

That’s not a description of what we do. It’s who we are. And who YOU are is as important in our hiring process as what you do. Eric Crawford, Tag’s art director, touched on this in his last blog about your personal brand.

As a small agency, we all wear many hats, but  when we need to make a new hire, we switch to serious HR mode. We make a big investment, of both our time and resources, in making sure that you are the absolute best person to add to our team.

It’s a costly process, but making a bad hire is even more costly. The US Department of Labor estimates that a bad hire can cost up to 30% of an employee’s first year earnings. For every day or week or month that we consider whether we made the right choice, we’re paying your salary. Beyond salary are other real costs of making a bad hire, as captured on this infographic from Fast Company. Productivity, employee morale, and client relationships can all suffer as a result of a bad hire. Instead of waking up in the morning “looking forward to what ‘it’ can be,” we risk waking up and wondering how to make it through another day with that problematic coworker. We’re a small team, and one bad egg really can spoil the whole bunch.

Think of it like this: Your order a pizza, and it looks delicious, except for one itty-bitty anchovy. No big deal, you pick it off, and everyone enjoys the pizza.  Now imagine it arrives with 7 perfect slices, but that 8th slice is completely covered with anchovies.  No one wants it, and no one wants the piece next to it either, just in case.  On top of that, the odor fills the whole office. Lunch is ruined.


Our team is our brand, so building the right team with the right onboarding process is paramount. We are consistently impressed with the Zappos brand, and they way they live their brand values. Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos, knows the importance of a strong company culture that reinforces its brand and business strategy. They build and maintain their culture by hiring and retaining the right team. In addition to a robust interview process and training, they take the extra step of paying new hires TO QUIT after their first few weeks. This is one last opportunity for that new hire to either commit to the Zappos brand and their culture, or take the money and run if they are just in it for the paycheck.

Everyone on our team impacts the Tag brand, and we take the subject of brand very seriously. So, if you want to be a part of the Tag team, know this:

  • We will meet with you three or four or more times.
  • We will invite you in to meet our A-team.
  • We will ask you to speak with some big brains that know our industry,
    and our agency.
  • We will ask you to take a few tests: Wonderlic and the Keirsey
    Temperament Sorter.
  • We will spend hours reviewing the actual costs involved in hiring you, or not hiring you.
  • We will consult salary guides, and run the numbers, and we’ll run the numbers again, and again and again, until we’re confident that hiring you is the best decision we can make.
  • We’ll come to the office every day excited about our work, and about working with you.

If you are currently seeking a position in advertising, please provide me with your resume and 200 words about making our lunchtime better.