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In-House vs. Agency – How Our Recruiters Evaluate Talent

Published: May 29, 2018

Author: Kathy Dabrowski

In this short week, we examine the in-house-vs.-agency debate from a few angles. Today’s: what kind of experience helps you succeed at 3Q.
I am very fortunate to have built a career in an exciting area that I am truly passionate about and that makes a big impact in the lives of others as well as the overall growth of a company: recruiting! I get the opportunity every single day to meet so many different and interesting people — from recent graduates to CEOs, I meet people from all walks of life, with a variety of skill-sets, backgrounds, and personalities. Every day is different from the last, as is every person we encounter.
My job is more than just filling positions; recruiters are the face of the company, as we are the first point of contact for prospective employees, and (unfortunately) many times the last.
In today’s very competitive job market (unemployment rates are currently below 4% in the United States), people often want to know what makes a great hire for 3Q. Do those with an agency background have a better chance of being hired (or have an advantage to succeed in the role) over someone coming from in-house marketing? Do we have different interviews or require different qualifications for agency vs. in-house?
The simple answer is no. At 3Q Digital, we pride ourselves on our hiring practices being consistent, fair, and strategic.
Our HR department lives by 3Q’s five Core Values. Here’s what they mean to us:
Own It: We hire for culture, skills, and traits. We believe great hires come from a diverse mix of backgrounds and experiences.
Do The Math:  Our selection and hiring is a well-rounded approach. It takes the sum of all parts to find a great hire.
Treat Everyone Like a Client: We try to ensure candidates have an amazing experience from the first point of contract to last; this means we have to be prompt, respectful, and accountable at all times.
Innovate: Our success as a company stems from our endless pursuit to be better and never settle for the status quo, and this goes for HR as well. Where are we looking? How are we connecting with potential employees? We’re always examining how we can get better.
Act For The Greater Good: We value our employees’ growth and development. We have an unparalleled training program designed to set up our employees for success and rapid career progression, and we have a great culture that helps keep 3Qers loyal and happy. (And happy employees beget happy clients!)

You’ll notice that none of those values makes a distinction between in-house or agency experience for our candidates. Like Liam Neesom, our recruiters have bad-*ss skills…whether you’re in an agency or in house role, if you’re right for 3Q, we’ll find you!!

There Are Advantages to Each

That said, in-house marketers and agency marketers both bring unique selling points to the hiring process. Don’t be afraid to speak to these in interviews.

Agency Background Positives

  • Employees at agencies have a greater exposure to newest strategies, methodologies and emerging technologies.
  • They work in fast-paced, high-volume, and high-energy environments.
  • Agency life is one of collaboration; it fosters the ability to work cross-functionally and with multiple clients.
  • Agency marketers often have opportunities to work on large, complex campaigns with greater amount of ad spend.
  • Agency marketers get exposure to different areas of marketing: paid search, paid social, SEM, Mobile, and others.
  • Agencies marketers often come in knowing how to partner with in-house teams to maximize results.

In-House Background Positives

  • No one understands a company’s customers, products, and industry better than the internal marketing team that lives and breathes them every day. In-house folks implicitly understand our clients’ perspectives.
  • In-house marketers know how to take ownership over their performance and work with real-time visibility into customer insights.
  • In-house marketers are proactive! In past roles, they chose how to to test and scale campaigns quickly, react to new market opportunities, and pivot as needed.

Long story short: it’s the person, not the agency or in-house background, that makes a great potential 3Qer. If the five values expressed above resonated with you, keep an eye on our Careers page for openings.

25 E Washington Street
Suite 420

Chicago, IL 60602(650) 539-4124


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