How do we know that we need someone?

It is not always clear when it is time to hire new people, especially as we seem to be almost always hiring new ones! However, there is a way to tell if we really need to bring new people on board.

Firstly, new client work often comes with the commitment to hire a certain number of new team members to create a team. If that’s the case, then it will be discussed in the WIP team meetings and the hiring manager will start to check our network. Secondly, we may notice that our current team is becoming overloaded, but that is not an automatic sign that we should hire more people. It may be that bad habits or certain inefficiencies have crept into our way of doing things, and we should look primarily at changing or removing these barriers to work, and only then looking to hire more people if there is still a shortage of hours in the week to get everything done.

Crafting great job adverts

  • Custom Design

  • Excite

  • Anti-Advertising (like the guy that posted advert of people for successful polar expedition)

  • Call to Action

  • Budgets for Facebook Advertising

  • Other Places to Post

We’ve also articulated on the website our hiring process.


  • Interview Rounds

  • Questions to ask

    • Last five books that you’ve read

    • Why do you want to join Mad, specifically?

Test Briefs

Design Team candidates will be given a set of problems or tasks to solve on the spot, in front of a panel. They should be able to explain their thought process as to why and how they solved the problem in the way they did.

Character References

References provide an additional perspective on the candidate. Ideally, we request for at least 3 references who have worked with the candidate in different capacities – superior, subordinate, peer, client, partner, etc – in order to get a fuller and multi-dimensional view of the candidate.

However, since these references are very likely cherry-picked by the candidate, expect a high probability of a glowing review. Which is not always bad but worth taking with a grain of salt especially if your gut tells you otherwise.

Another way is to do a ‘back door check’. This means finding connections to the candidate and checking on the sly. Must be done with utmost care and sparingly.

Definitely not a comprehensive list but some key areas for the Project Leader to probe on:

  • Personal traits

  • Core strengths

  • What could they be better at and why

  • Leadership ability

  • Works well with others

  • Takes feedback (or criticism) of their work

  • What work environment suits them best (i.e. structured, hierarchical, fluid, process-oriented, result-oriented, etc)

  • Workstyle

  • How well they respond to change

  • Any ‘watch out’ points that would be good for us to be aware of

  • Any other information that will give us a better understanding of them, whether professionally or personally

Areas to cover should be tailored to the role/candidate. This can be done over the phone or via email, whichever would be convenient.

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