A Day in the Life: Q + A with Daniel Baca

In the latest installment of our Columbus Creatives: A Day in the Life series, we talk with Daniel Baca, a Digital Marketing Strategist with an entrepreneurial spirit who loves to get involved in the community and meet fellow creatives in Columbus. 

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Hello everyone! My name is Daniel Alejandro Baca and here's a little bit of my story! I was born in Mexico and grew up with an entrepreneurial spirit. After finishing middle and high school in Texas, I moved to upstate New York for college and landed in Columbus two years ago. I am currently a Digital Marketing Strategist for Ladybug Design, where I truly enjoy my job and love how every single day there is a new challenge to be conquered.


Morning

My mornings usually start pretty much the same: hear my alarm, snooze a bunch of times, then turn on some EDM music while I shower to energize me for the day. I will have a fruit and veggie smoothie for breakfast and turn on my favorite podcast, How I Built This, on my ride to work. There is nothing more motivational than listening to business owners and successful CEOs talk about how they got where they are today. By the time I get to work I have a mind filled with ideas that my boss loves hearing about, to help us grow her business.

Afternoon

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In the afternoons, I work on implementing business strategy and focus on our digital efforts. I  manage all our social media profiles, optimize paid ads, and build plans for our website and content. The day isn't over yet, now I have to figure out opportunities can we take advantage of to drive more business and really get our name out there! Sounds like a lot, but we have such a lighthearted culture in the office, for the most part, I'm teasing my boss and having a good time.

Evening

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My evenings tend to be a continuation of my day, as long as I can keep the momentum going. I just can't stand still, so once I am done with work I try to find other projects to work on, meet people, or just find any excuse to leave the house. I love being active so I play soccer several times a week. I am a volunteer for the American Marketing Association so I try to go to most of their evening events and connect with successful people in the area that can teach me how to improve myself every day. My goal is to really live every single day as if there was no tomorrow and make every day count!

Achieving Pay Equity Together

By Catherine Lang-Cline

In the United States, women make about eighty cents on the dollar that a man will make in a year. In Columbus, it is seventy-eight cents on the dollar. Which is why it is great news that the City of Columbus is facing this issue with The Columbus Commitment: Achieving Pay Equity initiative. It is a completely voluntary commitment by employers in Columbus to join the City in helping close the pay gap for women.

For me, and for all of us here at Portfolio Creative, this is a no-brainer. When jobs are sent to us with an hourly rate or if a direct-hire is requested the idea of the rate or salary being different based on gender or race seems completely ridiculous. If they can do the job, meet the requirements, why would the pay be different? Everyone is submitted with the expectation that the dollars are the same.

How does that play out? In our experience, hourly rates typically stay firm. Salaries can sometimes become sticky. What we see is probably a reflection of what happens all across the country. Jobs are advertised with a range in salary, i.e.; "Salary is based on experience" or "Salary range from $45,000 - $60,000," etc. This open-ended salary is one place where women are losing the race. Some hiring managers are simply conditioned to think that a male applicant is going to have more experience than a female applicant and will offer him more. There is still some old thinking that a man needs to provide for his family so he should be paid more. You heard that right, single moms.

Sometimes, in a cost-saving move, we hear, "Offer $45,000 and see if she will take it." Most of the time, a woman will take it. A man will go back and ask for the $60,000 because they believe that they are worth it. (We have had to convince a few people that they were worth it.) From a company standpoint, it is not unusual to try and keep costs down so candidates need to enter the negotiation with the conversation and attitude that you are going to be an asset to that company. They could lose money by not hiring you! Know that the best employers want the greatest talent and will pay for it regardless if it belongs to a man or women. Own your experience!

This kind of thinking needs to change for both the employer and for the female candidate. Employers need to realize that hiring a woman does not mean she is going to work less, be more emotional, not be driven, or get pregnant and leave. Yes, I have heard all of these in the past. From the experience I have had, the women I work within this community work hard, stay focused, and are completely driven. They own and run some of the largest companies in this town. They lead teams, lead initiatives, and become game changers. Some just need to own it.

This is all about being fair. This is about equal pay and fair pay. Do the job, make the money. Period. It is about not asking for pay history, that alone can drive down salaries because if you are already at a disadvantage, how are you going to break out of it? What employers can do is ask the exact same questions to every candidate. Talk about potential, their values, and what they plan to do to make an impact in your business. That is what matters, right? Pay based on experience and what they will add to your company.

Equal pay is something that is built into the fabric here at Portfolio Creative and because of that, we are thrilled to sign The Columbus Commitment along with many other organizations in the community. This is not only good for women, it is good for the economy. Need proof? There was a time, in my lifetime, that a woman couldn't get a credit card. Then women got credit cards. As a result, women bought lots of things and the economy won. Pay women more and they will spend more.

If you believe in fair pay, please join us in signing the commitment. You can find it here, at the City of Columbus' website. In doing so, your mom will thank you, your wife will thank you, your sisters and daughters will all thank you for believing in them. Above all, you will thank yourself, because your business will benefit from taking care of your employees.

 

Hiring and Employment: Change is Here

By Kristen Harris

Growth is one of our company values at Portfolio Creative – we are always learning, improving, and adapting. In the spirit of growth, I recently attended the American Staffing Association’s Staffing World Conference. It’s important for us to stay on top of employment and hiring trends so we can provide the best possible service to our clients and talent.

Here are the highlights of what we heard at this year’s conference.

Top Five Trends:

  1. Gig Economy and Free Agency. Depending on which report you read, something like 30-40% of the workforce today is “independent” or part of the “gig economy.” While there is not a clear definition of these terms, we can all agree that the era of having a job at the same company for thirty years is long gone. Most people in the workforce today think like free agents, choosing their work opportunities based on what interests them and where they can best deploy their skills. Technology is enabling a sea change in how and where people work. More than ever people are able, interested, and willing to work independently. This may mean finding work through an app or platform, having multiple less-than-full-time jobs that feed different interests or taking on contract roles and projects that leverage their skills.

  2. The Robots are Coming. There is some fear around robots “replacing” humans in jobs, but the reality is probably less dystopian. Yes, robots and artificial intelligence will become part of the workplace. Actually, it’s already here–you’ve probably used a self-checkout station at the grocery, ordered lunch at a kiosk, or know about driverless cars currently doing test runs. What they can’t and won’t replace are the types of work that require what truly makes us human. Work that is creative, innovative, emotional, or requires decision making and problem-solving. Some of us remember when graphic design required hand-drawing graphics and rubbing down perfectly space type; now we have computers to help us execute our creative ideas, but they can’t create the idea for us.

  3. The Millennials Are Here. Honestly, I don’t like categorizing people solely by their birth year, and Millennials are pretty much tired of everyone talking about them like they are alien beings; but the reality is that the balance of our workforce has shifted. There are more Millennials entering the workforce and more Boomers retiring daily. The Millennials, being such a large generation, are literally changing the workforce and society. We are in one of those rare eras where older people are becoming more like younger people, instead of the other way around.

  4. Google and Amazon – Part 1. We live in an Amazon and Google-driven world where there is quick access to products, services, and information 24/7. Quick access used to be novel and exciting; now it’s becoming the norm and soon will be an expectation. Amazon’s ability to provide near-immediate access to products and Google’s dominance in gathering and utilizing data will drive how business is done across most industries. To a large extent, life is happening on a smartphone. These two behemoths are re-shaping expectations of how services are delivered, how work gets done, how jobs are found, and how people are hired. Not to mention the impact they have on the communities where they are located (238 cities put in a proposal to woo Google’s HQ2 to their city), and it’s clear the impact Amazon’s facilities have had on hiring in Central Ohio.

  5. Google and Amazon – Part 2. In this Amazon and Google-driven world everything (and to some extent, everyone) is being rated. How many stars do you have? How many reviews? How many Facebook friends, LinkedIn connections, or Instagram followers? When you’re doing a good job and creating quality, take the effort to get credit for it. People pay attention to both the quality and quantity of online ratings, crowdsource information and referrals, and judge others by their online presence. Creepy? Maybe. Unfair? Perhaps. But this is the world we live in, so learn how to participate in a way true to you and your values.

The biggest threat to any industry, business or career is inaction. If you are not creating, innovating, and developing new ideas, rest assured someone is. Don’t fear being disrupted, be part of the disruption.

Meet Our Team Series: Recruiter, Katie Rochte

In this new series, we want to give you an inside look into a day in the life of our talented team. Meet one of our Recruiters, Katie Rochte, who loves her role in helping people find an awesome gig! She shares a bit about her morning routine with her beloved Pippy; as well as, some of her favorite Columbus restaurants!

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My name is Katie Rochte and I have been working as a Recruiter at Portfolio Creative for almost 2 years. I have lived in Columbus my entire life and graduated from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Fashion and Retail Studies/Merchandising. I currently live in German Village with my boyfriend, Kosta, and 3-year-old Cavachon pup named Pippy.  

My day normally starts when my alarm goes off around 6:20 am. I usually hit snooze for a few minutes and then check my calendar, emails, and social media before officially pulling myself out of bed to get my day started. For breakfast, I will either have an omelet with veggies and cheese or old fashion oats with plain Greek yogurt sprinkled with cinnamon. I am very much a creature of habit and have probably eaten the same thing for breakfast for at least 5 years. After eating, I take Pippy for a walk and enjoy getting outside to clear my head before my day starts. I love my routine!

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Once I get into work, I sit down at my desk and pull up my calendar and write a detailed list of the work-related tasks I need to complete for the day. I’ve had ADHD since I was a kid, I’ve learned that writing down lists is essential for me to tackle my day. I usually eat lunch around noon. Most days, I run home to let Pippy out or head to Whole Foods with my co-worker to pick up a salad or something from their hot bar.

My evening routine is pretty similar most days. I try to get in some type of workout at the gym or do a workout at home on my computer. I look forward to working out at the end of the day to de-stress. Most nights I try to make something for dinner at home so we can have the rest of the evening to relax. My go-to meal is usually shredded chicken in the crock-pot with a bunch of different seasonings or some type of turkey chili. When we do go out to eat it's always hard to choose where to go since I have so many favorite restaurants in Columbus. My all-time favorite restaurants are Lindey’s, Third & Hollywood, and The Worthington Inn. I am always down for Northstar Café for a more casual dinner, or Fox in the Snow, on the weekends, for a coffee and their amazingly delicious egg sandwich.

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My attention span shifts like the wind, so working as a Recruiter has been a great job for my personality; and having new jobs and challenges to work on regularly is incredibly enjoyable and rewarding. One of my favorite parts of recruiting is being able to see all the cool projects people have worked on and created. We have so many incredibly talented and smart people working in the Columbus creative community, that it’s extremely satisfying sitting down with people and figuring out how I can help them further their career.

Four Examples of Retail Brands Killing it with Content

By: William Harris for Entrepreneur 

As more and more retail brands and department store giants close shop and reduce locations this year, the rest of the retail industry is scrambling. They've got to find ways to unlock the keys to survival and growth.

What is happening to the retail side of things?

Needless to say, retail isn’t what it used to be 50, 20, or even 10 years ago. Trends and shopping behaviors have changed dramatically. New technology has been introduced, and there are more competitors in the market than ever before. The playing field has been leveled.

To compete and grow, retailers have to work harder than ever to reach, attract, and engage with shoppers online. But how do you do it? Having a website and an active presence on social media sites used to help, but it’s not enough anymore.

Today, it’s all about using content to build community, provide value, and establish trust with your customers and target audience.

Here are four examples of retail brands that are doing it right:

1. Beardbrand

Beardbrand is a beard lifestyle company that was founded in 2012 by Eric Bandholz. Bandholz started the company to create more community around beard-growing, and, according to the company mission statement, “To change the way society views beardsmen.”

Beardbrand sells a variety of beard-growing products and tools to beard enthusiasts all around the world. Bandholz and his team have successfully built an active and passionate community around their company and products by investing in content and education from day one.

Bandholz explains on his website: “We first started off with a blog, a YouTube channel, and a Tumblr blog. On these platforms, I shared my knowledge about growing a beard and provided style inspiration for others. Ultimately, the goal was to provide the tools necessary for men to feel confident about growing their beard, and I also wanted to end the negative stereotypes about beardsmen being lazy or unkempt.”

Today, Beardbrand works with brand advocates and bearded influencers all around the world to creat content that serves and educates thousands of followers, builds brand awareness, and promotes their growing line of beard grooming products. 

2. lululemon

lululemon athletica is a yoga-inspired, technical athletic apparel company for women and men that was founded in 1998 by Chip Wilson. The company is now run by current CEO Laurent Potdevin.

lululemon is another company built with a focus on education and community, as illustrated on their website:

“Our vision for our store was to create more than a place where people could get gear to sweat in; we wanted to create a community hub where people could learn and discuss the physical aspects of healthy living, mindfulness and living a life of possibility. It was also important for us to create real relationships with our guests and understand what they were passionate about, how they liked to sweat and help them celebrate their goals.”

In the past few years, the athleisure trend has exploded, and lululemon has responded by doubling down on both product design and education for their community of followers.

The retail brand has over two million followers on Instagram, over 18 million video views on YouTube, and regularly publishes original content that educates their community on topics that relate to yoga, travel, nutrition, and their products.   

3. YETI

YETI is an outdoor lifestyle brand that was founded in 2006 by Ryan and Roy Seiders. The company designs and manufactures high-quality coolers, ramblers, travel bags, and other accessories for outdoor enthusiasts.

To differentiate from a fairly saturated and competitive market, YETI invests in experience-based storytelling. They describe their products in the following way:

“Built for close calls in far-flung places. Built for tall tales and epic adventures. Built for finding comfort well outside comfort zones. Built for the wild.”

To connect with and relate to their target audience, YETI has been, in recent years, producing extremely well-produced stories that feature interesting people living interesting or extraordinary lives. These stories are usually comprised of rich editorial write-ups, video footage, and photos.

This type of storytelling ultimately helps YETI not only attract those seeking adventure and spending time outdoors, but also focus in on connecting with those willing to spend top-dollar (their smallest cooler currently sells for $199) for products that last a lifetime.

4. Bonobos

Bonobos is a men’s clothing brand founded in 2007 by Andy Dunn and Brian Spaly. The company was recently acquired by Walmart for $310 million.

In an effort to connect with their audience and differentiate from other men’s clothing brands online, Bonobos manages a digital editorial publication on their website called Equateur. They describe the publication in the following way: 

“At Bonobos, we strive to make great clothing. With Equateur, we tell the stories of the humans who wear it. The places they go, the things they do, the people they meet -- everything that gives meaning to what otherwise would be just fabric and thread.”

The original content created for Equateur allows Bonobos to educate their target audience while also promoting their own products. You can see this strategy in action by visting the Groomshop section of their webiste, where you’ll find a natural mix of helpful wedding and honeymoon tips, clothing for sale, and information about their consultation services.

Wrapping up

The retail game is changing in a big way. To survive the unsteadiness that a lot of brands are feeling right now, they have to focus less on “selling products” and more on investing in your community.

Think about who your customers are, what they care about, and what you need to do to create a movement and community that they can actively support and participate in.

Focus on creating original, unique content that provides value for your community, and actively work to position yourself and your brand as a resource that your customers and target audience can trust.

How to Help Someone Discover Work That Excites Them

By: Amy Jen Su for the Harvard Business Review

Much has been written on a leader’s role in motivating, engaging, and bringing out the best in others. Yet research suggests there is still much more that could be done. Frequently cited is the 2014 Deloitte study that found that “up to 87% of America’s workforce is not able to contribute to their full potential because they don’t have passion for their work.” This passion gap is important because “passionate workers are committed to continually achieving higher levels of performance.” Robert Kaplan, author of What You’re Really Meant to Do, states that “numerous studies of highly effective people point to a strong correlation between believing in the mission, enjoying the job, and performing at a high level.” If passion plays an important role in the potential and high performance of others, how does a leader develop others toward their passions?

Adopt a servant leader’s mindset. In the face of heavy workloads, it’s easy to have every interaction with your direct reports turn into a rushed conversation focused on getting stuff done or fixing problems. Developing others toward their passions requires a mindset shift. While many authors have written about the concept of servant leadership, one of the best definitions still comes from Robert Greenleaf, who originally coined the phrase in an essay published back in 1970. In it, Greenleaf writes, “The servant-leader is servant first…it begins with that natural feeling that one wants to serve. The best test, which is difficult to administer, is: Do those served grow as persons? Do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants?”

Help to unlock and discover people’s passions. You can help to explore what drives passion on the job for your employees by giving them a chance to pause and reflect. Choose natural points in the workflow to ask questions such as:

  • In advance of new experiences: What are you excited about for this upcoming project or initiative? What are ways you hope to develop, learn, or grow with this experience?
  • After key milestones: What’s something you felt great about or were especially proud of on that team or project? What was especially rewarding, meaningful, or inspiring coming out of that project, initiative, or event?
  • At annual performance reviews: What did you most enjoy working on this past year and why? What are the types of things you’d like to get more experience in next year?
  • In career development conversations: What is your career aspiration over the next three to five years? How do you see this role helping you get there? What inspires you now?

Prioritize work at the intersection of passion and contribution. With greater information in hand, you can help to better identify that sweet spot where your employee’s passion and contribution to your team or organization overlap. In January 2017 I wrote an HBR article about prioritizing those activities where passion and contribution intersect. While the article focused on how to prioritize your own work, you can apply the same framework to helping your direct reports prioritize theirs. This ensures that passion is included in the equation.

Be careful of assuming that throwing more opportunities or stretch assignments at your employee is the key to unlocking passion. At some point, this can lead to what Michael E. Kibler calls a “brownout” — a term used to describe part of the life cycle of a star. As Kibler says, these people “seem to be performing fine: putting in massive hours in meetings and calls across time zones, grinding out work while leading or contributing to global teams, and saying all the right things in meetings. However, these executives are often operating in a silent state of continual overwhelm, and the predictable consequence is disengagement.”

Know when it’s time to help someone move on. Practically, you aren’t always going to have work or opportunities that hit the “passion contribution” zone for your employees. The key is to recognize when a role has run its course. Don’t become the boss who keeps others “in a box” or gets locked into a view of someone from the past. Not allowing a protégé to move on or spread their wings can create a passion drain.

One of the things that most struck me in Sydney Finkelstein’s 2016 HBR article “Secrets of the Superbosses,” which was based on his review of thousands of articles and books as well as more than 200 interviews, was how superbosses “accept churn.” They recognize that “smart, creative, flexible people tend to have fast-paced careers. Even after someone moves out of their organization, superbosses continue to offer advice, personal introductions, and membership into their networks.”

Helping others to develop toward their passions can be a rewarding part of being a leader. By adopting a servant leader’s mindset, helping others to explore, prioritizing for passion contribution, and supporting others’ careers beyond their current role, you will not have only increased engagement but also be more likely to build long-lasting relationships.

WOW! We've been in business for more than 12 years. We love being in Columbus -- check out 12 reasons we're unique and make a difference in our community. We'd love to get to know you!

1. This business was started by two women, Catherine Lang-Cline and Kristen Harris, that graduated together from the LBrands bootcamp. 

2. We believe in serving the community, so we get involved. There are a number of boards that members of our team belong to, and have been for years. Such as, Greater Columbus Arts Council, Columbus Chamber of Commerce, American Marketing Association, Columbus Society of Communication Arts (and more!) 

3. Our clients are always given very customized service. Mostly because creative is unique and we recognize that. 

4. Our talent never pays anything to work with us. 

5. We do direct hire, both contingent and retained

6. From day one, we've been solely focused in the creative industry. That's our niche.

7. We can offer workforce solutions

8. We believe in philanthropic efforts, so much so, that we have an internal team committee (Life Values) to focus on our ongoing outreach efforts to give back. 

9. Everyone that works for us shares our values. 

10. Did you know that we represent an exclusive list of artists?

11. We're experts. We understand the competitiveness in the creative marketplace. Our talent and clients trust us to bring the unique needs of both parties together, making the ideal match happen.

12. Our clients are not dollar signs, our talent is never a number. We are not just filling seats. Not now, not ever. We are all personally invested in making sure that this creative community thrives. 

How Leading Companies Build the Workforces They Need to Stay Ahead

By: Michael Mankins for the Harvard Business Review

The strategic underpinnings of most companies’ workforce plans should change dramatically as a result of technological innovation. Digital transformation, the industrial internet, advanced analytics, artificial intelligence, robotics, machine learning, and a plethora of other innovations are fundamentally changing the nature of work. Machine learning, for example, may not eliminate many jobs in their entirety. But it will impact the way many jobs are performed, requiring new skills and making many existing skills less valuable. The World Economic Forum predicts that “by 2020, more than a third of the desired core skill sets of most occupations will be comprised of skills that are not yet considered crucial to the job today.”

Beyond the skills required to perform specific jobs, technology will also determine which jobs matter most in the years to come. New innovations will change the basis of competition in many markets and alter the sources of advantage for most companies. Business-critical roles — that is, the jobs that are central to differentiating a company from its competitors and successfully executing its strategy — will also change. And companies will be forced to rethink the talent they will need to play these business-critical roles in the future.

Take insurance, for example. In years past, an important source of competitive advantage for insurers was the ability to price risk better than rivals. Armies of actuaries worked tirelessly to estimate the cost of underwriting certain risks (or risk pools). In the future, much of this work will be done by machines. In this world, insurance companies will require fewer actuaries and more data scientists — individuals with the ability to mine data to tailor insurance offers to specific market segments or even individuals. It may be possible to retool some actuaries as data scientists, but the vast majority of these roles will probably need to be filled with new talent.

Most companies have been slow to react. In part, this is because the impact of technology will be felt over time, and not overnight. This creates the illusion of having time to react. Also, with technological innovation, there will always be a high degree of uncertainty regarding the kind of talent your company will need in the future. This makes it challenging for leaders to plan ahead and place bets early.

But building a winning workforce for tomorrow starts today. The best-performing companies are already taking steps to attract new talent and widen their lead over rivals. Here are three lessons every organization should learn from what the leading companies are doing:

Delineate the skills and capabilities that will be required to win in the future, based on your company’s strategy

When Bain & Company examined the talent management practices of more than 300 large companies worldwide, we discovered that the most productive and best-performing organizations cluster their star talent in a few business-critical roles. This “intentionally nonegalitarian” model ensures that scarce difference-making talent is put in roles where it will have the biggest effect.

But the roles most companies specify as business-critical will need to change as technology changes. Advanced analytics, the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, and other innovations are making it possible for companies to compete in new and very different ways. This should lead to new strategies and, with them, new business-critical roles.

John Deere is a case in point. The company has always focused on providing farmers with the tools they need to feed the world’s growing population. But new sources of crop, weather, and other data have created new opportunities to boost farm productivity. John Deere’s Intelligent Solutions Group has turned real-time data, crowdsourced from thousands of the company’s customers, into services enabled by Big Data. As Deere’s strategy has shifted, so have the business-critical roles at the company—from traditional manufacturing positions to analytics and services roles. Attracting workers skilled in advanced analytics will become increasingly important for the company (as will the technology and processes required to translate these skills into real sources of advantage); industrial engineering and plant management skills will become less critical to fueling the company’s long-term growth.

Objectively assess the current skills and capabilities of your workforce to identify gaps

Once your organization understands the roles that will be most critical to winning, as well as the skills and capabilities required to be a star in these roles, it is important to examine the current skills and capabilities of your workforce. How many employees are capable of being stars in the business-critical roles of tomorrow? Does your company have a sufficient supply of star talent to win? The best companies audit the current skills and capabilities of their workforces carefully in order to identify any gaps they may face.

General Electric has been particularly forward-thinking regarding the new skills it will need to be successful over the long term. The company’s embrace of the industrial Internet has greatly affected many of its core businesses. Sensors on locomotive and jet engines, for example, generate data that can be used to predict the degradation of parts — saving GE customers billions on maintenance and lost operating hours. Harnessing this data requires new skills and capabilities. In 2012, when Jeff Immelt first introduced GE’s push into the industrial Internet, the company had 50,000 engineers in its workforce — mostly aeronautical, electrical, and other traditional engineers. The company had very few software engineers. Yet software engineering skills are key to GE’s future. By recognizing this critical gap early, GE has been able to develop strategies to close it systematically, over time.

Develop and acquire the talent you need to close any gaps, starting today

A client recently remarked: “Assembling a talented workforce is very much like making scotch—unless you cellar something today, it will be very hard to have something worth drinking seven years from now.” The best companies work hard to match their hiring and talent development strategies with their future workforce needs.

At Ford Motor Company, building world-class software engineering capabilities has become a strategic imperative. Car manufacturers are facing new competitive threats from the likes of Google, Uber, Tesla and dozens of start-ups. And a new ecosystem of finance, insurance, energy, infotainment and maintenance services has emerged based on the data-driven, app economy. In response, Ford established an entirely new business unit—Ford Smart Mobility—where most of the company’s software engineers reside.

Building world-class software is not a core competence for most automakers. Accordingly, Ford Smart Mobility has partnered with Microsoft and Pivotal (a Dell Technologies portfolio company) to bring new digital skills to the company. And Ford has located its Smart Mobility unit in Palo Alto, California—just minutes away from Stanford University—in order to have better access to software engineering talent. These steps (and others) are all part of the company’s plan to “quickly add new state-of-the-art software engineering capabilities across the Ford enterprise.”

Difference-making talent is a company’s scarcest resource. Innovative new technologies are changing the nature of work, as well as the skills and capabilities required to win in the future. Given the time it takes to attract and develop star talent, it is critical that companies start building the workforce they will need. There is no better time to start than today.

 

What Martech Means to Us

By Brad Middleton

If you are reading this you probably already have a basic idea of what we do here at Portfolio Creative. If you do not, simply put, we help connect our clients with the right creative talent; so when a term like Martech comes up it in relation to our niche in the workforce it may provide a brief pause. What does this word mean? Why is a “techie” word being associated with a creative-focused company?

Martech Today, a marketing technology website, defines the term as, “…the blending of marketing and technology.” They go even further to explain that, “Virtually anyone involved with digital marketing is dealing with Martech, since digital by its very nature is technology-based.”  This comes as no surprise to marketing professionals these days, as they are closely dependent on a slew of varying technologies to stay current and get their jobs done.

Where these two worlds collide is where we at Portfolio Creative are uniquely qualified to help both our clients and potential candidates. Clients today need extremely creative individuals who can provide opportunities for their customers to feel like they have a genuine one-on-one relationship. Brands that are able to immediately resonate with their existing and potential client base are doing so through extremely complicated technical channels that from the outside look very simple. The “art” existing in things like predictive advertising, user experience, software-as-a-service, and even artificial intelligence provides us the opportunity to introduce talented individuals to clients who really need their help.

Our candidates love the fact that we approach these situations from a creative point of view. We understand that deep down that the solutions our clients are looking for will come from this marriage of Creative thinking and a thorough understanding of the technical tools at their disposal. The funny thing is we’ve been working in this space for years, now there is just a new name or branding for these two converging worlds.

If you are a client needing help with creative problem solving with user experience, user interface, interaction design, mobile application development, application design, and even full-stack development we can introduce you to the talent you are looking for. If you are looking for design or development opportunities and want to work with people who appreciate the creative approach of your craft we can partner to provide exciting engagements.

 

"What is Martech? The Marketing Technology Landscape, Explained." Martech Today; n.d. Web 3 October 2017.

When to Use a Retained Search Versus a Contingent Search

By Catherine Lang-Cline

If you are in a position to hire a person and feel that you need to engage a recruiting company, there are a couple of things you will want to know when you are connecting with that recruiting team. Based on the type of company you are using and the level of search, you could be offered the option of a retained search or a contingent search. If you are not sure about the definitions of either, you can catch up by reading my post, “What is the Difference Between Retained Search and Contingent Search?

Since you know the difference between the two, let’s talk about when it is the best time to use each of these options. Let’s start with a retained search.

Since a retained search is a money-down and typically exclusive to one company agreement, it will work best when:

  1. The search is for a higher-level, executive role.

  2. The search is for a hard to find skill set. 

  3. Your search is highly specialized and you need a firm that really understands your role and/or your company’s needs and culture.  

Contingent search is a better fit when:

  1. The role is not an executive or director level. 

  2. You have exhausted all of your options and personal resources.

  3. You need to tap into as many other resources as possible, i.e: job boards, HR specialists, a various number of staffing and recruiting firms.

One reason you would choose a retained search is to get a more focused, rigorous search. The recruiter is going to reach far beyond even their own database to get you a perfect fit. It will be a search that may include people that are not currently looking for work. These candidates are great and they already have a job and a fantastic recruiter can convince them to at least consider your opportunity. You will be presented with fewer candidates because they have been thoroughly vetted, all are perfect in skill set, location, and salary, and they are very interested in the role if it were to be offered to them. Since this is an exclusive arrangement, the process is simpler and much more personalized to your and your company.

Contingent search works if the search is not going to be as difficult or as specialized. It may be a more common role, but one that you have had a difficult time filling. A contingent search gives you access to other companies databases without a money-up-front commitment. Bear in mind, you will receive an invoice if someone is hired, but if it is the right candidate, the time you save in getting that person is completely worth it. Your arrangement gives you access and with luck, they have the exact person you need.