Today it is one of the leading websites for credit card reviews on the net, but that’s a far cry from CreditCardForum’s humble beginnings. With nothing more than a dream and a vision, I launched the site in 2008. The fact it was the same year as the financial meltdown didn’t help things out; all of the banks ceased their affiliate marketing efforts, which meant there was no advertising revenue coming in – and of course – hiring wasn’t feasible.
Fast forward to the present and it’s a totally different story. With the economy back on its feet, credit card companies are now aggressively marketing their products. In fact, longtime veterans of the industry say there’s never been a more lucrative time for advertising credit cards. Why? Because many people cancelled their accounts during the Great Recession – and now – banks are clawing at each other to win back those lost customers.
In short, times are good for this industry and now that CreditCardForum is one of the most highly-trafficked sites in the space, revenue is quite healthy. So it’s no surprise that I am looking to expand the business. But what’s the best way to do so? Well, based on my current and past web ventures, here are three things I’ve learned along the way about hiring (and what strategies I will be using as my company continues to grow).
1. Cast a wide net (but with control)
All there a lot of people looking for jobs? Absolutely. But despite the large pool of candidates, finding the right person that can handle exactly what you need isn’t always easy. I’ll discuss qualities in moment but first let’s talk about how to find employees.
From my experience with hiring, you never know where the right employee may come from. They might show up from a Craigslist job posting or somewhere else you would expect. However on the flip side, their application might come from somewhere totally out of left field.
Conclusion? You never know where you will find the right employees. That’s why you need to cast a wide net. Of course the problem with that is there will be even more resumes to sort through. This is why Recruiterbox is so useful – it allows you to sort, respond, and manage them, no matter how many you applicants you get!
2. True passion will often trump the best skills
Let’s say you’re looking to hire a great writer (which I currently am seeking). Someone can be the best writer in the world, but still the worst choice for your needs. Why? Because without passion, it won’t matter how smart or skilled the candidate is.
For example, on my site there is ranking of the top business credit cards . You can tell the writer is quite passionate about the topic… that’s because it’s me! I may not be the best writer, but true passion is what brings that topic to life. Ultimately, it’s passion that will persuade a reader to apply for a business credit card… not necessarily the best grammar.
This is why when I seek a writer, the first thing I look for is passion. The first writer I hired (starting as an independent contractor) isn’t the most knowledgeable about credit cards, but ultimately it was his passion that led me to my hiring decision.
When you’re hiring, I recommend you do the same. Someone can have the best skills and fanciest degrees, but that won’t stop them from getting burnt out on the job. However, if you choose someone with passion, they’ll be far more likely to keep the candle burning.
3. Making the right (or wrong) decision will impact your business
Whether you make the right or wrong decision, there’s one thing you can be sure of… it will impact your business, either for better or for worse.
Several years ago I was involved with a startup where we had to hire someone to handle legal affairs. My business partners and I made the mistake of choosing one of the very first applicants, without doing our proper due diligence on them. Long story short, after we hired her, she turned out to be a mentally unstable person who lied to us about her educational background. It was a total nightmare and stifled growth of the company.
I learned two things from this experience. The first being that you need to cast a wide net (as mentioned above). If we would have sought more applicants, I’m sure we would have weeded her out early on, because we never considered her an A+ candidate in the first place. Secondly, there’s no need to rush the decision – take your time and conduct proper due diligence on the candidates. Being organized with Recruiterbox can help you do that (use it to discuss candidates and share notes about them amongst your company).
As I take CreditCardForum to the next level, I am doing both of these things to ensure the new positions are filled with the most qualified and passionate people for my company.
About The Author: Michael Dolen is the President of Category Media, which is the parent company of CreditCardForum. Today it is one of the most popular sites for credit card offers in the United States.