December is always an interesting time of year in agency life. Clients are having budget conversations, team members are taking holiday vacations, and we’re all trying to wrap up various projects and deliverables before the end of the year. While the same can’t be said for our PPC counterparts, in the SEO realm, this can also be the slowest time of year. Clients are also taking vacations, or focused on delivering their own projects before the end of the year, so they might not be giving their vendors the normal amount of attention (which is completely understandable). I always like to take some of this time to reflect on the past year and think about what we can tweak and/or implement to make the business even better next year. Think of it as a New Year’s resolution of sorts – here are some ways we’re setting up UpBuild for success in 2019. [Read more…] about New Year’s Resolutions: Setting Up Your Agency for Success in 2019
There’s been a lot of conversation over the past few years about the four-day work week, and it’s not lacking controversy. A recent survey by The Workforce Institute revealed that while 72% of employees are in favor of a four-day work week, 37% also said they can’t finish their tasks even when they have a five-day work week. Treehouse, a technical education platform, received a ton of coverage in 2015 when they implemented a 32-hour work week; however, they rolled the program back one year later, citing a sharp decline in work ethic.
This begs the question: is a four-day work week realistic, especially in an industry where client needs often require tight turnaround times and undelayed communication?
We say yes…with a few caveats. [Read more…] about How We Make A 4-Day Work Week Work
According to Zenefits, the cost of hiring the wrong person can be anywhere from $6,000 – $15,000. Other sources peg it at a whopping $240,000. Not only is their salary a sunk cost, but you have to include the time spent by other team members hiring and training that person and their replacement. You also have to consider intangible costs like lower morale and overworked team members. It’s important to get hiring right the first time, and with that comes an intensive hiring process. Let me take you through ours. [Read more…] about Hiring at UpBuild: Making the First Try Count
In our leadership meeting the other day, we were discussing sales forecasting. Specifically, how I’d love to get more solid models in place, but haven’t yet figured out what those models would look like. Frankly, I’m not sure I’ll ever have the answer for perfect agency sales forecasting, but luckily I’m not alone. Plenty of other people feel my pain (see here). That’s another blog post entirely, but it did get me to thinking about agency hiring strategies and why I believe proactive hiring is ideal.
Admittedly, I have an agenda, and that’s to get you to consider hiring proactively vs. the reactive-to-sales hiring that we’re all accustomed to. It can be difficult in an agency since sales have a certain ebb and flow, and you don’t want excess overhead for an extended time period. I get it. However, in many cases, trading a little short-term profit for a more solid hiring and onboarding experience can have several long-term upsides. [Read more…] about Making the Case for Proactive Hiring
Team member compensation can be tricky. No one really wants to talk about it, yet it’s top of mind for everyone. In 2018, it’s no longer enough to simply offer competitive salaries and perks – it’s also crucial that your team has transparency into exactly how their compensation is determined. Does this mean total salary transparency is the logical path for every company? I applaud companies like Buffer who’ve made salary transparency at the individual level work well for several years, but at UpBuild, we’ve decided it’s not the path for us right now. Even so, in thinking about our core values, it was important to us to design a transparent, fair, and attainable rewards system. A system that is available and easily understood by everyone (both internally and externally) and that’s based on intentional rewards for measurable progress vs. arbitrary raises determined by gut feelings.
When thinking about this system, it’s important to remember it’s exactly that: a system. If we want UpBuild to be the best place for technical marketers to work, we should be thinking about how we can compensate them in ways that support many different areas of their life. This post is about how we’ve chosen to do that. [Read more…] about Compensation at UpBuild