Why is hiring talented interns important?Dana Bojcic
On one side of the intern / company relationship you have a student or recent graduate looking to apply what they have learned in the classroom and gain some real work experience. There is a clear benefit for the student and often, the opportunity yields a lot of busy work, a little actual work, and a line item on their resume. On the company side, the need for interns varies greatly. It might be “a program we have,” it might be a way to have some tedious tasks and filing completed, or it might be that people need coffee and someone needs to get it. None of these are the case at Vici.
We believe a solid recruitment strategy starts early, and we believe interns should be considered staff members and they should perform worthwhile tasks. In fact, by tediously selecting the absolute best and right interns, we save time on new hires and feel like we really get know them before we bring them on board full time. On the flip side, our interns also know exactly what the culture and fit is like at Vici before accepting a full-time position, and they are able to determine firsthand if a future at Vici is right for them prior to a full time commitment. A transition to a full-time position is always the goal, in fact former intern Dan Renninger is now leading our internship program. Here is what he has to say:
We are exceptionally proud of our team here at Vici and we know what we have is unique and special. Why? Because talents are unique and special! I have spent quite a few years as a certified Talent Analyst and the primary focus of my job was interviewing, coaching, and developing people in media roles. Salespeople, Local Sales Managers, General Sales Managers, Digital Sales Managers … you name it. With every unique role there was a unique set of talents we were looking for. A special set of gifts and natural instincts.
You see, closing business is a talent – being assertive, organized, structured, ambitious, creative, positive, personable, responsible – all talents. The ability to manage multi-faceted digital campaigns through various platforms flawlessly is absolutely a talent. In fact, it is a combination of talents!
Every position has a set of talents we are looking for, almost like a shopping list of ingredients that are needed for the recipe of success in the job.
Think about it, if you are ready to make some homemade pizza crust you don’t think, “Well, it would be nice to have flour, but we can just use something else and it can somehow be just like flour.” That is not how it works. Now, I know Cauliflower can somehow be pizza crust, but not without a lot of work and just the right approach and even with all that work and effort it often comes out soggy and just not “right.” It is soooo much easier to start with flour.
Hiring our interns from the very beginning with talent in mind allows us to start with a solid foundation and then when we add coaching and training and work experience we see things like rapid growth and glimpses of excellence. Our interns experience things like job satisfaction and pride in their work.
Think about your own set of talents and how you use them in your daily life? What activities do you dread versus what activities do you lose yourself in? If you find some of your daily tasks eternal and painful, that is not a good place to be. I have experienced this before. I worked in a factory once for a summer job while in school. I sat isolated in one spot all day and helped to make car door handles. For my part, I would pick up a handle, place it in what was called a swage machine, push one button to set it and another button to round out the nail. Over and over and over again. Every minute on the job was excruciating and agonizing as I watched the minutes tick by. At the end of the day, I had a pile of product I completed, but I did not feel proud. I felt drained. The upside of this job is I found out that isolation and silence does not work for me in a work environment.
By comparison, I also did an internship in college at Walt Disney World, specifically Epcot. My job was to greet guests coming into the attraction and set up the show. I needed to move around and interact before the show started. I had to grab the mic, provide positivity and instructions in a fun way and get the audience READY. After all this fanfare, I also pushed a button, you know to start the show, but WOW what a difference in how I felt each time I pushed that button. Accomplished. Proud. The time flew by.
People on our team need to be marketing savvy, smart and thoughtful. They also must possess a strong desire to serve our clients. They need to be tech savvy but also be able to have fun. So how do we find these glorious individuals? Through honed-in techniques!
First, people need to know what they are getting into, so we write our job descriptions to show our sense of humor as well as our priorities. Besides being a talented ad buyer, we say things like: “A mastery of Microsoft Excel (really, you have to be an Excel ninja), proven organizational skills, attention to detail, and a serious work ethic (we have a casual office environment but we work hard and fast – no crybabies allowed), business experience where you have demonstrated the ability to work in a fast-paced environment (we’re not kidding – you will be juggling a lot of balls in the air)”. Our job descriptions cut right to the point of what we’re looking for while expressing who we are as a company.
Once we have finalized our job descriptions, we use ziprecruiter.com to blast them out. This tool helps us post to hundreds of job boards at once to spread our message far and wide. We also use Facebook Job Listing Ads to get applications through social channels. Our last hiring this past spring we received over 90 applications, for two openings.
Once we develop our application pool we use Wonderlic to screen applicants. Wonderlic is a timed logic and personality test mirroring the type of job you’re hiring for, based on the top talent across the country. We screened our entire staff prior to hiring to make sure we understood how to mimic the traits of our top performers. This helps us cut through the endless hours of reading applications and interviewing. People who match the traits you are looking for filter right to the top.
Next up is our screening process. First step in the screening process is a structured phone interview with detailed questions that help us to determine talent and fit. We want to make sure we are hearing what we need prior to moving to an in-person interview. We not only screen potential candidates prior to an interview, but once we bring them to interview with the team in person, we also do a supervised 7-minute mini Wonderlic to make sure no one else took the test for them. At Vici we hire hard!
One thing we always keep in mind outside of hiring sprints is to keep our eyes open for new talent, even when we aren’t hiring. One way we do that is by speaking at local colleges, fostering a very challenging internship program, and talking to people interested in working for Vici even if we don’t have something available. You never know what opportunities are available down the road and it pays to keep your talent bank full.
So how does this work out for us? Let’s hear from some interns turned full time Vici employees!
Laura Ostrowski who is now our Digital Operations Manager was one of our very first interns. Of her experience, she says: “The Vici internship is more or less a mini version of the Digital Campaign Coordinator position. You are not given many menial tasks to fill time; from day one, you are taught the same skills you would be if you had a full-time job. For that reason, the internship is an amazing place to learn about digital marketing and prepare for a role in the field (and especially for a role at Vici).”
Our most recent intern Alex D’Ascenzo describes his journey as well, “From the beginning of the training program, I felt right at home and in a place where I knew everyone had my back. Everyone wanted to show me what they knew so I was better prepared to take on tasks as an intern and also move into a larger role. I came in with no previous campaign management history, and the internship allowed me to take a birds eye view of all the tasks that go into a campaign from RFP to Campaign Complete. The pace of the internship was good, and it never got too mundane while never being too overwhelming. This is good for people new to a new way of operations, as it takes time to adjust and understand the way things are done.I was also in a tough position where I transferred to full-time while we were all stuck at home working. This was a challenge in itself, but Amin, Kiri, and the rest of the team all had my back and were available to answer questions and lend a helping hand whenever I needed it. I couldn’t be grateful enough for the opportunity Vici provided me, and the good work environment that Vici continues to uphold in these trying times.”
These are just a few of our former interns turned full time employees. What a win-win situation! Happy Interns transitioning to happy employees!
If all of this talent talk has you thinking of an intern that would be a perfect fit for Vici, send them our way! We pay our interns and we are a fabulous place to work, The Philadelphia Business Journal agrees and lists Vici as one of the best places to work!
See below for more details on our internship opportunities or forward this blog to the ideal applicant. https://www.vicimediainc.com/contact-us/career-opportunities/
Vici Media is looking to add part-time Digital Marketing Assistants to our growing digital marketing team! Vici has been awarded the “Top Places to Work in Philadelphia” honor for 2019, making it a great work environment. This position is perfect for students and recent graduates looking for an entry level digital marketing opportunity. We have had many past interns transition into full time roles on the team. This position will have flexible hours (maximum 20 hours per week) and we are happy to make accommodations for school schedules. If you are eager to build your resume and get real world digital marketing experience, this is the internship for you.
In this role you will learn techniques in building out a digital marketing campaign from scratch, how to create performance reports for existing clients, and conceptualize proposals for prospective clients, as well as learning the most cutting-edge digital marketing techniques.
Key Duties and Responsibilities:
- Curating unique and specialized Keyword lists for clients
- Creating custom conversions to track campaign performance
- Update client creative on display and Social Media platforms
- Appending customer lists for IP targeting
- Independently manage multiple tasks and deadlines
- High School degree and some college courses, preferably in marketing or related field
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
- Ability to multitask and manage multiple projects with deadlines
- Proficient in Microsoft Office applications and Windows operating system
- Adept at learning and applying new technologies
If you are driven with a motivated work ethic, looking to excel and learn in a dynamic environment with an opportunity to make an impact in a fast-paced, high-growth collaborative workplace we want to hear from you!