The 5-Step Hiring Process That Helped an Agency Grow to 7-Figures

By Jason Swenk on December 9, 2020

The 5-Step Hiring Process That Helped an Agency Grow to 7-Figures

Have you struggled to find the best way to find and hire new agency employees? Are you overwhelmed by the thought of growing your team? Do you want to make sure the people you work with are devoted to the success of your agency? It can be really hard to find the right fit for your agency. But when you take the time to make thoroughly vet new hires with a hiring process and streamline processes, you’ll set everyone up for success.

In today’s episode, we’ll cover:

  • 2 tips to help your agency perform strong from the start.
  • Why streamlined processes helps your team succeed.
  • The 5-step hiring process for hiring the right agency employees.

Today I sat down with Ray Sinlao, founder of Standard Conversions, a conversion rate optimization agency. Thanks to his background as a developer, Ray was able to develop in-house processes and even his own software, Buyer Tool, to help his agency surpass the six-figure mark in less than one year. He’s here to talk about the innovative hiring process that helped his agency grow to 7-figures.

2 Tips to Help Your Agency Perform Strong From the Start

It’s not unheard of to reach the 1-million mark in under a year as an agency — but it’s not exactly an everyday occurrence. So what tips does Ray have to help you find similar success?

  1. Performance-based pricing: Ray says performance-based deals helped him scale his agency at a rapid rate from the get-go. But it wasn’t without a few hiccups. The key, he says, is always working with clients you trust. If there is even 1% hesitation, walk away.
  2. Hire a team early on: In the beginning, Ray was working 16-hour days and was quickly burning out. But then he realized the whole reason he started his agency was to be able to spend more time with his family and have more control over his life. When you bring in the right people to support you, you’ll find you have more time to devote to the things that matter the most.

How Streamlined Processes Can Help Your Team Succeed

It’s one thing to be able to scale an ad account. It’s even better if you can scale a team to scale the ad accounts for you. But as agency owners, there’s often a reluctance to give up some of the control. This is normal, but it can easily hinder growth. Once Ray decided to grow his team, he set himself up early to make sure he was bringing on the right people and that they had the tools to succeed.

As a former developer, Ray started documenting processes from the beginning. This way, everything is repeatable. When a new person joins the team, they have a playbook filled with processes and a knowledge bank to help them deliver results. The more you can document what your agency does and why then the easier it will be for your new hires (and existing team) to deliver the results you expect.

5 Steps of a Hiring Process for the Right Agency Employees

It’s not unusual for agencies to experience a high level of turnover. Early on, Ray developed a process that helped him turn inexperienced media buyers into devoted, long-term employees. This helps you find, vet, and train the right team members so you are both set up for success.

  1. Selection: Ray says about 10% of people who apply to work at his agency actually make it through the end. And most of them drop out at the first step. Why? The initial application requires applicants to read a 200+ page book and write a 2,000-word copy. While Ray says the actual assignment doesn’t really apply that much, it lets him know how much work someone is willing to do to get the job.
  2. Observation: Here the potential new hire gets teamed up with an experienced media buyer. They’re not ready to do any work on their own, but they get to see what it takes to do the job day in and day out.
  3. Hands-on experience: Ray considers this a minimal risk step. Here the potential employee gets to do some work (uploading projects), but they don’t have any account management responsibility.
  4. More independence: At this point, the new employee essentially has the job. They are given more freedom and can manage one campaign under an account manager’s supervision.
  5. Full immersion: Here, the new hire finally gets to do the job they initially applied for. While some people may think this process is a little much, Ray says the people who make it to the end are the ones that stick around long-term.

Your success as an agency largely comes down to the groundwork you lay at the beginning. If you take time to develop processes and carefully vet your team, your agency is more likely to find long-term success.

Want to Scale Your Agency’s Media Buying?

If you really want to scale your agency’s media buying power, check out BuyerTool. This is a new tool agencies use to manage more ad accounts and clients. BuyerTool automatically builds your dashboard! It allows you to manage all of your ad accounts, team members, and clients from a single UI. Your team can do in minutes what used to take experts hours to accomplish.

If you want to drastically streamline your media buying operations visit and get a free 2-week trial just for Smart Agency podcast listeners.

Growing Your Agency

Hiring great agency talent allows your agency to not only improve with your new hiring processes but you also improve as an agency owner. With the other challenges will come your way — this is where I can step in.

I have advice for common agency obstacles such as recognising common agency mistakes, how to keep great agency employees in your team as well as fostering the connections made with clients. If it’s challenging growing your business, I have agency growth hacks, the best ways to improve management of your business as well as why building a remote team can be beneficial in the long run.

Learn more about my career as well as tips, tricks, and insights by checking out my blogs that cover a wide variety of topics.

You can learn more from my experience from my Ask Swenk series and my videos on my Youtube channel. Check out advice and learn even more from other successful agency experts featured on Smart Agency podcast twice every week.

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