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Building A Brand, One Hire At A Time

Hylink Digital’s Humphrey Ho knew the types of people he wanted to hire. He just didn’t think a staffing company could help.

China’s largest digital ad agency, Hylink, was set to open a new headquarters in Los Angeles. When Humphrey Ho began building his L.A. team, he wasn’t just looking for people who had industry experience. “The biggest challenge for my kind of business is finding people who are malleable, who are tolerant to constant change.”

“I credit Mathys+Potestio 100% to finding the people who currently run my company.”

Ho had worked with staffing firms in the past, and he didn’t expect any of them to understand the nuances he was seeking. “I’ve used a lot of staffing, and the success rate of recruiter-placed people, as a whole, is probably around 50%.”

He’d never heard of Mathys+Potestio, but he was impressed when he met L.A. Division Director Flavia Arsenault, by chance, at an industry event.

Her questions included his business objectives and the culture he wanted in the new office, not just the positions he needed to fill. “Flavia got it. Los Angeles is a surprisingly small market for advertising talent. It’s very stable, most of the seniors don’t move around, and the unemployment rate is very low. When I’m hiring senior and mid-level people, there isn’t much choice, especially finding people who will fit into the culture of the brand.”

“Without M+P, my company’s trajectory would be completely different.”

Fit wasn’t a problem for M+P. Their deep-dive candidate interviewing and vetting enabled them to explore how candidates would align with Hylink’s mindset in addition to qualifications.

For a U.S.-based company that does business exclusively in China, it was important to find people who would get behind the company’s mission.

“The people M+P has found are culturally curious. Career-wise, they’re ambitious, but they’re able to internalize why it’s not just about them. Literally, the first three employees in the office were found by M+P.” Those three employees are now senior leaders at Hylink.

Today, M+P is well-versed in Hylink’s priorities and preferences, making the hiring process very efficient. Flavia suggests who should interview a candidate first, advises the team on focus areas, and lets them know what to be ready for. She has a similar process with every prospect Hylink meets.

“Her candidates are always prepared in terms of what to talk about. I don’t have to introduce the company, because the people I interview already know what we do. There’s some kind of education process she does, and it’s amazing that she does it for every candidate. This is a significant time investment for my company, and I appreciate that. I’ve never felt like my money was not well spent.”

“Mathys+Potestio is my only recruitment firm. I don’t need anyone else.”

Humphrey remains skeptical of staffing companies, but makes an exception for M+P.

“Without them, I wouldn’t have my senior leadership team. My company’s trajectory would be completely different. First of all, I think the scalability of the company would be delayed. Secondly, the direction of the company would have been impacted by more churn. A lot of business owners will go build vs. buy, meaning recruiter versus their own HR. I’ve never had to measure that. Mathys+Potestio is my only recruitment firm. I don’t need to go to anyone else.”