7 Tips: How To Find An Ad Ops Specialist

Marika Stolarska · Ecosystem.
What details should be noticed when hiring an Ad Ops / Traffic Manager specialist?

What details should be noticed when hiring an Ad Ops / Traffic Manager specialist? 

When you intend to employ your dream worker, there are a few things that you may accidentally miss, and those things can have a huge impact on developing your team. Let us give you a few examples of ways to deal with staffing without the support of HR.

Before you meet the first candidate…

Ok, the decision has been made! In order to execute team goals effectively, you will need more employees. Already at this stage, some mistakes can be made. In order to minimize the risk, answer the following questions:

What competences are you looking for?

  • Does it have to be someone with experience who will lead others on a team?

  • Perhaps a Junior Ad Ops Specialist will be sufficient – someone who will need time to be implemented and developed according to your model and culture of work?

This is a beneficial solution, if you have the means and time for it. Many companies want to save and decide to hire interns but they forget about one important aspect – the cost of employing such a person is significantly lower but the expenditure of energy and time is unmeasurably higher.

Tip: Before you decide to hire someone less experienced, check if you have time and resources on your team to prepare such a person for work, and teach them everything they need to know.

Do you have a planned career path for this person?

And will they have a chance for growing?

  • You hire an Ad Ops Specialist because you need one immediately. But will you need such a specialist in half a year when the project is done?

  • Do you have an idea for their development in a period of one year?

The term “possibility of growth” is usually used excessively by many companies as a bait to attract candidates. You can have interesting visions about a spectacular growth of your new specialist but if they do not have coverage in real life, the Ad Ops Specialist will run away before you know it.

Tip: If you’re not sure if you still have work for an Ad Ops Specialist after a project ends, be honest with yourself and think whether you need an employee on the site or perhaps it will be better to consider Ad Ops outsourcing.

The selection and staffing stage – who to choose?

First and foremost – someone who is involved. No knowledge or experience will replace a real and unforced desire to work.

How do I know that a given candidate wants to work? Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If a candidate avoids answers to such questions, will give an unclear response or will provide a reason that will arise your doubts, be cautious. You’re looking for someone who will bring some good energy to the team instead of demotivating your employees!

If you have doubts at this stage, it is worth to ask for a contact to a person from the candidate’s previous work, who can provide information about them.

Tip: Ask the person about reasons for leaving the previous job.

How to verify technical skills during an interview?

Depending on how advanced the person you are looking for must be, try to adjust the level of technical verification to the level of the job which you are offering and also to your level.

If you start to ask a Junior Ad Ops Specialist candidate about things that are challenging to yourself, then you will both feel awkward.

On the other hand, a senior specialist with good technical experience can feel discouraged if you ask them for the definition of an adserver. Often, such detailed questions can help in detecting a non-competent person who is hiding behind a few-year-long experience.

Regardless of the above, it is worth asking about particular tools and methods of dealing with sample problems. The more detailed the example, the bigger the chance that you will find out how a given person functions on a daily basis and how they solve complex tasks.

Tip: See in their CV, what tools the candidate used and then ask about a particular feature of the tool that the candidate should know, e.g. ask to explain details of dynamic allocation in DFP.

Be flexible!

The today’s labor market can be tricky. In addition, Ad Ops Specialists do not complain about the shortage of job offers. Don’t hope that you will employ someone you dreamed of. There are no Ad Ops Specialists, who:

  • know English at the C1 level,

  • have a university degree,

  • know the online advertising industry, advertisement service technologies and metrics for measuring advertisement effectiveness (CPM, CPC) by heart,

  • have all the required technical competences (e.g. HTML, CSS, Javascript and ActionScript) and…

  • … have highly-developed soft skills,

  • and dream about working at your company!

When you wake up from this dream and undergo a reality check, you will realize that the things you have paid attention to previously, are no longer that important. Do you really need an employee with a master’s degree (so they studied ethnography – this won’t be helpful in analyzing traffic on the website).

Perhaps knowledge of all platforms will be the key aspect?

Tip: Focus on three key areas that you care about and define the criteria for selecting candidates on this basis.

Chemistry between people counts

When you already pick a person who meets your expectations, it’s worth checking whether they will integrate with the team well. The last things you’d want are conflicts and misunderstandings between employees. That’s why you should invite one person from your team to take part in the final staffing stage – someone who will closely cooperate with the new employee.

If they are members of one group, it will be worth ensuring that they understand each other well already at the initial stage.

Tip: during the staffing process, allow your team members to talk to the candidate and then ask them for opinion – this way you can check whether the new employee will communicate easily with your current team.

Help! Nobody is applying for the job!

Let’s be honest – currently, it’s the candidates who make their own rules on the labor market. This means that times when 100 experienced specialists applied for a job are long gone. If within two weeks, 5 applications reach you that do not meet your needs, don’t wait for a miracle and start acting!

  1. Verify whether your job ad is targeted at the right people, with competences corresponding to the described requirements. Perhaps you expect too much?

  2. Ensure a proper format and transparency of the ad. It seems obvious that spaces between rows, usage of bullets or proper font size are also important!

  3. Be an attractive employer! Do not make promises you can’t keep but if there’s a reason why it’s worth joining your team, then just write about it. The more detailed and honest the description of the working conditions, the bigger the chance that a potential candidate will imagine sitting in a comfortable chair, surrounded by great, open-minded people, eating fresh fruit, using innovative tools and outstanding equipment! Do you see it now?

If you still have a shortage of candidates, take action.

LinkedIn will be very helpful here. A good idea is to simply send offers to candidates. However, in order for the activity to be effective, keep in mind two things:

  1. Send messages only to people that you would really want to join your team. Go over their profile in detail. Do not send mass messages – remember that potentially you will have to talk to every person you send a message to, either by telephone or during a face-to-face interview.

  2. Personalize the messages as much as possible – the more the message is adjusted to a given recipient, the bigger the chances of you receiving a response.

One more tip to sum it up: Don’t give up, be flexible and hope for some luck. Sometimes it takes months to find the right specialist. Technical jobs are in high demand now so the more attention you pay to staffing the right person, the better your team will function!

This article was originally published on Mar 16, 2017


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