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Startup Advice: Hire for Growth

Nimble Division is a privately-run family business and our creative teams are proud of the fact that we’ve never accepted a dollar of venture funding during our many years in business. This is notable because if you’ve followed tech-related news over the past few years, you’d be hard pressed to find a worthwhile “startup” that didn’t take in outside funding. As the tech bubble is bound to burst, we’ll continue to thrive.

How do we do it?


It was a team effort to put together the growing brand and digital teams, We didn’t set out to pull in the best designers, developers, project managers and other specialists that we could find. Frankly, we didn’t have the financial resources to do so. In hindsight, even if financing was no concern we’d still take the same approach. Our strategy was and in some cases still is to identify potential partners and employees who meet at least a majority of the following characteristics (in loose order of importance):

  • Open-minded
  • Responsible
  • Flexible to changing needs
  • Shows promise in their field
  • Ability to accept critique
  • Ability to give critique
  • Socially-connected
  • Personable
  • Fashionable

The first 3 items on the list tell us that the person in question has a team-oriented mindset and an openness to learn and evolve to meet the needs of a variety of client projects. This person will do well in the rapidly evolving digital field.

Next on the list, shows promise, is just as it sounds. We’re not looking for polished talent. We’ve worked with those people, and guess what? They can be very stubborn. We’d rather find someone who has the spark and then provide them the resources to develop their skills and grow with the team. No man (or woman) is an island here!

Critique is a big part of our process. We want to always be collaborating with individuals who can both give and take constructive criticism. True all-star designers know that projects will improve through an appropriate critique process. If you aim to work for clients, be able to deal with critique. If you want to create art, well, best of luck.

The final tenets, socially-connected, personable & fashionable, are indeed important, but not at top of mind during the initial thought process. Essentially, we aske ourselves, “Is this person attractive to others?” (not in a beauty kind of way). If they have a good group of friends, are socially active and can hold their own in a crowd, chances are good that they’ll be a great fit for our team.

There you have it. A little guide that ought to help you when making those all important hiring decisions. Go forth and prosper!

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