Objective: To hire key digital sales/marking personnel that complement the hiring manager’s strengths and compliment her lack of digital experience as well as understand the nuances of working within a digital division of a large magazine publishing company.

Background: Hearst Digital had recently named Kristine Welker as VP Sales and Marketing Hearst Digital from founding Vice President/Publisher CosmoGirl.   While Kristine had some experience managing a digital business, running Hearst Digital was to be her first experience leading a business 100% dedicated to digital.  Consequently, Kristine wanted to surround herself with a team who not only knew what it was like to work within the digital division of a big magazine company but who also understood the digital sales industry and could further her digital learning and appropriately lead the selling efforts.  Kristine first hire was to find her “Number Two” (a National Sales Director) on the sales side  – somebody who could lead the sales team so Kristine, in addition to sales, could focus on her other responsibilities.  The position was new, and Kristine’s first significant hire, so it was very important to find the right person quickly.

The job search for the NSD position was the first time Kristine had considered working with a search firm.   She had a lot of questions about how Mercury Group operated, what kind of value Mercury Group brought to the process and how quickly we work, etc. After a series of meetings/discussions, Kristine retained Mercury Group’s services.  She liked our sales/sales management experience – she especially liked that one of the Mercury Group Managing Partners had run sales for a digital division within a large magazine publishing company – so we could properly attract the right kind of talent and thoroughly vet candidates and appropriately answer questions.  She also liked that a different Mercury Group Managing Partner had worked at Hearst thus bringing an “insider’s view” of the Hearst culture.

Before meeting with candidates, Mercury Group met with key stake-holders and other personnel within Hearst Digital – both superior and subordinate to Kristine – in order to: a) gain insights to the culture and determine what kind of people succeed at Hearst Digital, b) attributes that others involved in the process were looking for in this candidate and c) make sure we had first hand answers to questions candidates would have regarding the business from the different stake-holders.

Results: After a thorough candidate vetting process, Mercury Group proposed 10 finalists for Kristine to meet.  All finalists met or exceeded the defined job spec criteria…yet they still had diverse professional backgrounds.  Since filling this position, Mercury Group has completed 2 more searches for Hearst Digital:  Executive Director for Marketing Services and a West Coast Sales Director (based in LA).

“We continue to work with the Mercury Group because they understand our business, our culture and what it takes to make a successful team.  It has been a genuine pleasure working with them.”

- Kristine Welker, VP Sales Marketing, Hearst Digital

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