Before I deliver my reasoning for hiring DCI apprentices, it would be helpful to note that I was a member of San Antonio’s Cohort #3 prior to hiring an apprentice of my own. My first-hand experience with the program offered me the confidence that hiring from within the same program would deliver the best results and my experience to date validates that resolve.
Finding talent in the workforce has become an art all its own. Languishing over thousands of resumes, only to find a handful that are even worth a phone call. Even fewer transcend that stage. At the end of it, you’re taking a real risk with whomever you hire and are left without accountability outside the walls of your office. For those who are not already well-versed in the art of digital, this undertaking could be nearly impossible.
This is where DCI comes into play.
1. Recruiting Top Talent Made Easy
Each of us would love to believe that we have such an exhaustive interview process. But the simple truth is that unless your organization’s core competency involves talent acquisition, it is neither financially nor temporally feasible to investigate a prospective employee’s KSAs (knowledge, skills, and abilities) to the degree that we should. From completing certifications to a series of interviews, DCI’s evaluation is quite rigorous. They truly have a knack for finding diamonds in the rough. Alexandra, our digital marketing specialist/apprentice, has revolutionized our department by taking our social media and content creation efforts to the next level.
While the convenience of pre-qualified digital marketing talent is a gift in and of itself, the true value lies in allowing you to be able to evaluate someone through more steadfast measures. I felt strong comfort in being able to get a feel for the fit/personality of a candidate, knowing that a diverse set of digital marketing skills will be acquired at an accelerated pace.
The process of the program itself is evidence to the dedication of these apprentices. It takes a particularly motivated and driven individual to willingly commit themselves to an attritious interview process with the end goal of taking classes at night after a full day of work (and paying for it!).
These apprentices are all committed to being the best in our field.
2. The Apprenticeship Itself
DCI hires only the best in the industry to teach directly relevant skills. With a healthy mix of former CMOs of multi-national conglomerates, upper echelon agencies, and subject matter experts, these apprentices are able to find the answer to any challenge ahead of them.
Personally, I felt the most career growth while completing the monthly portfolio projects. Instead of the theoretical lectures of a university setting, you’re given the information in an active, engaging format straight from some of the most impressive professionals I’ve ever encountered. It would be ideal if we, as employers, were able to expose our younger team members to complex, enriching projects from the start, but that is simply not the case. It would take a series of in-depth business endeavors and random occurrences to see these employees perform high level thinking under extreme pressure. In my cohort, C-level presentations were a weekly norm. This has been invaluable in my current role, giving me the experience and confidence to think out-of-the-box and get past the “entry-level” mentality.
Unfortunately, accountability outside of your organization is incredibly difficult to foster and maintain. The DCI program gives me peace of mind in knowing that should we run into problems, an entire network of dedicated professionals are deeply incentivized to help us solve them. Most recently, we have been creating a number of take-home materials for our new company, Hear-It-All, Inc. I am not well-versed in Photoshop (nor was I blessed with an eye for design), leaving a large skills gap in our organization. DCI was able to get Alexandra an account for an interactive Photoshop course and has bridged that gap in two weeks’ time.
Quarterly meetings between the employer, coach and apprentice are also a fantastic tool for keeping all parties on the same page and fully immersed in the organization’s goals.
The program is not free from accountability themselves either. They have recently become the Nation’s first Federally-recognized digital marketing apprenticeship, which requires significant transparency, reporting, and alignment with the United States Department of Labor. In addition to the Department of Labor, I was reassured by the robust network of partner companies which are entrusting their most valuable asset to Digital Creative: their talent.
Becoming part of the DCI company partner network is a decision towards peace of mind in talent acquisition. Our marketing department has soared since hiring Alexandra and there is no doubt in my mind that she can attribute an immense amount of that success to her DCI apprenticeship experiences. Her growing knowledge and impeccable work ethic have allowed me to step back and focus on more executive level functions, paying handsome returns thus far. As both an apprentice and an employer, DCI has showcased their commitment to cultivating an elite category of digital marketing professionals and altered the trajectory of my entire career beyond my loftiest of expectations.
As stated at the beginning of the article, Matthew Traywick is a DCI Fellow that graduated from DCI in January 2016. He currently serves as the Director of Marketing for Cook Hearing and Balance, an award-winning hearing aid practice in Cedar Park, TX. In addition, he is in the process of building his new company: Hear-It-All, Inc. This practice is one of the first of its kind, helping to dispel the myth that hearing healthcare is expensive and placing the patient first. Matthew has a passion for data-driven side of digital marketing and is dedicated to growing the industry as a whole.
If you think your company could benefit from the peace of mind that comes from hiring a DCI apprentice or are interested in becoming a part of the DCI company partner network please contact us today.