The Process Interview: An Employee's Perspective
Updated: Mar 26, 2019
I remember the first time Jason interviewed me about my process. I had started at JANIIS full time maybe a month prior. I was in the process of building our social media platforms from the ground up, while also writing all of our content. Blog posts. Website copy. App copy. Social media captions. Anything you read, I wrote it. I was an experienced copywriter prior to JANIIS, but social media was something I kinda fell into.
Turns out, there’s a lot to it, and the schedule is relentless. I couldn’t get through ten minutes without having to jump on Instagram and respond to a comment, retweet something on Twitter, share something on Facebook, write a rebuttal on LinkedIn... let alone compose, create share images, and then finally post unique content.
I was stretched very, very thin. And so was my patience.
It was at this time our CEO, Jason Hahn, came along and started asking very, very detailed questions about my position. I had never had a superior, let alone the CEO of the company, ask me granular questions without there being some kind of negative repercussion. At first, I was defensive. I was barely holding my head above water, and was not about let anyone push me under by telling me I wasn’t working hard enough or implementing fast enough. I was one person! And for the resources I had I was absolutely killing it! Don’t question me!
After gently asking a few preliminary questions, he hit me with: “Why? Why are you doing it that way?”.
It stalled my defense in its tracks. I was so blindsided that all I said was “uhhhh” for five seconds- a really spectacular moment of articulation with my boss’s boss. I’m sure I made a great impression.
The truth is, I had never thought why. I know how terrible that sounds, but I was so overwhelmed with individual tasks I hadn’t had a moment to pull back, take a breath, and look at the big picture in weeks. There were so many deliverables I needed to crank out it was all I could do to stay on top of my schedule.
The more Jason and I talked, the more cathartic the experience became. His eyes grew wide as I showed him all the ways I was keeping track of things; how redundant they were. At the end of the interview, he recounted my process back to me. It took at least ten minutes. And it was one of the most validating moments of my life. If you ever have the opportunity to have the CEO of your company recount your process to you while being super impressed, I highly recommend it.
Having a complete picture of my daily procedure made it easy to spot areas of waste. We discussed these areas in depth, but long story short, we both agreed I was being heavily weighed down by the accumulation of small, manual tasks. Things like logging onto Facebook, posting a blog post, then logging onto LinkedIn, and repeating per social media platform. By removing the majority of these manual tasks, we would remove a significant portion of bad process and therefore increase my capacity. Over the next few days, I researched and priced out various programs to automate our social media.
Now, this was back in early 2016. We were still a very young start-up at this point. Aka the budget was tight. All funds were carefully allotted, and value for spend needed to be not just estimated, but delivered. OR ELSE. (It was a really serene, low pressure work environment (it wasn’t)). The week after my interview, Jason approved the purchase of a social media automation tool, and I quadrupled my output. Just that week. Guess how much the software costed? $100/month.
Let’s do some math because I secretly love math and not so secretly love data. Let’s say, conservatively, that I increased my output sixfold for six months. I say six months because my position began evolving and so it’s difficult to measure exactly how much I did comparatively (I probably 10x’d my value (I’m not biased)).
I’m going to take the rough amount I would have been paid for those six months, and then multiply it by six. Then add 600 ($100 subscription fee for six months), and then calculate the ROI with the increase being six times my salary for those six months. Now, I’m not going to tell you how much I was paid then (spoiler alert: it wasn’t a lot), but I’m good at math so you’re just going to have to trust me. It’s an ROI of about 470%. Conservatively.
I felt like Xena, Warrior Princess of Content Creation & Strategy. Adding a single software system revolutionized not just my job, but how quickly I was able to progress professionally once I had the ability to take on more responsibility.
Imagine what your business would be like if all of your employees were able to merely quadruple their value. Think how low your operational costs would be. Think how easy it would be to scale.
The nice thing is that you can do that. Right now.