30 days ago, I joined Seer Interactive as the Vice President of Analytics & Insights. As with any new job, you do your best to get to know the company and its people prior to joining, but you never really understand how things work until you’re actually there.
Here are a few things that I’ve learned about Seer, and its people. It’s customers and its culture in my first 30 days:
The interview process is genuine.
During the interview process, which extended over a couple of weeks, the people I met were real. By real, I mean that these were the people that I would be working with on a daily basis and they provided a detailed account of what working at Seer would be like. They had a vested interest in making sure that I was a good fit for the company and that my leadership style was going to work at Seer.
Most importantly, they cared about getting to know me and my working style. The interview process included role-playing scenarios, which were appropo. They made me think on my feet and react to situations that arise on a daily basis to determine how I would handle them.
Through these conversations, I learned a great deal about Seer and they began to understand my style and how I would react in real-world scenarios. The interview team also appreciated the fact that I was interviewing them as much as they were interviewing me. My questions were welcomed, encouraged, and thoroughly answered.
"I gained a great sense of the openness and transparency that exists at Seer during this time."
On the topic of transparency, Seer has adopted a transparent salary strategy that provides an open look at what people get paid, leaving no room for speculation or wondering what your total compensation package would look like. They even provide a total compensation calculator for anyone to use (whether applying at Seer or not) to determine if you're earning a fair wage. At Seer what you see is what you get.
Onboarding is about acclimating.
You don’t climb Mt. Everest in a day. Nor do you show up at a new job on Day 1 and know what it's all about. Seer builds in time to acclimate. Just like showing up to the mountain and staring at the summit, thinking how amazing it will be once you get there…you have to spend time at Base Camp so that you can adjust to the altitude, plan your steps, and really get a sense of what things are like.
"At Seer, the acclimation process begins with one of our amazing perks of getting a week of fully paid PTO on your first week of work."
Seer calls this Recharge Week and it’s meant to allow new employees time to do just that. Recharge by spending time getting set up for your new job, pursuing your interests or hobbies, or simply laying low and relaxing. For me, Recharge Week was back-to-school week for the kids, so I was able to help them get ready for the new school year, attend all their sporting events, and my wife and I even went out to lunch on a Tuesday!
Upon showing up on my actual first day of (virtual) work…Did I mention that Seer is nearly 100% virtual? Yes, there are offices in Philly and San Diego, but employees are encouraged to work in their home offices, or one of their two locations, whichever suits them best. When I logged onto my first meeting, Seer’s President Crystal was there to greet me (as most Managers do on a new hire’s first day).
We talked about the onboarding process and I was provided with a detailed schedule of onboarding meetings, team introductions, company resources, self-guided training, and a jam-packed schedule for my first 4 weeks. Everything was clearly documented and the People Services Team was there at every step of the way.
Culture is contagious.
When you’ve got a good culture, you don’t have to tell people about your culture, it exists in the ethos, you feel it, and you’re immersed in it. Right from the start, I could tell that Seer was a different kind of place. Everyone was there to help and not just willing, but actually going out of their way to make me feel welcome.
One of the highlights of Week 1 was spending some time with Wil, Seer’s founder, who shared his vision for relentlessly pursuing the truth, unlocking potential, and living in a world where it’s easy to do the right thing. This led to a discussion about Wil’s passion for volunteering, and how he has made it pervasive throughout Seer’s culture.
Every Seer employee has unlimited time to volunteer for things that they are passionate about. We track this as one of our critical KPIs and it exudes a deep-rooted sense that we as a company are doing more than just pushing out digital marketing expertise.
The volunteering culture is one of the reasons why Seer has an amazing feel-good vibe, but this extends to its people as well. Seer has a large number of team members that have been with the company for years.
They’re ‘ol G’s that helped to build the company from the scrappy SEO start-up it was to the amazing full-service agency it has become. But unlike many workplaces, where employees will tell you this is how we do it here and that’s how it’s gonna be. Seer is ripe for change. There are no egos here and everyone that I’ve encountered thus far is not only willing to listen to new ideas, but they desperately want them. There’s no stepping on eggshells here or keeping quiet when senior leadership is presenting a plan.
"Everyone here is uplifting others by contributing ideas and collectively working to be better than they were yesterday."
When I was commenting on this to one of my peers on the executive team, he encouraged me to “break some shit”, by putting my ideas out there and being bold. Seer is not afraid to evolve and the contagious culture throws the doors wide open for this to happen.
Seer is all about helping companies (and communities) do better marketing.
Almost from the get-go, I could tell that Seer was a different kind of Digital Marketing consultancy. Born on strong foundations in Search, Seer offers services across the spectrum of digital marketing, yet they all tie back to one core tenet: It’s all about the data. This speaks to me and hopefully, it resonates with you as well. Seer’s relentless pursuit of the truth is grounded in data. So much so, that we don’t trust our gut, we trust the data.
"Coming in as the VP of Analytics & Insights, this is music to my ears."
I’ve been a long-time proponent of the fact that companies must collect and use data with purpose. This means not just stockpiling data in hopes that someday you’ll get around to using it or somehow some magical insights will emerge from your data stores. No. Instead, at Seer we collect data with a purpose in mind and utilize data to answer burning business questions, to shed light on performance, and validate our hypotheses. I’m joining Seer at a critical time in its evolution because we are currently undergoing a rebranding exercise.
Our process includes: Uncover, Build, and Improve. This truly is a process to grow by and Analytics is a purposeful cog in the wheel. To be honest, without Analytics you’re screwed. It’s an essential part of Marketing in today’s world, and I’m ecstatic to be leading Seer’s team of talented Analysts and Consultants.
This is a place where I can paint my masterpiece.
Almost unconsciously, I began writing this post talking about the way that they did things and the way that Seer built a process. Yet, over the first lightning-fast 30 days that I’ve been here, I’m already speaking and writing about the things that we will do and how we operate. To me, that embodies the fact that I already feel like I belong here. Seer is a welcoming place that encourages all of its people to be their best selves. I’m taking that literally.
"In so many of my past and previous roles, I’ve had big ideas that I just couldn’t get off the ground for one reason or another. No resources, no Team, no budget, no thanks. Well, this is no more. At Seer, with all my heart I believe that we can make a difference for our people, our customers, and our communities."
I’m charging straight into this opportunity with full intentions to shake things up and to expose a new way, perhaps the right way, of doing Analytics and using it to illuminate your digital marketing.
If this sounds like a place that you’d like to join, I welcome you to reach out to me and learn more about Seer. Or, if you’re a prospective customer looking to work with an agency that’s all about doing the right thing, then get in touch via email. I hope to hear from you.