Scroll Top

The Tao of the House Party

The last time you went to a party, where did you hang out? In the front room greeting people? In the kitchen mixing drinks? On the back porch in quiet conversation? These are games we play as recruiters: Looking for markers in everyday behavior to predict success on the job. Yes, really.

Behold our 4 party types and their best fit in your advertising agency:

The Greeters
They show up for the promise of meeting new people, and whether they realize it or not, they’re glued to the front room because they enjoy playing the welcome wagon, making small talk, then introducing their new pals to a Mingler so they can repeat the whole process over again. Variety speaks to them.
Best suited for: Business Development, Account Management, Recruiters

The Minglers
Greeters are working the room. Minglers get caught up in deeper conversations and value connections. They enjoy talking with like-minded people about their ideas. If you’re hosting a party and need to be in & out of the kitchen, you love friends that are good Greeters and Minglers.
Best suited for: Strategy, Creative

The Chefs
The kitchen is Mission Control. It’s where stuff gets done, so this is where the organizers hang out. These guys need to feel helpful, so they mix drinks, arrange food, carry trays, whatever. And decide among themselves who does what. It’s Lord of the Flies.
Best suited for: Operations, HR

The Back Porch
This is where people go to escape noise and small talk. Maybe because they’re helplessly introverted or prefer the peace of one-on-one conversation. Or it could be they just want to sit down! Someone’s husband that doesn’t know anyone seeks out people in similar plights on the back porch. “You do your thing, hon. I’ll just be back here.”
Best suited for: Analysts, Finance

Of course, they are all-utility players who can move comfortably between two or more positions. Definitely. There are Back Porch Creatives and Mingler Analysts. And hybrids too. You’ve witnessed the magic of a Delivery Manager than can also sell. But ultimately, these roles answer to different chiefs and have different goals. Unifying teams for example, versus delivering goods, and so they require minions to do both jobs well. (Remember Jeff Greene’s post about Digital Strategy leads who needs to both win and deliver projects?)

We can’t simultaneously play all positions and excel at everything. And it’s just as interesting to look at our weakest roles. For me, I’m not a Chef. I’m a fish out of water in the kitchen and it takes me longer than average to make sense of my surroundings and execute. I find logistical conversations tedious. So I’ve learned to steer clear of roles that require people to work together as a committee. But for the sake of staying focused and organized, it’s valuable for me to be paired up with a Chef.

How about you? Watch people at the next party and let us know if we’re on to something! Who knows, it may help you next time you write a job description or give interview feedback.

Privacy Preferences
When you visit our website, it may store information through your browser from specific services, usually in form of cookies. Here you can change your privacy preferences. Please note that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our website and the services we offer.