More than the usual "shifting of the playing pieces" on our industry chess board, these recent hirings point favorably to the strengthening economy and the still-strong market for our products and services. And while the recent wave of new hirings and job transfers coming in the middle of "the summer slowdown" might seem to be ill-timed, it allows new team members to "get up to speed" before things get busier, as the weather deteriorates and school starts up again.
Still, there seems to be an unusual burst of hiring underway; and while I'm not so much interested in the particular person who was hired or the position that was filled, I am interested in the broader sense of "why?" and "what's driving the trend?"
For example, are positions being generated by an increase in business which requires an increase of staff, or is it due to attrition, either from workers leaving for employment in mainstream or other adult companies, or because of unsatisfactory performance in an increasingly competitive market? Consolidation? Hiring of "Specialists"? Is it all of the above? Or something else?
To try and understand what's going on, I asked a few of the folks who recently announced staff increases what they had to say on the subject of what was driving their recent hirings:
I began my search for answers in-house, as XBiz and the greater HELMY family have seen a number of recent additions. According to company president Alec Helmy, "Today's leading companies must establish solid infrastructures in order to compete in a fiercely competitive market. We continue to be actively on the look out for great talent to create new business opportunities, increase existing business levels, and to pad those departments of the company that are showing growth."
This search for compotent talent to fuel a strong business was echoed by Cyberheat (TopBucks.com) Director of Public Relations Quentin Boyer, who recently announced the addition of Ron Stewart to the PlugInFeeds.com Marketing and Sales team. According to Boyer, "In our case, what is driving the hiring is definitely a combination of expanding our business, and the desire to bring in people with experience in the industry to fill the positions, rather than providing on-the-job training, whenever possible."
Necessity, rather than the luxury of large staffs that fat profit margins allow, seems to be playing the main role in hiring, as Boyer explains "We launched PlugInFeeds early in the year, and it has been growing like the proverbial weed; that growth has necessitated the addition of more support, sales and administrative staff, as growth has a tendency to do. Our goal is to always be staffed sufficiently to support our clients - if anything, we'd rather have more people than we need at any given moment, so we can handle rapid growth and not get caught with our pants down."
Increasing staffing isn't all that's occuring in the market, Boyer advises, "Added staff is just the most visible component of the growth of PlugInFeeds; we've also stayed out in front of demand in terms of servers and other technical infrastructure, as well."
Homegrown Video has just welcomed Carol McCormick as their new Affiliate Manager, and many of the positions that have been announced are in this "customer service" role, indicating a growing emphasis on maintaining and improving affiliate relationships over and above the old "aquisition" model. Just as we've seen in the pay site arena, retention may be more important these days than aquisition.
Amateur porn guru Farrell Timlake aka Far-L, of www.homegrownmoney.com and homegrowncontent.com opined on the broader sense of "why?" there is a hiring upswing, stating "The industry is maturing to a point where there really are marketing and management specialists that have a background in the online adult industry. Some grow out to seek new potential, others are sought by competitors, and gone are the days when someone could step into high management without really knowing anything at all about the industry." As for "what's driving the trend?" Timlake commented that "The highly competitive market of today will naturally result in headhunting. Buying valuable experience can mean the difference between success and failure."
As for the reasons behind their own hiring, Timlake said "Our reason is that we are expanding and we are taking direct control over all our products and services so that we can assure their quality. We needed someone with broad experience and an excellent reputation for integrity."
Growth seems to be the biggest driving force behind hiring. As V1rtualDesires Co-Founder Jason "Loki" Smith comments "After the initial Launch of V1rtualDesires, MY workload was starting to get a bit too heavy, as I was doing most of the content creation and daily activities of the company I started to get swamped, as a result I have had to bring in more people to help with our content production as well as more marketing people. We did Just that, and still the workload got to be too much for the current team to handle on their own so we had to bring in more people again."
It's not just "warm bodies" that companies are seeking, but key players as well, as Smith added "I went through many 3D designers works and came upon Tart's And was floored by her artwork, We contacted her and after talks brought her on as a partner."
Platinum Bucks' Sales and Marketing Manager Ellisa Kamula summed up the growth and expansion of the industry while commenting on her company's recent hiring, stating that "Platinum Bucks is always looking to hire good people. At this point in time we have created two new positions in our sales department. We have developed and are continuing to develop many new products which touch on mainstream as well as many new adult products. We require a bigger and stronger sales team to help us continue to market our new products successively both within the mainstream and adult Internet markets."
Full on webmastering not your thing? Sales opportunities within the industry seem to abound!
The comments of these industry leaders as well as the tide of hiring points to a bright future for the online adult industry – a future dominated by mature companies who are able to excercise their vision, while attracting (and retaining) the qualified personnel they need in order to do so. Good luck in finding your place in this growing biz! ~ Stephen