The art of recruiting for the art world, now and in the future, with founder of Murk & Co, Sarah Murkett
SIMON SINEK IS THE AUTHOR OF MANY BEST SELLING BOOKS ON HOW THE GREATEST LEADERS AND ORGANIZATIONS THINK, ACT AND COMMUNICATE. IN START WITH WHY, HE GIVES EXAMPLES OF MANY OF THE LEADERS WHO INSPIRE US ALL IN EXACTLY THE SAME WAY: BY DEFINING AND ARTICULATING THE WHY OF WHAT THEY AND THEIR COMPANIES SET OUT TO ACCOMPLISH.
WHY-types are the visionaries, the ones with the overactive imaginations. They tend to be optimists who believe that all the things they imagine can actually be accomplished. HOW-types are focused on things most people can see and tend to be better at building structures and processes and getting things done. Visionaries need HOW-types to realize their visions.
Start With Why p.38
SARAH MURKETT, FOUNDER AND OWNER OF MURK & CO., SPECIALIZES IN RECRUITING THE BEST HOW-TYPES FOR ALL THE MANY FACETED JOBS IN THE ART WORLD. HER SERVICES ARE INVALUABLE TO THE VISIONARIES THAT START A BUSINESS FOR WITHOUT THE EXECUTION, THEY WOULD ONLY HAVE IDEAS.
THE LRFA BLOG IS VERY PLEASED TO HAVE SARAH BACK TO SHARE HER VISION OF THE FUTURE OF THE RECRUITING WORLD IN GENERAL AND MURK & CO. IN PARTICULAR. SARAH, WHAT IS THE SCOPE OF SERVICES MURK & CO. PROVIDES IN TERMS OF ART-CENTRIC BUSINESSES? DO YOU FOCUS ON THE COMPANY’S POTENTIAL FOR GROWTH OR PROFIT OR MORE?
I am currently helping an advisor to grow her business and have been brought into the process at an intimate level. An employee left and I conducted an exit interview with that person to get a better picture of her role and the activities of the business. We restructured the role so that it would better suit the principal, in terms of the key support that she needs, as well as what would be potentially attractive to the talent pool being considered for the position.
IF YOU COULD IMPROVE THE NATURE OF THE RECRUITING BUSINESS IN ANY WAY, WHAT WOULD THAT BE?
As I mentioned before, I try to meet all of my candidates in person and so I spend a lot of time in meetings and traveling to meetings. But when this is not possible, I prefer a phone call and try to avoid video interviewing on platforms like Skype or Facetime. I find the platform to be inherently awkward and so it gets in the way of me establishing a rapport with the candidates I am trying to connect with. The most distancing feature of any video platform is where to look so that your eyes are in the right place. You need to look into the camera in order for your call partner to feel like you are looking at them. If you look at the screen where your call partner’s face appears, then it doesn’t feel like you are looking at them, creating a kind of parallax effect. I personally just anxiously keep moving my eyes back and forth between the two. Also, the surrounding environment, lighting, camera angle and what you are wearing all contribute to how you are perceived in a video call. It feels like you need a background in video production in order to do this well, and if not done well, then it puts candidates at a disadvantage for something that has nothing to do with the skills required for the job they are interviewing for. And so, I avoid it whenever I can. But if there was a way to improve this technology so that I could intimately connect with candidates around the world without have to leave the comfort of my office, then I would totally use it.
The other area of recruiting that I would like to see improved is specific to the art world. A company’s employees are the human capital that allow it to operate and grow and I would love for my clients, and all art world businesses, to be offering more robust benefit packages to make sure their team is taken care of. A comprehensive benefit package, at the very minimum, would include:
Full Health Insurance
Paid Time off including vacation, sick days, personal days, national holidays
401K or other retirement plan
If you are a small business trying to attract and keep top talent, then organizing yourself so that you are able to offer these basic benefits is an easy way to stand-out in the marketplace.
WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE PLANS FOR MURK & CO? DO YOU HOPE TO EXPAND IN TERMS of SIZE AND/OR NUMBER OF LOCATIONS?
This year I plan on bringing on some support staff. I am just beginning a search for a part-time data entry specialist, and hopefully later this year will also be able to add a researcher and assistant. But there is definitely more to come, including expanded services for clients and candidates, so please stay tuned.
WE WILL. SARAH, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR INSIGHTFUL AND COMPREHENSIVE PERSPECTIVE ON THE JOB MARKET IN THE ART WORLD AND HOW RECRUITING SERVES BOTH CLIENT AND CANDIDATE.
THE LRFA BLOG IS HONORED THAT OUR NEXT INTERVIEW IS WITH THE INCOMPARABLE LYDIA FENET, GLOBAL HEAD OF STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS AT CHRISTIE’S AND AN INTERNATIONALLY SOUGHT AFTER CHARITY AUCTIONEER. LYDIA IS THE AUTHOR OF THE BEST-SELLING “THE MOST POWERFUL WOMAN IN THE ROOM IS YOU” IN WHICH YOU WILL LEARN TO DEVELOP BOTH A SENSE OF SELF-WORTH AND THE ART OF NEGOTIATION.
DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC, SHE HAS GENEROUSLY LAUNCHED AN AMAZING IG LIVE, AN EXAMPLE TO ALL OF US TO BE PROACTIVE EVEN DURING THESE ENFORCED TIMES OF SELF-ISOLATION AND SOCIAL DISTANCING. THE SERIES BENEFITS THE CHARITY, THE RIVER FUND, AND LYDIA HOSTS DAILY INTERVIEWS WITH THE MOST INTERESTING AND ACCOMPLISHED WOMEN OF TODAY.
CHECK OUT THE IG LIVE AND THE NEXT LRFA BLOG POSTS!