This article was first published in Display Ads Deep Dive.
Not so many years ago, scientists and theorists from the 20th century were dedicating a lot of time to figuring out what motivated people to work, and how to use that to create an effective, efficient, and profit creating environment. And within that context, our friend Chris Argyris developed many theories regarding how individuals’ personalities
affected their workplaces, and where they would do a better job. And today, we’ll use his most famous one to discuss the type of PPC that you’d like to hire for your company: the mature-immature continuum.
So first of all, let’s dive into some theoretical context before we jump upon such an important decision, shall we?
Chris Argyris (1923−2013) was an American business theorist that dedicated part of his professional life to the research and theorization of organizational development. He conducted studies and proposed theories regarding best practices to get employees to be as efficient as possible, depending on their personal characteristics and the needs of the organization. And within those theories, we find the mature-immature one.
So what does this theory stand for? Well, in order to not get too technical, let’s put it like this: Argyris believes the world is divided into two kinds of people, mature and immature. And please leave aside the common meaning of these words because now we are moving to a different subject. Mature individuals would represent independent, creative employees that are happier and more effective working with very little supervision, and in non-repetitive tasks. They will achieve better results when they are trusted with responsibility and allowed to make their own decisions, take initiative and pursue goals in their own way. On the other hand, immature individuals are rather passive employees, who’ll be happier receiving routine tasks and constant supervision and they will have no problem with being told what to do and how to do it every time. Immature individuals will be much more achieving and effective when working in subordinate positions where they can have someone on top of them and not make decisions of their own.
It is needless to say that both these kinds of people are fine, it’s just that we’ll definitely pick them for very different roles. So today, we’ll be diving into the aspects to consider, and questions you should ask yourself, before opting to go for a mature or immature PPC. So let’s jump right in, shall we?
The role the PPC will play in your team
So the number #1 thing you should decide for your PPC expert is the role you want them to play in the ecosystem of your PPC or marketing team. Basically, you should figure out whether it is a leading or management role, or if it’s more of a subordinate one. And if you expect your PPC to be in charge of the situation and have some or a lot of responsibility, then definitely go ahead and hire a mature individual. However, a mature individual could be a problem in a subordinate position because there’s a risk that they’ll begin to feel “trapped” or unable to achieve as much as they’d want to, so in that case definitely try to go for an immature PPC.
Mature individuals not only have a long-term perspective but also tend to develop much deeper interests than immature individuals do. So if you are looking to hire a PPC that will very likely stay in your team for a long time, and whom you’d like to see achieve more and more, escalate positions and everything, then definitely choose a mature PPC. However, if your company is not one for encouraging employee growth or you are looking for a temporary or eventual PPC, then probably a mature individual won’t be that interested in the position. So if that is your case, you probably will want to search for an immature PPC who’ll go all carpe diem and be happy with their job while it lasts.
How much time do you have?
Even if by now this might come off as a bit too obvious, an immature PPC will probably require more time than a mature one. Why? Because of all the supervision and training that they’ll require from you. So, if you have the time to train this employee and manage to turn them into a super awesome and functional PPC asset, then that’s awesome and an immature person will be a great fit! However, if you don’t have enough time for that, then you should consider hiring a mature PPC that will actually appreciate the independence and will to let them work on their own, and make their own choices. Of course, in this consideration, you should also include whether you want to hire a very experienced PPC or a newborn one.
Are you open to new ideas/initiatives?
There is a moment that a lot of managers must face, that is that, after promoting that PPCs (or any employees really) come up with new ideas and innovative thoughts, they actually do it and they don’t like it. Call it fate, call it being way too used to your system, the thing is they don’t appreciate someone else disrupting their whole process that, apparently, has been working so well so far. So, in order to don’t face this situation, you need to figure out beforehand whether or not you’ll appreciate that your PPC takes the initiative to come up with a new process, an innovative change, or any modification to your traditional way of working. And if you are genuinely happy about that possibility, then a mature PPC will be the best option for you. But if you are not (or this is not what you expect from this position), which is also totally fine, then an immature PPC who’ll just do their job and that’s it will probably be a much smarter choice.
So the bottom line here looks a lot like many of our final thoughts when it comes to hiring someone: what do you actually expect from your PPC? And in the answer to that, you’ll find whether you want a mature or immature PPC to come along and work with your team.