The Surprising Secret to Standing Out in the Hiring Process

The Secret to Standing Out in the Hiring ProcessLast year I got the chance to sit down with Demand Media's CFO at the time, Mel Tang. (Update: Mel is now the CFO at SpareFoot.) While Demand Media may not be a name you're familiar with, you've probably visited a few of their sites such as and, and you may know their digital artist marketplaces such as and, among many others. Demand Media sites have more than 70 million unique worldwide users—more than the populations of California and New York combined. Today I want to share a few of Tang's stellar ideas on what he looks for when hiring talent.

The Surprising Secret to Standing Out in the Hiring Process

“I tend to look for and hire people with the raw talent and who have a passion for overachieving—not necessarily in what they do specifically, but in being helpful in anything,” he noted. “To me, experience and specific skill sets are helpful, but not the primary driver of a hiring decision. This approach requires more upfront training and managerial oversight, but once up to speed, the amount of what you can do with a team like this is truly unlimited.”

“I joke that my objective is to train myself out of a job,” Tang said. “Ultimately, that’s how I think about running our team. You find the right people. You work with them early on, and then let them run on their own. I am there to provide guidance and support, but I try to stay out of the way unless I’m needed. That’s how I like to lead.”

Have you considered that being passionate about going above and beyond no matter the request may be what sets you apart from other candidates with a similar skillset? 

Enjoy the full-length version of this article in Forefront Magazine here.