Financial Data
Updated 30 Sep 2020

How Popimedia learned to hire the right people

When Popimedia started to grow, the founders quickly hired more staff. It didn’t take them long to realise, however, that they had made a massive mistake. 

GG van Rooyen, 09 March 2016  Share  0 comments  Print

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Ad-tech company Popimedia, which facilitates advertising on social media sites such as Facebook through a proprietary advertising technology platform, was a pioneer in its field.

In fact, the company was focusing on social media advertising when many ad agencies still weren’t terribly sure what Facebook was.

But the advertising world quickly caught up, and before long, everyone was clamouring for what Popimedia was offering. The company was growing at a very rapid rate.

Related: For Aptronics when the customer wins, so does the business


Don’t underestimate the effect that staff can have on your business. Clever hiring can very often mean the difference between failure and success.

Popimedia -south -africa

Hire slow, not swiftly

As one might expect, Popimedia’s founders, Daniel Levy, Ryan Silberman and Gil Sperling, started hiring employees. Before long, they were employing more than 40 people.

“We hired too quickly,” says company CEO Daniel Levy. “Moreover, we weren’t selective enough in who we allowed into the company. We hired young and inexperienced people who weren’t adding real value to the company.”

The founders decided to change the way they were hiring. They started hiring much slower, and they also focused on people who were more experienced.

“We decided to hire people who had worked at respected organisations,” says Levy. “We were now looking for a different kind of employee.”

Thin the herd

Levy, Silberman and Sperling also started thinning the herd. Instead of growing their ranks, they decided to reduce it.

“We discovered that 35 people – 35 good people who brought real value to the operation – was just the right number of employees for us.” Says Levy.

Amazingly, the turnover of the company has grown 10-fold over the last few years, yet Popimedia’s staff complement has remained constant.

Related: 4 Hiring techniques needed to build a stellar team

“You need to make sure that you hire the right people,” says Levy. “A good employee can have massive impact on your business. When there’s a lot of work to do, you might be tempted to hire quickly, but it’s not worth it. Recruiting staff is not a process that should be rushed.” 


  • Resist the urge to hire too quickly. Recruitment is a process that deserves time and attention
  • Focus on quality, rather than quantity. A few key employees can have a massive impact on your bottom line.
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GG van Rooyen

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