Transformation Series: Tony Serge
By Tony Serge, Director, Talent Acquisition
I grew up in Manhattan Beach with my parents, brother and some form of animal at all times. Dog, Hamster, Gecko, Scorpion, you name it, we had it. I played baseball my entire life, starting at age 5, and making any and every all star team I was a part of. I actually made it to the Little League World Series where we finished in second place. I grew up in the advertising world. My mom was a Media Director and this meant that as a young kid I was able to attend some of the coolest events, including private events at Dodger stadium, starring in a commercial for the LA Zoo and getting to meet the Power Rangers. I learned at an early age that advertising agencies loved to wine and dine their clients, or I guess “capri sun and dino nuggets” in my case, and it became my goal to attend these unique events offered only in the advertising space.
Growing up as a “beach bum” in SoCal, I knew I didn’t want to go far for college, so I decided to attend San Diego State University. I met some of my best friends while there, as well as graduating with a degree in Economics, which I never used. After a few summer jobs while in school, I realized sitting in an office, crunching numbers from 9 to 5 was not for me, so I got into software and tech sales. I was fairly successful there, but did not love the product I was selling. My company ended up downsizing their offering, to make it more transactional and a shorter sales cycle.I soon realized that it was not an environment I thrived in and one of my close friends suggested I try out recruiting. I was no longer going to be selling a product, but finding careers for outstanding people.
After my first few hires I was hooked! I quickly learned the ins and outs of staffing for the finance and accounting industries, as my background lended itself nicely to the type of conversations I had with candidates. I was able to build out a high performing team and loved celebrating our individual successes as well as all of the new jobs and opportunities we were able to provide for those in the job market. Then, I found VideoAmp
I joined VideoAmp at a unique time; during the first few months of a global pandemic. I didn’t quite know what to expect as I came onboard, but I was hooked on the flexible schedule, the endless benefits and perks and most importantly, the close knit team that was in place when I started. But when I first joined the team, it was as a contract employee. I left a full time position for a contract role, as I truly believed in VideoAmp’s mission and saw the benefit we were able to provide by completely dismantling the old ways of TV measurement that had been established and accepted for the past 50 years. I took a leap and bet on my extreme competitiveness and my ability to find, attract and retain top talent for the company.
Since then, we have tripled in size, bringing in some of the best talent in the AdTech and Measurement space, which allowed me the opportunity to build out a team underneath me as well. While I had managed teams before, it had not been with as much autonomy and flexibility to hand pick who I wanted to work with and to truly build the team from the ground up. Over my two years here with VideoAmp, I played a key role in tripling our employee count and was responsible for building out an internship program for the following year. The internship program was something new for me, and had many bumps along the way, but I learned from each and every one of them so that we could be successful in our roll out for many years to come.
I think there are two things I’m most proud of during my time at VideoAmp; helping to build a powerhouse of a talent team and personally hiring 150 employees during my time here. As many people may or may not know, the recruiting and talent team are the face of the company. We are the first people prospective new hires speak with when applying for any job, and we are also the people who get to deliver the good news to any candidates as we extend them an offer to come on board. Knowing that I personally hired a third of the people currently at VideoAmp, and made a meaningful impact in each of their lives is one of the most rewarding feelings I have ever had. This company continues to grow and bring in the best talent in the industry and I take great pride in knowing that I have had a hand in doing that.