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Feb. 24, 2010


Adam Burns of MeetTheBoss.TV sat down with Dreamworks HR head Dan Satterthwaite to discuss various aspects of hiring and cultivating a staff in a creative environment, lessons that easily translate to the PR and communications sectors.

Satterthwaite outlined the hiring process and how employees are selected and introduced to the company, along with how staffers are exposed to its culture in the 12-minute interview.

He said an early career tendency to manage personnel too closely has resulted in a more hands-off approach that only calls for "micro-managing" in cases where employees are learning something new or falling behind.

Satterthwaite also said he learned through earlier mistakes that, regardless of the ease of technology, certain situations require in-person interaction.

"I lost sight early in my career of the importance of face-to-face conversation and tried to deal with some difficult conersations over the phone or through email and it's an entirely ineffective way to deal with sensitive, important conversations with people," he said.

Satterthwaite, who previously led HR at Blockbuster, said when that company was creating its online business, it created offices in an empty warehouse away from Blockbuster's corporate tower to create a "separate" feel and structure for staffers.

"Many of the most creative, innovative thinkers, particularly in web design and in online businesses ... are not as attracted to being at a large corporation as they are to being in a very small, almost start-up feel."

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