Smashing Spotlight: Andrea Pollock, Recruiter


Wonder what makes Smashing Ideas so smashing? Our people! We sat down with Andrea Pollock, Recruiter, to talk shop, how our best assets leave the building every night and the mystery surrounding the overabundance of plaid in the tech industry.


As Recruiter and resident Talent Manager you are responsible for bringing in this crazy mash-up of talent that comprises Smashing Ideas. What are the common threads that weave through SI’s talent pool?

The common elements our Smashing employees encompass are a genuine passion to do incredible work and a strong desire to find fulfillment in the work that they do. I’m repeatedly blown away by the talent I’m surrounded by and the dedication to making something amazing, not just something that works. Whether their expertise lies in design, strategy, development, or production, my coworkers care about the work they do, and find true delight in delivering something more than was expected.

Also, a penchant for random shenanigans, I suppose…


Fun is serious business at Smashing Ideas. What is the most fun thing that occurs at Smashing Ideas that people aren’t aware of?

When the mood strikes, several of us will get into e-mail battles comparing pictures of other Smashing employees to their celebrity doppelgangers. Until I experienced this, I never knew that I work every day with an Illustrator who could double as Robert Downey Jr, an Animator who is the spitting image of David Arquette, and a Mobile Developer who looks like Tom Delonge. Apparently, our CEO might easily be mistaken for Patrick Dempsey…


What piece of technology can’t you live without?

Hmmm… hard to say, because the best technology is technology that you forget is there; it just makes things happen like magic. I love my Roku – I get a pretty big kick out of being able to throw a hilarious YouTube video onto my television from my phone. It would have to be a tie between that, and my Amazon Prime membership.


What is the craziest thing you ever heard in an interview?

I guess I don’t hear a whole lot of crazy things in interviews these days… the trick is to sniff out crazy before it’s sitting in your office!


Pick 2 current SI employees to be your parents. Who are they and why?

Joy Weight, our Office Manager (affectionately called “Office Mom” by yours truly) would definitely be my first draft pick for Mom. Beyond lending a veritable ton of support to everyone here in the office, she’s incredibly on top of everything, and does it all with a smile. I hope to someday be half as organized as she is and also be able to rock 5-inch stilettos through the cobblestone streets of Pike Place Market like she can.

Dad would have to be Harry Akaki, our Network Administrator. If you haven’t asked him about his days touring with/managing stage production for the Jackson 5, helping Sir Mix-A-Lot or Ice-T get discovered, or telling Madonna where she can shove it, you’re missing out! Back in the day, Harry worked with everyone from Michael Jackson to Jackson Browne, and you’d never know it because he’s so super-stealth about it.


Why do so many people wear plaid in the digital world?

This… this is beyond me. You may as well be asking me about the ins and outs of quantum physics. It’s more socially acceptable than paisley maybe?


You have a last minute interview of a very important candidate, but you must fly to them to conduct the interview…tomorrow. Thing is, the interview is in Milan (rough, we know!). What are the top 5 things you need to do before you leave?

Since I’ve obviously already familiarized myself with this individual’s resume, LinkedIn network, and other associated credentials, the rest is self-preparation!

1.  Download the Living Language: Italian app on my iPhone so that I can learn as much as possible in the airport and on the plane.
2.  Locate my dual-wattage hairdryer and curling iron. Kidding!! Kind of…
3.  Pack as little as possible in my largest luggage. A girl’s got to have room for after-work shopping purchases in the world’s capital of fashion!
4.  Charge my digital camera: I’m a lousy photographer aspiring to be decent one, so it couldn’t hurt to practice at the Duomo, could it?
5.  Stop eating. Immediately. Attention must be paid to the massive quantities of phenomenal risotto and osso buco that I’ll shortly be consuming.


You’ve been recruiting in the tech world for some time, so you’ve seen the ins and outs of many digital agencies. Why is Smashing Ideas the greatest digital agency in the universe?

For our clients, our talent is unparalleled. The folks working here are dedicated to their craft and it shows in the work products we turn out. For the folks on the inside, it’s the opportunity to work with other brilliant people, on projects that are consumer-facing, all while in an environment that cares about not burning you out. A number of other agencies I’ve seen the inside of are more “do it ‘til it’s done” type environments, and pay little or no regard to the fact that their employees are people with LIVES. A big part of my role is as Resource Manager, so it’s part of my job to see to it that people are booked on engaging projects, and I’m backed by our management team in scheduling people in a palatable way. The idea of life-work balance comes from the top down. We work smarter, not longer.


What song best describes your work ethic?

She Works Hard for the Money by Donna Summer. Although stylistically, it would be more like the performance of this song by Hank Azaria portraying Agador the Guatemalan houseboy from the movie The Birdcage.

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