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Sammy Davis is the Founder and CRO of The Well, a human-centered marketplace that offers services in accounting, marketing, advertising, communications, and technology. The Well provides clients with advice and support while recommending the best individuals and teams to handle each job. Sammy has extensive experience in the advertising industry, entrepreneurship, and business consulting. Before founding The Well, he served as the CEO of Impact Communications.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • [04:07] Sammy Davis introduces The Well and the services it offers
  • [07:34] The Well’s business model
  • [10:32] Sammy discusses some of the pain points The Well addresses for clients
  • [15:01] Where does The Well source its talents?
  • [17:07] How The Well attracts clients looking for talent
  • [23:22] The future of workforce management
  • [26:17] Who is an ideal client for The Well?
  • [28:58] Sammy talks about niching as an agency
  • [34:09] Recommendations for a better vetting process when hiring
  • [39:56] The Well’s tech stack and how it leverages technology while maintaining human connection
  • [47:50] The value of having mentors as an entrepreneur

In this episode…

Many entrepreneurs are tired of endless recruitment processes and struggling to find the right talent for their company. Where can they get the recruitment support to find the talent they need to take their business to the next level?

Sammy Davis says that hiring should be an effortless and seamless process. However, finding good talent can be a daunting task. Whether looking for a seasoned professional, a full-time employee, someone who can work remotely, or someone just starting, it’s crucial to have a streamlined hiring process. However, with the evolution of the business world, the philosophies, approaches, and tools around recruitment strategies have changed — imposing hiring challenges in companies. Sammy recommends partnering with an agency specializing in professional gig labor management to help access top-notch professionals.

In this episode of Inspired Insider Podcast, Dr. Jeremy Weisz sits down with Sammy Davis, Founder and CRO of The Well, to discuss how to simplify your hiring process. Sammy talks about the hiring pain points The Well solves for clients, where it sources its talent, how it attracts clients, and provides recommendations for a better hiring and vetting process.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Special Mention(s):

Related episode(s):

Quotable Moments:

  • “There’s not a single company that we work with right now, or that exists out there right now, that hasn’t at least recognized the impact that professional gig labor can have on their entire human capital strategy.”
  • “In 2020, it was estimated that 36% of full-time positions were being replaced by contractors in the kind of corporate world.”
  • “If you’re putting out on a hiring job board that you need a contractor and they fire you a resumé, you shouldn’t be looking at that as a victory — you should be running away from that person.”
  • “As an HR manager looking to bring in somebody, stop over-preparing on this idea that they’re going to negotiate with you on salary and benefit packages.”
  • “As long as you’re working on things, the one thing you will never run out of is opportunity.”

Sponsor for this episode

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Episode Transcript

Intro 0:01 

You are listening to Inspired Insider with your host, Dr. Jeremy Weisz.

Jeremy Weisz 0:22 

Dr. Jeremy Weisz here founder, where I talk with inspirational entrepreneurs and leaders today is no different. This is part of the top agency series, I have Sammy Davis, he runs, you can check it out. But before I formally introduce you, Sam, he’s got a very long history in the agency business. So it’s gonna be interesting to hear the evolution and the lessons learned. But I always like to point out other episodes, people should check out of the podcast. There’s one I did with Adi Klevitt, she actually runs an agency, she helps companies create SOPs for their business, right? The non-sexy thing that makes operations run smoothly. And we did geeked out on the software and tools that allow us to be more productive. So we just shared everything that we like to use from like a tech stack perspective. So Sam, we will hear you’ve been in this agency world a lot what your tech stack what you like, it was another one I did with Todd Taskey, who he runs a Second Bite Podcast, so he helps pair private equity to an agency to help sell them. And sometimes people make more on the second bite than the first when that private equity keeps buying companies into that portfolio and then sells that portfolio. And he talks about valuations and mergers and acquisitions and everything like that. That was a super interesting episode. And this episode is brought to you by Rise25. At Rise25 we help businesses give to and connect to the dream 100 relationships? And how do we do that we actually help you run your podcast, we’re an easy button for a company to launch and run a podcast we do the strategy, the accountability and the full execution. Sam, we call ourselves the magic elves that work in the background to make sure it looks easy for the host and the company and they can just focus on their business and having the conversation. For me, the number one thing in my life is relationships. And I’m always looking at ways to give to my best relationships. And I found no better way over the past decade to profile the people and companies I most admire and share with the world what they’re working on. And so if you’ve thought about podcasting, you should, if you have questions, go to To learn more, or email [email protected]. And I’m excited to have this conversation with Sammy Davis he founded in 2014. And Go To The Well is a human-centered marketplace for marketing advertising, communications and technology and accounting. They are I guess we describe it Sammy as part agency, part matchmaker, and they help forge marketing advertising, communication and technology relationships for businesses. And they’re really a human-driven marketplace. So they provide clients with support and advice while recommending the best individuals and teams to tackle each job. And by the way, it’s free to sign up without obligation. So it’s pretty cool. And he’s got his past in history is as a former ad executive. He is a seasoned entrepreneur, business consultant. And I know this comes from your experience, Sammy, were late in your ad agency career, you kind of started to recognize and document that corporate marketing and technology teams and needs and their expectations of vendors started to change. So thanks for joining me.

Sammy Davis 3:48 

Now thank you for the invite. This is awesome.

Jeremy Weisz 3:50 

So just start off and tell people a little bit, I described it a little bit. But what is that if you go to the site, you can go The Well. Yeah, creative consultants. So talk about what you do.

Sammy Davis 4:07 

So it’s a human-centered marketplace. One of the best ways to sum it up is, if you think about celebrities and their agents, well the celebrities in this case are the talents and specialists that we go and we curate and we scout and we bring onto the roster. And the roster itself is actually in two sets split into two separate categories that reflects the actual way that people work now. So we bring people in, we take them through a vetting system that’s proprietary entirely our own, and it falls outside the kind of traditional norms of any kind of FTE hiring or full-time employment. And it falls outside the norms quite honestly of traditional recruitment as well. So we fall outside this recruitment bucket we fall outside of that also, I’m going to call it traditional even though it hasn’t been around as long. But that traditional marketplace that is entirely technology-driven. The human-centered is a very important piece of the whole puzzle. Because, unlike, say, a traditional recruiter, we’re not just sitting on a database, we allow, we’d start to curate, we start to bring in people based on referral based on knowledge of what we know they’ve accomplished and seek them out and bring them into the roster. And then we try to match them up with scenarios that best suit them, and the clients so that both reap success and that requires, in our experience, a human touch and some human guts and understanding of what’s not being said where a lot of the technology leanings can only do what the keywords are let you do so. So that’s in a nutshell, what the premise is that human-centered driver is a big important piece to us. And you mentioned that we do it all for free. We do indeed, our whole reason for existence is that connection. And we want to understand, one of the criticisms I had when I first started the company was that anything in the freelance marketplace arena was developed with this idea that the person making the order knew what to order. And in marketing, especially the entire industry is built on buzzwords that are constantly evolving rapidly and at different paces in some cases. Next thing you know, the case in point, the case I usually use to explain this is, if you were to type in the keyword, I need a brand done well, you could get anything back, you can get people trying to make logos, people trying to make positional documents, people combining them all building stories can be anywhere from 900 bucks to $50,000 exercise. And it was because the order allowed you to order a brand. What we do is we work with the clients to actually figure out what it is they need to accomplish, which sounds pretty easy. But that’s the hard part. And then we start making recommendations on best practices we’ve seen what’s the best way to tackle it, not just who but how.

Jeremy Weisz 7:22 

So for this Sammy, there is no upfront fee for the company. But then if they hire and when they hire that team under Go To The Well, then the company gets paid.

Sammy Davis 7:34 

Yep. So the way that we’ve done it, as you mentioned, my professional upbringing was mostly in the agency world. So I was listening. That’s how I started the company, as I was listening and watching what the corporate marketing teams were asking. And in that time, it was a lot of wish lists, it was I really wish I could work directly with so and so and not have to have an account manager in there. Or I really wish that I love my account manager. And I really wish they wouldn’t change jobs every two years or every 18 months or whatever it was, now I’ve got to make switches, and rethink if that’s the agency I want to work with. So I really took that to heart, and building the initial parameters around what this all has to do with and one of the key components here is we’ve kept the idea that that organization, that centralization of the administrative side is still there. So if you’re working with us, and I mentioned we have two categories, a Project Freelancer is much different and find success in much different ways than a fractional contractor. And the environments in those successes are completely different. So we’ll never let a client make a mistake of trying to bring a project person into a fractional engagement or vice versa, will always guard that recommendation and make sure they’re picking the right folks out of the right banners. But we have clients that do both. So no matter what if you’re working with one person, or a dozen or a team and a couple of fractional, a couple of project, folks, you still only get one invoice per month. So part of the problem in the freelance world at that time, and it still is when you start working with freelancers, and you’re a larger company, you got procurement practices, you’ve got things that don’t need to match. The next thing you know, you start working with the freelance and they’re pounding out invoices and saying pay me tomorrow, or they forget your invoice, begin an invoice a quarter later and go on “Oh my AP has told me that that’s already closed. What am I going to do with this?” So we take all that out, and make sure that those good pieces are still left in there.

Jeremy Weisz 9:55 

I think one thing that’s instructive to me in this process and could be for any company, an agency or anyone, is what you were saying you were recognizing these pain points, right for any business, like, businesses solve problems, essentially, for customers. So, and you were saying, I liked the phrase you use, which is like wish list, like these companies had a wish list isn’t really their pain points. What were some of those? Can you repeat a couple of them? And like, what were other things you were seeing and recognizing, as pain points for these companies?

Sammy Davis 10:32 

For sure, yeah, the initial pain points were things like the searching, I need someone to do XYZ, if they came up to I need someone and not just a company. So, now you’ve got someone on your team who’s you’re paying to do one task, and now they’re running around trying to find somebody. That whole piece was a problem. So that’s where it kind of the roster mentality came from. But primarily, one of the things that was seeping into the industry as a whole, was the idea of billable hours was taking over some of the requirements of what a job actually looked like. So by that, I mean, when I was observing and hearing from my own clients, at the time, when I was managing the agency that it’s a problem to call you every time because I know, it’s got to go through six different people until I get my output. So it’s slower, it’s more expensive. And I don’t have the controls that I’m looking for. There was an expression of the time that people really and it’s happening today. Now it’s commonplace, there’s a desire to say, hey, if that designer is working on this, I want to work with that designer directly. I don’t need a PM and to other people in the middle to make sure that, and then we start translating feedback. And next thing, you know, it’s sideways again, and you’re asked me to pay for it to have gone sideways. So those were some of the main trigger points, then some of the trigger points that came out in that too. It wasn’t just corporate clients, it was agencies themselves, were going “hey, when I start working with a freelancer, I need that freelancer to build a relationship with me not just one and done get in and out.” They were making mistakes at the time of taking people that want to freelance jobs that were in between jobs. And part of our vetting process is we don’t permit someone to come in when they’re in between jobs. That’s not what our company’s about. We don’t take all freelancers, we vet them out, our roster, access is very guarded. Because we need to be able to honor guarantees. I gave the example earlier about, when I first started the company, people hadn’t seen this kind of approach before and said, well, one of my primary problems is I feel like and this was a constant. I feel like I just trained up my account manager or my strategists on the agency side. And when I get them there, they move to another one. So I just lost all that investment time. And now I’m challenged with do I follow them to their new agency? Or do I continue the contract with the existing agency? When I first brought The Well to folks, there hadn’t really been a concept of this purpose-driven gig worker that is building a career and a business around this. And so I was constantly challenged with this idea of how do I guarantee that person is not just going to do their thing and then I’ll never hear from again? How do I train someone up and get to love them, and then all of a sudden, they’re in a full-time job somewhere. And that’s part of what informed our differentiation in the categories. So our project side, you see it on our website our project side, you can’t even get considered for the project side of any of our rosters, unless you’ve been in business for yourself as your nine to five for three plus years minimum, it means you’re running a business, it means you have all of your business pieces in play. And so that was a defining shift, I mentioned when we were talking earlier that we constantly got categorized into well, you’re this in-between thing, right? You’re like not an agency and you’re not a marketplace and you’re not a recruiter, but what are you and one of the shifts is that we actually are representing small sole proprietorship businesses, not individuals. We don’t see them as individuals we see them as businesses.

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