Podcast | Hiring Developers & Scaling Your Agency with Emily Hunkler

One of the best things about WordPress is that it can help bring people into tech from all walks of life; that is the case with today’s guest, Emily Hunkler. On top of being the first guest in our Women in Tech series, she is the COO of GoWP, a company that helps agencies outsource common WordPress tasks and development.

Plesk podcast Emily Hunkler

In this Episode:

Emily shares her story with us – how she got involved with WordPress, and how that led to interviewing and managing developers. While she wasn’t always interested in technology, her degree in journalism helped push her towards doing more tech… specifically with HTML, CSS, and working with analytics.

Now she’s COO of GoWP – a business that transitioned from agency to servicing agencies. She runs (as her title implies) the operations, which includes vetting developers for their dedicated developer program. This program helps pair agencies with long-term, qualified contractors to help with development work.

Emily tells us what to look for when hiring a developer, as well as what developers can do to make their lives easier!

Key Takeaways

  • Emily provides a lot of perspective from the agency side for what it’s like hiring a developer. If you’re a developer looking to do more client work, Emily’s advice is invaluable.
  • When it comes to assessing the developers they hire, the most crucial aspect is knowing Emily and her team get the information they need to ensure customers are satisfied. In other words, can the developers do the multitude of jobs one of GoWP’s clients might need to be done? Being a developer who clearly communicates and understands requirements is a must for agencies!
  • Certainly, developers specialize in various aspects of coding, and GoWP understands that. Part of their process is pairing the perfect developer with the agency, based on needs. Is there a certain type of project you like? It would do you well to niche down and specialize in those types of projects.
  • When you specialize, you set yourself up for success with the jobs you take. You better understand the requirements, the potential pitfalls, and the scope of a project; this allows you to work closely with the agency to manage expectations and deliver a win for the client.
  • It’s important for account managers to always be in touch with their clients too. Clear communication allows you to understand needs and foresee problems better.
  • If you’re running your own agency, the way for you to scale is by having a process in place. That’s what Emily recommends, and how GoWP has scaled. Having a standardized way of doing work allows you to work more quickly, automate, and onboard new people faster. Make sure to document how to start projects, who owns the project, and how requirements are determined, as well as how you deploy code, test, and gather necessary content.
  • Ultimately, as a developer: know your clients, understand their needs, educate your clients, and have a process in place. This will allow you to work better, scale, and price accordingly.

The Official Plesk Podcast: Next Level Ops Featuring

Joe Casabona

Joe is a college-accredited course developer and podcast coach. You can find him at Casabona.org.

Emily Hunkler

Emily Hunkler is the COO of GoWP, ​​ a company that creates happiness for digital agencies and helps them to become more profitable by increasing their revenue, lowering their overhead costs, and retaining their clients for ongoing work.

When she’s not hanging out in the GoWP Niche Agency Owners Community, she enjoys spending time in nature. Emily prioritizes an active lifestyle in nature and spending time with her husband and two young daughters.


Did you know we’re also on Spotify and Apple Podcasts? In fact, you can find us pretty much anywhere you get your daily dose of podcasts. As always, remember to update your daily podcast playlist with Next Level Ops. And stay on the lookout for our next episode!

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