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4 Questions to Ask Before Calling Your Talent Recruiter

Planning for growth or adding new services to your agency inevitably leads to “we need more people!” Of course, having a dependable, hard-working staff at your business is key. A talent recruiter can be a great asset in the new hire process, but before you dig out those job advertisements, or call your favorite talent recruiter, ask yourself these 4 critical questions:  Do you have a management problem or a hiring problem? Did the last person leave because of their manager?  Do you have a turnover problem or a not-enough-turnover problem, or a little of both?  Full time? Part time? Or is there a productivity problem that could be addressed by training the current team (or replacing a weak performer)?  Do you have an “up-and-comer” who would love to take on new duties, and view this new opportunity as a reason to stay and grow with your company? These are the four most important questions you can ask before you call a talent recruiter, and my bet is that you haven’t asked them about your agency team in a long time. So let's go through each one and how it can impact your need for a talent recruiter. 1. Management problem or hiring problem? The “management problem” is the number one reason people leave their jobs, and it often concerns the trusted employee who’s been with you for a long time (perhaps since the beginning). They “have your back” and “run the place” so you can get out there and grow your business, but is their management style costing you good employees? You may be aware there are issues with the way they handle day-to-day management issues—and you need to re-engage with individual employees to find [...]

By |July 17th, 2018|

8 Lessons For Entrepreneurs (That I May Have Learned the Hard Way)

Happy Anniversary to me. Yep, eight years and two months ago  (May 1, 2010) I re-entered the world of entrepreneurship by starting Converse Digital with a mere two weeks notice, no money in the bank, no investors, no credit line, a wife, four kids, a big mortgage payment and lots of private school tuitions. I’ve learned a lot along the way and today I wanted to share some of those lessons for entrepreneurs with you. 1) You Need an Entrepreneurship Runway The common rule of thumb for starting a business is to have at least a few months income in your bank. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to do that. I didn’t have the luxury so many of my fellow entrepreneurs have, where they don’t take a salary out of the company for months or years, instead reinvesting all profits to quickly grow the business. Nope, Converse Digital had to be cash flow positive from day one. But this lack of runway has been a blessing and a curse. It’s been a curse because I’ve never really had the chance to strategically grow the company. Sure, here and there we launch little initiatives like our Social Reconnaissance Products…or our CIBER product (that I don’t even have a full webpage live for yet – just a quick landing page), usually after they’ve been on the drawing board for months or more. But on the flip side, that lack of runway makes you scared. Every day you wake up expecting the other shoe to drop — for a client to fire you or cut their budget, or for that big project you were counting on to NOT come through, or my "favorite" — a client falls way behind [...]

By |July 3rd, 2018|

The Advantage Agencies Have In The Recruitment Game

It doesn’t matter whether you’re in a large suburban market or a small rural one. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a big shop, a small shop, a specialty shop, or a digital shop. Agencies across the country are struggling to find, recruit, hire, and retain great employees. It just one big recruitment game and do you know how to play it well? Even as marketing, advertising, and promotional managerial positions are expected to increase by 10 percent through 2024, agencies struggle because everyone — not just agencies — is trying to attract the same employees. Everyone in business is looking for people who are digitally savvy, who understand content, and who can sell. One would think that with employment rates for marketing, advertising, promotions, public relations, and sales managers rising faster than the national average for all occupations, talent wouldn’t be hard to come by. However, agencies traditionally can’t compete with large corporations that pay more, have better benefits, and allot larger budgets to their marketing departments. But there’s one card agencies hold that corporations don’t: culture. There’s an atmosphere — created when an agency brings together a group of like-minded creatives and leaders — that automatically attracts the most talented individuals. It’s addictive. Employees won’t want to leave, and recruits actively seek out those environments. While corporations can implement culture initiatives, agencies automatically have an upper hand when it comes to creating cultures that marketing and advertising professionals will love. However, there are additional steps agencies can take to truly seal the deal when it's recruitment time and also when it comes to retaining talent. Give them an opportunity to move up. Both employees and recruits recognize that, at an agency, the advancement and professional development opportunities are [...]

By |October 19th, 2017|

A Solution To The Agency Talent Dilemma

In a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, 4As President and CEO Nancy Hill commented on the talent crisis in the agency world that Unilever’s Keith Weed mentioned at Cannes Lions. Hill argued that top talent can’t afford to work for advertising agencies — where entry-level salaries are often less than their student debt load — and that client demands have created an economic environment that makes it impossible for agencies to compete with companies like Google and Microsoft for the most creative young professionals. The agency talent problem won’t be solved by throwing money at new hires — nor is it reasonable to expect clients to pay high-level fees for entry-level work. Yes, clients hold agencies hostage with cumbersome payment processes and the disintegration of the agency-of-record model, but as long as your agency is paying industry standard or better, you should be able to find good people who want to work in an agency. There isn’t a lack of talent, merely a lack of time. People seek agency jobs for many reasons, and salary is only part of it. They like flexing their creative muscles, solving business challenges, working on a variety of accounts and projects, and collaborating with smart, creative individuals.  These are the people you want to employ. The real problem isn’t that talent can’t afford to work for an agency. The problem is that most agencies look for an employee three months after they need one. The people hungry to work in agencies are out there, but you need to give yourself time to find them. When your agency signs a big client and you’re pressed to lighten the load, you often rush into hiring someone who may not be [...]

By |September 17th, 2017|
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