The Secrets of Hiring Great Agency Talent.


The world has changed but a lot of agencies didn’t get the memo.

In the New Normal, this includes advertising, public relations, digital or interactive agencies, content marketing firms, automated marketing firms, lead generation firms, social media agencies, direct marketing firms and probably another ten disciplines that don’t come to mind. This run on sentence alone should convince you that the world has changed.

All agencies, marketing firms and clients are competing for the same talent as marketing becomes more and more digital.

The last time finding talent was this challenging was during the .com boom when anyone who could fog a mirror wanted $80K.

I always find it ironic that companies that profess to lead their clients to the future think that the hiring world hasn’t changed. They must assume that there is a big pool of talented people hanging around waiting for their email.

The problem when you work in an industry of hyperbole is that you can end up believing in fiction.

A large chunk of Millennials don’t want a job. According to CNN only 15% of college graduates want to work for corporations. They want to work for themselves.

That doesn’t mean joining your entrepreneurial environment which is most likely just words on paper.

Hiring specs that say we want to find some young people that are ambitious and aggressive and want to grow is your father’s Oldsmobile.

The bottom line fact is that you need great talent more than they need you. Throughout my career when I asked agency owners what makes you successful, they would say all say the same thing. People or talent.

When the great recession kicked in viciously and kicked everyone in the butt the Unemployment rate in CA was 12.4%. Today 6.3%.

You don’t read much press about how much MBA’s make out of Business Schools these days. You read about what programmers and digital folks make. Companies in Silicon Valley pay young programmers more than their parents make. That’s because many of their parents are most likely immigrants.

I often get emails from all types of agencies and marketing firms say that they are looking for some great young talent. I see the same LinkedIn ads saying their agency is hiring Super Stars.

I received a job spec the other day that certainly came from the past. The agency was looking for team players of course that are smart, organized, have great writing skills that can pitch the press or bring business initiatives to the team and their clients. Somebody with strategic skills etc. and more babble.

One to three years’ experience.

How could people with entry level folks accomplish those goals?

Where do you think they got trained to do that? At school?

I must have missed that class.

Then there is the clincher. Entry level salary $40,000. That translates to $20 an hour. You might enjoy this article from Business Insider that Costco pays its retail employees $20 an hour. Super Stars indeed.

To hire great talent today you have to leave the past and join the reality of the New Normal. Talk to your audience and not to yourself.

To find great talent you have to change the way you find them, nurture them, and grow them.

Connect with Hank on LinkedIn, Twitter, & Facebook:


Read: The Best Companies to Work For In the New Normal.

Climbing the Corporate Ladder in the New Normal.

Watch: Why Young People Shouldn’t Try to Get a Job.


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