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. Continue reading

The Perfect Resume for the New Normal.


The perfect resume came to me the other day. It was for an Advertising position. Client side. Career track. Great spot but very corporate.

I knew it would scare my client even before I sent it.

I have a huge reservoir of being scared.

I have worked with agencies in tall buildings, in big cities, with multiple floors of creative people.

That kind of talent delivered some great game and scared me a lot because I had to sell it.

My brain said the client will never buy it. My instinct said I want them to buy it.

I just learned how to turn my fear into selling the idea. My job was to find alignment. That’s the job of an AE. You have to get clients to buy into the future.

New ideas always scare people and so they should. Continue reading

Are Agencies And Clients Competitors?


In the New Normal, absolutely true.

The sand boxes changed long ago.

Somebody sent me an article recently from the Harvard Business Review.

It was called six reasons why marketing is moving in-house.

It contained the usual suspects.

Agencies are slow.

Agencies are stuck on advertising.

Then the bullet to the heart. Are agencies attracting the best digital marketing talent?

In the New Normal, clients and digital agencies are often doing the same thing on opposite sides of the street.

Managing websites, SEO, PPC, Social Media, E Commerce, etc. etc. etc. Continue reading

Lessons from the Great Recession.


I learned a lot from the Great Recession. A lot. It was a very difficult time for many people and continues to be for many that haven’t emerged.

I have spoken to many transition groups multiple times and have met with countless people during those years. It is not difficult to feel and see despair and frustration.  In those days nobody would even dare ask at the beginning or end of the meetings if there were any good news stories about people landing because there weren’t any. Everybody was running for cover when the world was melting and we were losing 500,000 jobs a month.  Today some people are able to raise their hands and say they have landed or secured a consulting gig.  There is more hope in the air.  Guarded hope.

You don’t find out about the economy in the paper; you learn the true economic reports on the streets and during the great recession many people including me felt at times that we were licking the sidewalks of life.

I learned many things being one of the founders of Laguna Niguel Connectors a group that grew from 4 people to over 3200 currently on Linkedin.  I learned about the power of people, the blessings of serendipity and the engine called Linkedin. When you had over 100 people meeting for endless months on the third Friday of the month in Laguna Niguel who were in transition it wasn’t too difficult to see that the recession had touched every community and every street. The miracle of Laguna Niguel connectors was the quality of the people that attend and the pay it forward helpful attitude of the vast majority of its attendees.

I learned that there are Angels of the recession. People like Cindy Pickens who founded Café Net and has helped thousands of people in transition without ever asking for a dime.  Many people who volunteered their time to speak on Linkedin at various venues to help those in transition master its power in the job search. People like Sven Johnston, Ted Robison and Tim Tyrell-Smith. And there are many more.

Although the recession was very painful for many I think it provided great lessons for today’s youth.  Prior to the great recession many were the enabled generation with high levels of expectations of entitlement.  Today I believe that the Millenials are a very responsible and industrious group who has learned through the pain of many of their parents that many institutions can’t be trusted any longer and that hype is just that.  Hype. They also understand that the employer-employee relationship is much different these days and for the future.

I have learned that business had changed forever.  That you need many more irons in the fire than before if you are hunting for a job or a project.  Decision making and approvals can take much longer. Budgets are tighter and every dollar must have a return.

I have also learned that the benefit of social currency that you get from networking can be even more powerful than that of financial currency because your network of people is what truly enriches you life.

So what have you learned?

You can connect with Hank on Linkedin

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Watch his video on YouTube on How to Rise Above the Crowd.