The Ever Changing Agency World!
Having worked within a global advertising agency as part of the internal recruitment team, I’ve seen first-hand how hectic and fast paced that world can be. As one pitch comes to an end, another one is just around the corner and this can put serious strain on the teams involved. Working all hours of the day to try and compete in a pitch process where more often than not, the agency knows they can’t win sounds pretty crazy, however just being involved in that pitch is an important way to promote the work you’re doing and the capabilities of the employees in that business. People sometimes forget that whilst these pitches are going on, the majority of the agency are still doing business as usual where briefs are being fired around left, right and centre which ultimately means all the teams have to be at the top of their game. What does this mean for heads of departments? In a fairly simple sense, it means they have to have complete faith that they have the best people possible in the various positions across their teams.
The Agency world is ridiculously competitive when it comes to bringing on new talent- is it all down to the quality of their client list or is it more to do with personal development and career progression? All of these things are important and something that needs to be taken seriously when looking to hire your next superstar. Even though the big network agencies are still a dominant force in the industry, the smaller independent agencies are rising through the ranks and offering a really attractive package to potential employees. This isn’t always based on financial remuneration, but trying to remove the red tape associated with some of the bigger agencies. Giving people freedom to work and be creative and have a “voice” within in a business is quite often more important than being part of a globally recognised agency, but everyone is different. Every agency offers something different and it’s important to find out what that USP is. In such a competitive candidate driven market, agencies have to start selling themselves to candidates rather than the other way around or they’re going to miss out on top level talent.
What does it mean?
Having spent time in a creative agency, things change every day whether it’s a brief that’s changed, team restructures, processes being implemented, or just a new client win. When these changes are happening, it’s important to make sure that you are still looking after your current talent but also keeping an eye out for new talent on the market. As much as some people fight it, this is where and why it’s still so important to work with recruitment agencies. For me, it’s all about adding value to a client and being there to consult and advise when needed. It’s not about transactional recruitment anymore- the real value is about building lasting and trusting relationships with both internal recruitment teams and hiring managers and being there to give market reports, updates on where the top talent is, what agencies are doing things really well and also what some agencies should be doing better to attract the best people. When I was in-house, I partnered with recruitment agencies that truly took the time to understand the market and could actually offer advice and more often than not, the best partners/suppliers were the ones who said no to me. Whether they were saying no because our expectations were too high, or whether we were looking for the wrong kind of skill set it didn’t matter- I trusted their opinion.
The advertising agency world is ever changing and it’s important that as recruitment agencies, we adapt and change accordingly otherwise you just get left behind.
Written by Jamie Burley, Head of Agency
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