Hybrid Pros: How to Recruit, Train and Retain Top Agency Talent

By | October 9, 2012
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Versatile talent is at the core of successful hybrid agencies. These marketing professionals, who come from diverse backgrounds, are trained to break down silos and integrate services across mobile, analytics, social, advertising, web, search, PR and content.

But, there is a talent gap. Emerging marketing disciplines, along with increasingly rapid advances in technology, make it challenging for agencies to stay ahead of the curve.  

In such a competitive talent market, how do you recruit, train and retain top agency talent? Below are three key takeaways from my BOLO 2012 session:

1.) Attract and Capture Top Talent

Finding the right candidates starts with your own brand and culture. Create an environment that professionals view as a destination rather than a steppingstone.

Work to capture inbound leads, in the same way you would for a client marketing campaign. Maintain a powerful and engaging online presence, both through your brand and the personal brands of your employees.

Place lead forms on your website for candidates to apply, and establish a grading and review system to evaluate applicants as they come in. For example, we use a professional profiler survey via SurveyMonkey to learn more about candidates and evaluate their potential. When reviewing candidates, seek A players—intrinsically motivated, high performers who themselves are hybrids.

2.) Train for Advancement

Establish a standard training system within the agency that consists of exercises and role-playing, webinars, books and articles, conferences, and real-time information sharing. Give employees the tools and resources that they need to expand upon their skills and move up in the organization.

In addition, use a standard review process that assesses employee performance, traits, competencies and drive. Tie each review to an advancement plan, which will propel the employee forward.

3.) Retain A-Players

Just like in the recruiting process, your agency’s brand and culture plays an integral part in your retention strategy.

Make career paths inspirational with limitless opportunities, involve employees in agency marketing and growth opportunities, and be transparent about compensation and expectations. Remember that talent is your firm’s greatest asset.

Great Teams Finish First

What is your agency doing to recruit, train and retain top talent? Share your experiences and suggestions below.

Related Resource

The Blueprint Series presented by HubSpot is an interactive five-part webinar event built for agency leaders and freelance professionals who are looking to transform and thrive in the coming age of marketing services.

Session 1 of the Series offers a deep dive into how to recruit and retain the best talent, and expands upon the topics discussed above. Register for the five-part on-demand series in the Academy section of the website. Use promo code "blueprint30" through Oct. 31, 2012, and save 30%.