Competition for talent closely followed by customers in housing is one of the biggest challenges for digital agencies, has discovered Marketing Survey digital agency 2019 . Forty-five percent of respondents said that competition to attract talent was a major problem for their company.
Many agencies report meeting the challenges of recruitment and focusing on growth and retention in almost all areas. Some have implemented deliberate strategies to make sure to hire the right people.
Digital agencies hire for a wide variety of roles
Agencies state that they seek to fill positions that require technical expertise and experience. and expect to expand their teams in a wide range of roles in 2019. A majority (72%) of those surveyed by Marketing Land stated that data science and analysis would be the most needed technical skills in the last few years. next two years. Conversion rate optimization (58.3%) and technical referencing (51.6%) came in second and third place.
"The positions we hired included Business Development, Digital Marketing Manager, PPC Specialist, Digital Marketing Coordinator, Project Manager and Production. director, video producer and creative designer, " Amanda Farley account director and associate at SS Digital Media, in an interview. "We plan to continue to engage more creative and digital marketing support in 2019."
Sean Bucher Director of SEO at Rocket Media, the digital agency specializing in computer systems CVC announced that it would hire more – and members of the junior-level SEO team and sponsored links in 2019.
"We continue to find a fairly large gap in the knowledge of candidates coming out of school, which complicates a bit the search for qualified beginner employees. Colleges and universities are still struggling to prepare students for careers in digital marketing. Our goal is to increase our customer service team each year (pay, SEO and content) by 40%, "said Bucher.
Michael Coppola founder and CEO of Path Interactive,
"In recent years, our agency has grown steadily by 15 to 20 percent and we have deployed staff in our core service areas, such as account services, digital SEO and analytics tools to meet the needs of the customer, "said Coppola." When we look ahead to 2019 we will not only keep staff in these historical roles, but we must now solve additional problems of recruiting customers who seem to be becoming increasingly difficult as the level of digital sophistication continues to grow rapidly. "
Reduce turnover rate, improve retention rate
Agencies have always struggled against turnover, so agencies are implementing deliberate hiring strategies to hire employees likely to stay a while.
Farley said that a reorientation of the workforce in their hiring practices is one of the main reasons for the increase in their workforce.
"The most important change we have had in our hiring process is the way we were selected," Farley said. "Digital requires fast thinkers and motivated, responsible and flexible people to learn new skills. It's not enough that you have PPC on your resume. We are hiring more for soft skills and providing additional training if needed for job-specific needs. "
Farley recounted a strategic hiring process, which included asking questions of potential employees before applying for a resume, two phone calls and two to three face-to-face interviews, including interviews. less a group interview.
"The staff resulting from this process was ten times more suited to business, culture and work. I will point out that this has extended the hiring deadlines, which would take 30 days for staff, it is now over 60 days. The quality of the results is excellent, "said Farley.
KW2, an advertising agency from Madison, Wisconsin, also put in place a thorough check before hiring.
"In department stores, marginal talent can hide," said Andy Wallman president and co-owner of KW2 . "As a shop of 30 people, everyone here at KW2 has to be a rock-solid artist. We are therefore looking for a combination of determined work ethic, talent, intelligence and passion that can not be taught. We can teach the rest. "
Specialized Services Require Specialized Advanced Skills
Melissa Mackey head of research at the gyro advertising agency, indicates that the staffing for research positions may be difficult
"Research is a specialized field and even in 2019, there are relatively few experienced practitioners, leaving the choice to agencies: engage and train, or try to find an experienced person "said Mackey. "At the same time, the level of complexity of paid research and social work has increased dramatically. … Many customers use sophisticated tools and tactics, all of which require an understanding of analysis, CRM, design, and so on.
Some agencies have turned to alternative recruitment solutions, such as Path & # 39; s Copolla whose agency leverages partnership with direct mail and Sourcelink data management company to "bridge" this gap in recruitment; We now have a team of over 60 analysis professionals and data to answer this need. "
" We are also investing more in our content leadership with strategic content leads, creatives to help our customers act faster. it's about being creative in the market, "said Copolla. "The digital media landscape is so dynamic. that we need to move faster than ever before in the evolution of our creatives and that very few clients or partner creative agencies of our customers can act fast enough to limit any erosion of our core statistics on media. "
Recruitment processes are the key to long-term success Long-term employee success
Eric Enge Chief Executive Officer of Perficient Digital, stated that shortening the steps of the hiring process may result in the hiring of employees who are not up to the job.
"You live with a person for a long time", said Enge. "If you bring someone who does not fit your culture, it can be a disaster." If you bring someone whose skills are not up to the job, you do not actually fulfill In any case, in the medium and long term, you will pay the price. "
" You will almost always be better off getting by with too much work to do and making the right decisions. hiring you by quickly squeezing the trigger and resulting in a hiring low, "said Enge.
And sometimes, agencies report recruitments that exceed their expectations.
"One of our best recruitments was for a circulation position, almost 15 years ago," said Wallman of KW2. "The guy was in Carmichael [agency] and had just taken two years to raise his boys while his wife was working. He presents himself without CV, pen, briefcase, nothing but a suit and wing tips. For a traffic guy. He sat at the head of the table. He was so non-BS, so confident and so smart, we immediately hired him. He has since become our digital director and is now vice president, "said Wallman.
Learn more about digital agencies
About the author
Robin Kurzer began his career as a daily newspaper reporter in Milford, Connecticut, and later made his mark in the world of advertising and marketing in Chicago. agencies such as Tribal DDB and Razorfish, creating award-winning works for many leading brands, and over the past seven years she has worked as a freelance writer and as a communications professional in a variety of industries. .