Today I was part of a panel at the PRMoment conference discussing the changing needs of clients and the evolving agency model.
I was speaking about something I am very passionate about, and that is talent. People are any agencies most precious asset. Clients buy people, and people are what drive your agency forward. So getting your talent strategy right is critical to any agency's sustainability and future success. There are three areas that I think need particular focus:
1. Recruit for attitude and train for skill
Ensuring you have the right personalities around the agency is essential. Key traits I look for are lean-in, hands-up, high energy, confident, and curious. But once you have the right attitude you have to be committed to training the skills. Constantly investing in your people to ensure their current skills are evolving/improving will set your agency up for success.
2. Good managers are rare but critical
Not everyone should be a manager. A great manager needs a balanced set of skills. So they must be able to balance the day-to-day guidance and direction, with the longer term career planning, motivation, and inspiration that employees need. Again, investing in developing and nurturing these skills is critical. Great managers develop great employees, who will often become great managers themselves.
3. Stop hiring "mini-me"
It is human nature to want to be surrounded by people like you, who like what you like, who do things the way you do them..... but this is awful for any agency. You need diversity. Diversity of backgrounds, of interests, of experience. Take risks in your recruitment strategy and then make sure there is a plan in place to set people up for success.
Talent is our most precious asset, so let's treat talent that way.
While the findings suggest that overall industry growth prospects are good, questions remain over the industry's ability to adapt to a rapidly shifting landscape. And chief among these concerns is talent, which is identified as the greatest challenge preventing agency and in-house executives from reaching their future goals.