7 steps to recruit the best people for your agency

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1.       Start with a person description

It’s easy to jump right into writing a job ad, but really that’s secondary in the process.  You should start with thinking about who the PERSON is that you want to hire, not just the job you’re hiring for.  Some things to think about – is a degree really necessary?  Are they going to be working at a fast pace?  Are there skills that could be transferable?  What are the 3 most important things that this person knows how to do?  For everything that they must have, ask yourself “why?”.  If they MUST have 5 years of agency experience, why?  Would someone that has 3 years of agency experience and a mix of in-house experience still be able to accomplish the goals at hand?  What happens if they’ve shown great progression over the course of their career, would that make a difference?  Do your salary expectations align with your experience levels?  Having hard and fast requirements can kill your applicant pool.  

Think about people who have done this role before.  How many years of experience did they have when they started the role (not when they left it.)  What were their weaknesses and strengths?  If they’re still at the organization, what person and skills would complement this person to have a more holistic view of the team?  

2.       Then, build a job description

Describe the role.  This is totally boring, but important.  This is the day in and day out of the position, the work that someone will be doing.  

3.       Next, work on what you have to offer them

Think about what you’re selling.  Why would someone want to come work for you?  What does your agency do differently/better than everyone else?  Don’t just think about salary and benefits; think about the work and why it would entice someone.

4.       After that, build your job ad

Your job ad encompasses all three of these things – who the person is, what they’ll be doing and why they will want to be doing it…for you.  Use your marketing chops to make sure it sells to the right person.  

5.       Once your ad is up and running on your site, then figure out your outreach strategy.

The cobbler’s children have no shoes.  Don’t forget that this is a marketing exercise.  Be your own client and think about how you want to brand yourself and how to get after that target audience.  This includes outreach.  Where do these people live online?  Competitors sites, associations, LinkedIn, job boards?  In recruiting lingo, we call this “sourcing”.  It’s not a quick process, but it’s an important one.  Outreach via LinkedIn, email, etc.  If you don’t have their contact info, utilize online resources to find it.  If they don’t initially respond, ping and ping again.  A good rule of thumb is three times and you’re out.  

6.       Have an easy apply and an even easier interview process

Make sure you eliminate all barriers for applying, especially if you’re doing the outreach.  Don’t worry about waiting on having them craft the perfect resume.  If you have an understanding of their work history and they’ve been in the right types of roles, have a conversation with them.   Once you find who you think could be great for the role, bring them in and have them meet the team.  Be transparent in the process. Make logistics as easy as possible and act quickly.  

7.       Make an offer with an offer letter

It’s okay to start with a verbal offer, but quickly follow that up with something in writing.  Candidates will not quit their current roles on your word and this will ultimately delay the time it takes for them to start with you.  

Also remember to never stop recruiting!  Even if you’re in late stages with a candidate, keep the recruiting process moving until someone is in the seat.  It’s okay to let other potential candidates know that you’re close to hiring, but that you’d still like to connect.  This opens up opportunities for the future plus if the person you’re negotiating with doesn’t pan out, you’re not starting at zero again.