Bob Weissman, Your Agency Specialist Consultant

People Strategies

By on June 24, 2014 in Uncategorized with 0 Comments

People Strategies and Agency Growth

In any service based business, PEOPLE (your staff) are your primary asset and your biggest expense. Unless you have a proprietary product or tool, it’s your People that make the difference/make you special!

For your agency to grow or scale, it has to be more than just you. I constantly hear that clients hire your agency because of you – while I know that is true, it is not a formula for growth.

As an agency principal one of your primary responsibilities should be RECRUITMENT and RETENTION. There are numerous aspects to building a cohesive team, what is critical is communication – I’m sure as a communication agency you understand this.

Retention and Recruitment are your most important people strategies.

In regards to RETENTION, I am a big proponent of making sure everyone on your team shares your vision and a common goal:

  • You must make sure the agency vision/goals/objectives are shared regularly – I typically recommend a monthly Company meeting to reinforce them.
  • You must make sure that every staff member knows all the time how well they are doing – how they are being measured. I typically recommend Quarterly Goals and Objectives – these are not salary reviews, but performance reviews.
  • While compensation is important, unless you’re in sales the primary motivators are recognition, professional development, and the type of work the agency is doing.
  • You must make sure every staff member recognizes the need for professional growth – the importance of networking, attending webinars, reading, etc. – not just talk the talk, but walk the walk. Oftentimes I recommend lunch ‘n learns, training, and setting aside a budget for professional development.
  • You must make sure that the entire staff can communicate your USP and has the same elevator pitch because everyone is responsible for business development.
  • Your working environment makes a big difference – company culture is not just your responsibility – it is everyone’s. So planning events like bowling or movie day can be fun!
  • Location may make a difference. I am not a big fan of working from home or remote – I believe there is much to be gained thru interaction or knowledge exchanges.

In regards to RECRUITMENT, there are numerous approaches to take depending on the position you are looking to fill, the type of person you need, and of course compensation issues.

  • I assume you have taken the critical step of resource planning to determine need – is a FTE needed or a contractor?
  • Next is developing an appropriate job description – articulating the role and responsibilities.
  • Sourcing can be dependent on your resources – time and $$$. Of course you can reach out to various recruitment agencies or handle the search internally.
  • Depending on the level of the individual be recruited, posting the job description is an important step – this can be your traditional Craig’s list, CareerBuilder, Monster, etc. – it can be with organizations like PHIMA, Philly AD Club, etc. – it can be at various university career development offices.
  • Interviewing should start with phone screens before bringing individuals in for a face-to-face interview. Of course negotiation is always a challenge.
  • By the way – I almost always suggest bringing on interns.

How Good Are Your People Strategies?

In over 10 years of consulting, I’ve had the opportunity to work with a wide range of agencies, 50+, and in every case, people strategies have been key. As an agency specialist, I’m uniquely qualified to help you understand the pros and cons of various growth strategies as applied to your highly specific circumstances.

As this series of blog posts and videos continues, I’ll walk you through alternative agency growth strategies that can be applied alone or in conjunction with others. So make sure you get on my email notification list using the form in the right hand column on this page.

And if you’d like to have a personal chat about how your agency is dealing with growth (or the lack thereof) then please contact me directly. I’d be happy to provide you with a free consultation.

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About the Author

About the Author: Bob Weissman has consulted with more than 50 marketing, advertising, PR, and technology agencies. He's helped them develop an agency growth strategy targeting a 20% minimum growth rate. He is a board member of the Philadelphia Ad Club and has been a consultant with the AAAAs and Ben Franklin Technology Partners. .


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