Albert Einstein once said, “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” An agency can be an exciting place, but many find it scary and overwhelming. It just isn’t the right fit for most people. As a result, it can be difficult to find people who can be successful in an agency setting. For instance, many agencies try to only hire those who already have agency experience. While agency experience is valuable, this leaves a fairly limited pool of candidates. An agency may have to look outside the established talent pool in order to find the talent they need. In order to find great hires who do not yet have agency experience, ask these four questions:
Despite lack of agency experience, can this person keep up?
All agencies run at a fast pace. However, different agencies run at different paces depending on the clients they serve. Additionally, within an agency, different roles run at different paces. For example, the account manager who also develops new business likely runs at a faster pace than your SEO specialist. However, they are all running fast. Consider the pace of your agency, then consider pace of the role in question. To determine whether a candidate without agency experience can be successful in your agency, find evidence that they can run at the proper pace.
Despite lack of agency experience, can this person juggle?
In essence, an agency is a juggler–– a juggler of changing priorities and deadlines. A person who is going to work for a juggler should be able to juggle. Each role in an agency requires some level of juggling, as everyone is likely making decisions about priorities in order to meet deadlines. Your project manager may be juggling five projects at a time, while your campaign manager may be juggling twenty-five. Consider how much juggling is required by the role in question. Then, to determine whether a candidate without agency experience can be successful in your agency, find evidence that they can handle the appropriate level of juggling.
Can this person make the decisions necessary to be successful in the role?
Every day and in every role, a person makes decisions which determine whether they will be successful. Your strategist may make decisions about how to most appropriately leverage a budget, while your development manager may determine the most profitable way to re-use code. Identify these decisions for the role in question. Then, identify the related critical thinking skills required to make those decisions. To determine whether a candidate can be successful in your agency, find evidence that a candidate can successfully make these types of decisions.
Can this person conduct the communications necessary to be successful in the role?
Every role requires a person to communicate successfully, but successful communication is especially important in an agency setting. Your UX lead may be selling people who can’t even spell “UX” on best practices, while your analytics lead may educate your designers on how to use data to improve conversion rates. For the role in question, consider what must be communicated and to whom. Then, find evidence that a candidate could communicate successfully.
It can be difficult to find candidates who already have agency experience, but these four questions can expand your talent pool. In order to determine if a person without agency experience is a good candidate for an agency role, consider if they can keep up with the pace, juggle appropriately, make decisions, and communicate successfully. Contact us to discuss your agency’s hiring practices.