Getting agency operations back up to speed has been perhaps the most significant challenge uncovered in the aftermath of the past year. Most leadership teams will agree that finding business itself hasn’t been what’s worrisome - companies of every stripe are ready to get back to business, re-engaging their marketing and advertising partners. Those agencies are now faced with a hard reality - attracting and retaining the talent they need to meet the new-business resurgence.
Prospective employees can be choosy; current employees can comfortably pursue new opportunities. As a result, today’s agencies are compelled to create a workplace culture that attracts, trains and retains top-tier creative pros, otherwise they risk being trapped in a cycle of turnover and continual training that can decimate project quality and delivery.
Maintaining a strong nucleus of talent is critical to realizing the remaining aspects of Deltek’s Agency Roadmap. The reasons, once spelled out, are self-evident:
Matching the right talent to the right projects while tracking utilization improves both operational efficiency and quality of delivery; quite simply, your shop does better work faster.
Making informed hiring decisions based on precisely projected revenue means increased profitability.
Managing freelancer acquisition and minimizing team turnover accelerates agency growth.
The six steps detailed in Deltek’s Agency Roadmap lead the way toward realization of these outcomes:
1. CREATE THE RIGHT TEAM
Staff based on who is best for the job. This means finding the right managers capable of putting together the best crew.
2. MANAGE YOUR FREELANCERS
Most agencies maintain a stable amount of good freelancers, but they can get expensive if their usage isn’t kept under control. You need a process that loops in resource management as well as creative leadership to ensure a fully informed, on-budget purchase process.
3. UNDERSTAND UTILIZATION
The most essential KPI to measure when determining return on employee effort, Utilization starts with a smart resource overview that illuminates everyone’s assignments and levels of effort. Evaluating available and assigned hours for all talent agency-wide has to happen on a weekly basis.
4. REVENUE AND STAFF REQUIREMENT FORECASTING
Make no mistake about it, hiring must be based on a combination of both revenue and resource data. Most agencies know their revenue picture, but how clear is your understanding of resource availability? Again, ongoing attention to both these variables creates the long-term view necessary to effectively staff up in harmony with the new business pipeline.
5. INVEST IN PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Make a commitment to the professional growth of your talent and you’re bound to build employee loyalty. The best performers are always eager to acquire or improve on professional skills. Make these opportunities available to your team and you are sure to slash turnover while building your agency’s arsenal of ability.
6. CREATE COMPELLING CULTURE
Having a foosball table and good coffee is a start, but what steps does your agency take to really build staff camaraderie? Those ideas and answers are yours to determine, just understand that the additional advantage is that your inviting agency culture becomes a powerful recruiting tool -- something that has become essential!
The time to make sure your agency is positioning itself to attract and keep the best talent is now. Download Deltek’s Agency Roadmap and make sure your shop is ready to bring the best on board!
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