In this Article, You can understand Why Digital Agencies Think Outside of the Box to Attract and Retain Top Talent. There is something of a war for talent that’s developing in the digital marketing industry. Agencies are finding it increasingly difficult to find, incentivize and retain top talent. There is a glaring lack of digital skills in the world of business. The recent Covid-19 pandemic further served to demonstrate this, as business owners sought the relative security of working with digital agencies to turbocharge or even build their brand’s digital strategy from the ground up.
As demand for digital agencies rose, so too did the demand for talent to fill agency vacancies. This has proven to be a major issue in some countries. In the UK, the BBC described Britain as being on course for a “digital skills shortage disaster”. Mark Wright, a former winner of the BBC’s hit television show “The Apprentice”, runs digital marketing agency Climb Online. Wright said last year that his team had 14 vacancies to be filled but had only received one application.
It’s true the lack of applications is partly due to the lack of available people with the necessary digital skills. It’s also fair to say that some digital agencies have been more successful than others in retaining top talent, not just recruiting it. Talent retention has become just as important for growing businesses as talent acquisition. In fact, it’s cheaper for a business to hold onto and reward developing talent than embrace employee turnover. Unemployment rates have continued to hold steady so far in 2022 at around 3.6%, which is a historic low. The cost of having unfilled vacancies and the commission paid to recruiters could instead be awarded to high-performing talent.
1. Innovative incentives that digital agencies can offer existing and prospective talent
Professionals in senior positions within digital agencies invariably clock up the miles. Whether it’s presenting or networking at a regional, national or even international conference or seminar, driving to a periodic client meeting or catching a train to pitch to a prospective new client, there’s lots of personal expenses incurred day-to-day.
One of the biggest anxieties for senior employees is being left out of pocket for expenses for too long. Although heads of department are often some of the most handsomely paid staff in a digital agency, that doesn’t mean they can afford to foot the bill for weeks on end. Waiting on reimbursements from an employer can be quite a demeaning process. Chasing up money spent out of your own pocket on the business shouldn’t leave senior talent feeling degraded or exploited.
That’s why a growing number of digital agencies have turned their attentions to managing employee expenses with digital solutions that fast-track this process and make awkward countdowns to eventual reimbursement a thing of the past. These digital solutions enable staff to upload photo receipts of expenses and invoices and upload them directly to a central dashboard for business owners or financial controllers to rapidly approve reimbursement claims in seconds. By reimbursing senior talent with speed, your most trusted lieutenants will feel more motivated and valued.
2. Helping trusted talent feel integrated
Digital Agencies Think Outside of the Box because helping trusted talent feel integrated. There are other ways that digital agencies are transforming the efficiency of their internal processes. Many digital agencies have a rate card by which they charge clients for their time and expertise. Most agencies now encourage their employees to track their time when working on specific tasks. To some digital professionals, this can feel like an onerous task.
Depending on how each agency communicates and oversees its time tracking, some staff may also feel like they’re working in an episode of Big Brother, leaving them demotivated and feeling like a pawn on a chess board. It’s important for digital agency owners to reiterate the value of time tracking in terms of improving the bottom line of the agency – not to use it as a means of monitoring every minute of every day within a workforce.
Digital agencies can also use time tracking to help senior talent feel more engaged in the financials of a project. For example, if Project A overruns by three days, your employees can tell commercial departments to factor in additional resource when pitching for similar projects in the future.
3. Company culture means a lot when working for digital agencies
At the heart of any successful digital agency is a genuine and unique company culture, one which defines the agency’s values and differentiates it from any other agency. Top digital talent places significant emphasis on company culture and it can drive productivity for agency owners if done right. The Covid-19 pandemic has taught many digital professionals that a caring working environment that fosters a healthy work-life balance is worth a great deal.
Today, the employee experience for digital agencies is about so much more than a beer fridge, which used to be seen as the pinnacle of staff benefits. Top digital talent now looks beyond the ice-cold beverages on a Friday afternoon and want more from their employer.
It could be defined values such as an attempt to become a greener, more sustainable digital agency by offsetting your firm’s carbon footprint. Alternatively, it might be focusing on developing an ethical client base that ensures your agency works largely on worthy causes that make a difference to wider society.
Whatever the values or culture of your digital agency may be, it’s important to communicate them clearly to new and existing staff. During recruitment drives, be sure to set out your agency’s stall to attract applications from professionals that are aligned with the way you work.
4. Once you have top talent on your payroll, don’t let them leave easily
Employee turnover is one of the most expensive outlays for any digital agency. There is significant resource given to a recruitment drive. Whether it’s time for the interview process and making background checks or investing in office equipment for new starters, there’s plenty to commit to the pot. That’s before they’ve even set foot in the office. From day one, you still have to invest in their onboarding and training.
Instead of spending hundreds or thousands of bucks helping new hires to adjust, make sure you ring-fence as much of this money as possible to upskilling and motivating existing digital talent. These are individuals that already know how your agency ticks and can act as your eyes and ears on the ground on the office floor.