Most people in sales have heard the mantra “A-B-C” (always be closing). We have a similar mantra, “A-B-R", where R equals recruiting. As an agency, talent is your No. 1 resource. You need to attract the best people to maintain a consistent growth trajectory. So the question becomes, “How do I grow a talented base of personnel?”
Our approach may be instructive:
1) Identify and retain your best people.
What are the reasons they would ever consider leaving? Figure these out, and resolve them (compensation, cultural change, etc.). A common denominator we’ve noticed is a strong desire to work with other talented, hard-working people. As such, we only keep people who fit this mold.
2) Establish recruiting outlets.
Create an internship program, network with local colleges to find digital programs, befriend professors (they will refer talent), and get to know sister agencies in your area -- you’d be surprised how many will refer talent they don’t need but found during their interviewing process. Nurture these relationships through lunches every two or three months.
3) Don’t use a recruiting service.
They charge 15% to 20% of the person's first year salary, and these services usually promote mediocre talent.
4) Mine your network.
This sound generic, doesn’t it? But think about your friends and colleagues who are in that elite class of employee -- the kind of person who makes an impact from day one and surprises you by their continued growth, development, and contributions. How many go to a staffing company to find a job? How many even look for jobs? Employers seek them out. Our best hires have been recruited when they already had a job. They didn’t find us because they were looking; we found them.
5) Keep the recruiting engine running at all times.
In our experience, it takes a minimum of 90 days to spin up a consistent volume of talent; however, the need can arise within 30 days or less (sales beats forecast, turnover, etc.). Our recommendation is to build a line at the door of people waiting to join your agency. To do this, you need agency people willing to wait to join, so make sure No. 1 on this list is locked down. This will be the biggest driver of building a great agency that naturally attracts talent and deflects the rest.