How to Hire, Lead & Retain Amazing Agency Talent

By Jason Swenk on February 28, 2018

Want to know the key to find and retain talent in creating the best agency employees? Looking for ways to find and hire top talent? Your team is your agency’s #1 most valuable asset. Turnover and training is difficult and expensive. So in this episode, you’ll discover some simple tips to hiring, managing and retain talent by keeping loyal employees who want to stay and grow with your business.

In this episode, we’ll cover:

  • Hiring top agency talent.
  • 3 Steps to developing loyal employees.
  • How to retain talent that wants to grow with your agency.

Today I talked with Scott Love, former Navy leadership trainer (thank you for your service) and current high-stakes headhunter. With over two decades experience recruiting professionals, Scott shares some simple tips you can take build and continue to retain talent within your team. You can start implementing his tips immediately and start building a loyal team that will never want to leave.

Hiring Top Agency Talent

When going through the hiring process the main thing that you want to think of is hiring based outcomes vs. duties and responsibilities. Ask candidates questions on how they have accomplished outcomes in the past and how they will in the future. Once you find someone that exhibits outcomes you’re looking for, remember that there is an emotional context to a potential employee’s decision-making process. As they decide to work with you, consider two things:

  1. What does your agency have that is unique or distinct? We’re not talking about desirable culture or team collaboration – every agency has those things. But what really makes you different and desirable?
  2. How does this uniqueness improve their situation on an emotional/personal level?

To help get these two questions answered go into sales mode. (But not “our agency is so great, let me tell you all about us” sales mode!)

Try these 2 sales tricks:

  1. Ask the candidate about their current situation and current company. Find out their complaints, challenges or problems.
  2. Ask what an ideal situation looks like to alleviate their stated concerns? You are trying to find their intrinsic motivations and speak to those… make it about them!

BONUS: Here are the 3 core competencies to look for in an eligible candidate:

  1. Influence: How do they effectively influence others?
  2. Resilience: How do they bounce back from adversity?
  3. Achievement: What makes them keep going?

3 Steps to Developing Loyal Employees

#1. Make them feel good by being true and sincere. Nothing puts up walls faster than negative comments and/or criticism.

#2. Build up their emotional equity. Do this by making them feel like they have a stake in the agency business. (Not a financial stake, but help them feel some ownership of their projects and clients.)

#3. Utilize insights and feedback by obtaining cross-departmental ideas. Allow your employees to not only feel like, but also actually BE part of the solution.

How to Retain Talent Of Amazing Employees

Meet their needs!

Ask yourself how you can help your team achieve fulfillment in what it is you are doing as an agency. How can you show them their work makes a difference in your agency’s goal… the noble goal, that goal that goes beyond profit?

Find the emotional context of your agency’s goal and then show them how they contribute.

Remember: As Agency CEO, you are in the business of leadership.

Be followable.

Your employees need to trust you, so don’t let allow walls to go up.

These two simple exercises will set you on the path of building a loyal team:

  1. Get clear on your core values.
  2. Get clear on your personal mission.

Figure those out first, write them down, then strive to be that person every day.

Check out Scott’s book: Why They Follow

Related: Where to Find the Right Digital Agency TalentCreating a Vision and Culture to Attract Top Agency Talent

Need Guidance and Support to Grow Your Agency 3X Faster?

Are you overwhelmed by all the information out there on various ways to grow your agency? Do you want direction on how you can grow your agency faster and easier?

Then you’re in luck! I created an innovative mentorship called Agency University.

Agency University is a program which provides the 1-on-1 mentorship and ongoing support that is crucial to the success of your agency. Click here to see if it’s the right fit for you.


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