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3 Places to Find Great Talent for Your Ad Agency

What to do when you've exhausted all other resources for finding good talent for your ad agency

Ad agencies are always on the lookout for new talent—creatives, account executives, project managers, you name it. But where do you look when you’ve exhausted all of your usual recruiting methods? When job boards, social media and recruiting events aren’t bringing in the right candidate, here are three new places to look.

  1. In-house agencies
  2. What are they

    In-house ad agencies work for one client—the business that owns and operates the agency. They provide all of the services of a typical advertising, marketing and/or digital agency, without the hassle of outsourcing.

    Why look there

    There are more in-house ad agencies than ever, at places including AmEx, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Boeing, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Lego, and many more. These big-name brands attract big league talent, and they can provide big insights for your company.

    Find their talent

    The In-House Agency Forum has a membership directory you can browse. Google those companies along with the phrase “in-house agency” to begin your search. In-house agencies have all the same roles as independent agencies, so you can also search for company names paired with specific job titles and see who pops up.

    Attract their talent

    In-house ad agency employees work on the same client day in and day out—leading to major boredom, especially among designers, developers, copywriters and creative directors. Excite candidates by talking about the range of clients your agency works with and the variety they can expect from their workday. This is an opportunity to stretch themselves and exercise new creative muscles.

  3. Internal marketing departments
  4. What are they

    No matter how small, most businesses have marketing staff. They include every role you can think of: director of marketing, marketing coordinator, graphic designer, data analyst, SEO specialist, digital marketing director, media planner and buyer, social media manager… just to name a few. They’re an under-tapped recruiting source.

    Why look there

    Marketers wear many hats, and some of them are one-person teams. They’re the hub for all marketing efforts in the company, negotiating relationships and strategy with internal management, their traditional (or in-house) ad agency, digital agency and PR firm. They oversee projects from start to finish, which makes them multi-faceted candidates for positions like account executive and project manager. Find a marketer who works in the same field as the clients your agency represents, and you’ll be in business.

    Find their talent

    Google businesses in the same industries your agency typically works with. Investigate company websites to find their contact page or staff list. Once you locate their marketing staff, search for their names on LinkedIn for more information.

    Attract their talent

    Moving from a marketing department to an agency is a big leap, but it’s an exciting one. Entice candidates by talking about the resources they’ll have at your workplace: Entire teams of people who do all of the things the marketer used to have to do by themselves. Bigger budgets. The ability to focus on doing one task instead of wearing many hats. More clients. If they find the agency world intimidating, offer training to get them up to speed on lingo, skills and best practices.

  5. Startups
  6. What are they

    The definition of “startup” is loose, and constantly changing. In general, a startup is a fledgling entrepreneurial endeavor backed by investors. They’re often fast-growing, technology-based and they tend to burn out fast. But not always!

    Why look there

    Startups a great resource for digital agencies who need tech-savvy talent with an entrepreneur’s spirit and big picture ideas. You’ll find great developers and designers in the startup realm. They may not have agency experience, but don’t dismiss them out of hand—their skills might be just what your team needs.

    How to find them

    Follow sites like TechCrunch, Mashable, and Startup Beat. You’ll hear about new companies, companies that have gone defunct, and the recurring players in the startup game. Hear about an interesting company? Google them and take a look at their team. Hear about a startup gone bankrupt? See if any of their employees wants a job at your agency.

    How to entice them

    Workers who love the volatile, roller-coaster world of startups might find agency life too tame. On the other hand, they might be ready for a consistent paycheck at a business that’s on steady ground. Convince them that agency life has the best of both worlds—a dynamic environment with ensured employment.

Still searching for the best talent? But your job listing in front of the best candidates on the Mediabistro job board.

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