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Make the Right Hire: 3 Tips for Agencies to Consider

HireSuccessful agencies are constantly on the hunt to attract and retain top talent through recruiting and networking. But making a hiring decision isn’t easy, and it’s important to hire the right person—the first time around.

The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that the “average cost of a bad hiring decision can equal 30% of the individual’s first-year potential earnings.” This translates into wasted time, energy and profits for your agency’s bottom-line. 

To retain your profit margins, make sure it’s the right time to hire from the start. Keep the following factors in mind to assess if the hire you’re about to make is the appropriate level for your current business needs. 

1. Your Business Prospect Pipeline 

Before you send out that hiring notice, stop and take a holistic view of your current client portfolio. Do you really need to hire? If so, exactly when would be the best time?

Utilize job tracking tools to see all of your agency’s on-going projects at a glance. Then, factor in what the landscape would look like if any hot new business development projects or campaigns came on board. How much time is needed to complete both current and future work requests?

Compare current personnel forecasts against these numbers, and ask yourself what’s possible to take on with existing staff—and where you might fall short. Will you need to hire in the next month? The next three months?

When that time comes, consider if you’ll need someone who can come in and help run accounts, or if you’ll need a few more support personnel to help with the growing workload.

Let these answers guide the timing around your decision to hire.

2. Presence of “Red-Zone” Clients

Remember that these forecasts will only hold true if all of your clients stick around for a while. Client retention is ideal, but not always realistic.

Prior to making a costly hire, assess the stability of your client roster.Take note of any clients who may not renew their contracts in the coming months—aka the “Red-Zone” Clients. 

Before you hire at any level, consider if your need for additional support remains if you lose a red-zone client or two. 

3. Personnel Forecast Projections

Let your timesheets help guide the assessment of current staff capacity. Export the numbers and evaluate which team members (if any) have availability to support other accounts.  

First, map out the averages of each team member’s time against specific projects and assess for inefficiencies—are there opportunities to streamline or cut back on personnel time? Can team member time be consolidated or taken off tasks to free up room across agency capacity?

Then, consider the level of support needed for additional workloads, and expose gaps your current staff cannot fill based on existing project commitments. This projection will help guide what to look for in your next set of hires.

Consider:

  • If your team needs additional capacity for strategy work, mid-level to senior-level hires will be needed.
  • If additional time is needed for tactical execution, quick-learning entry-level hires would be a good fit as your client roster ramps up.

Align Your Hires with Your Business Goals

Always be looking for new hiring prospects, and only bring new account members on board when it makes sense for your agency’s needs.

Are you in a period of high-growth? Or stagnation with wins here and there? Pull the trigger on hiring decisions accordingly.

Which factors impact your agency’s decision to hire? Share with us in the comment section below. 

Image Source: Dita Margarita under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic