Agency work is fast-paced and constantly evolving, which can lead to burnout in even the most resilient professionals. Recruiting and hiring people who end up struggling to handle the challenges of agency life can not only weaken your ability to deliver on promises, but can also impact morale.
While gut instinct can’t be dismissed entirely, in an industry that sees consistently high turnover, agency leaders need to make sure a candidate is going to be a fit before extending a job offer. In search of the best data-driven ways to recruit and hire, we asked thought leaders from Forbes Agency Council how agencies can use information they gather to help improve the process. Here’s what they told us.
1. Conduct Internal Surveys Consistently
Consistent internal surveying can provide insight as to what makes your current team members stick around. Additionally, conducting exit surveys can shed light on reasons for employee turnover. Use this data to see what is important to your employees and what will encourage them to stay. Hiring is expensive! Time and energy are better spent attracting and keeping A+ employees for the long haul. – Danny Shepherd, Titan Growth
2. Monitor Team Morale
Ensure that your internal agency dashboard monitors team morale in addition to analytics, revenue, business development and client satisfaction. By scoring team morale weekly, in parallel with other agency metrics, you can identify changes or patterns in the context of overall agency operations. The right data helps an agency objectively make hiring decisions and manage a rich internal culture. – Katie Schibler Conn, KSA Marketing
3. Understand Why Employees Are Leaving
One piece of crucial data that many agencies don’t gather is the real “why” behind an employee leaving. Were their skills matched with their interests, goals, projects or even client types? Conducting exit interviews is a great way to learn what you can do better in the future in terms of not only recruiting and hiring strong candidates, but also keeping them on your core team long-term. – Bernard May, National Positions
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4. Run An Ongoing Net Promoter Score
Running an ongoing Net Promoter Score for your internal team with programs such as Delighted can often help capture issues early. When issues are addressed early with employees, it prevents the need for looking into other options or a possible exit. – Brian Meert, AdvertiseMint
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5. Identify The Roles With Highest Turnover
Look at the data to find out which roles are turning over most often and at what tenure they are most likely to leave. We did this and determined that we were losing too many people at the two- to three-year mark in our account service department because we didn’t have a clear career path for them to see what they could do next. After implementing a senior promotion path, we saw retention improve. – Kelsey Raymond, Influence & Co.
6. Profile Characteristics Of Ideal Performers
Identify the employee that represents the ideal performer for the particular role you are hiring for. Profile the characteristics of that person. What are the qualities and skills that contribute to the success of that individual? Prescreen candidates specifically for those qualities. There are even external services and skills tests that can score a candidate against that ideal profile. – Lori Paikin, NaviStone®
7. Use Behavioral Testing To Establish A Baseline
Behavioral testing of your best talent is critical to create a baseline and test your next candidates. Behavioral testing incorporates the cultural fit, motivation, discipline, resourcefulness and leadership style that’s needed to manage the employee. Whatever money you’re losing on turnover should be invested in testing your next employees to ensure they’re a fit. – Douglas Karr, Highbridge
8. Use Data To Retain Clients And Employees
In my experience, turnover rates within an agency are directly affected by the client retention rate. Therefore, making sure the results you are providing for your clients are proven through data is paramount. For example, if you can prove you are providing a client with an eight-fold return on their investment, the client will stay. If the client stays, you have the revenue to keep the employee. – Garrett Atkins, VIE Media
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Author: Expert Panel®, Forbes Councils Member