Attracting the talent you want can be tricky, especially when it comes to digital agencies trying to hire designers, developers, and marketers. Finding the right fit for your creative, strategic, and tech-savvy team is a task that requires careful thought and consideration.
While many agency owners think that a “creative hiring process” can solely involve using a virtual reality recruitment tool or maybe a fun personality quiz, we’re talking about creativity at a much deeper level. VR and augmented reality recruitment tools are great for standing out, but you also need to consider areas that aren’t likely to lose their novelty.
“Top-tier candidates are looking for agencies who know how to market themselves correctly and leverage the skills they offer to others, for their own gain” — Ben, Managing Director of Uprise Digital.
Creatives want to be part of teams that align with their own personal style, and while agencies also want this — they also require talent that is adaptable. Striking the right balance between candidates who have what you need now, and what you might need in the future is a shortcut to success. But how can you get the best talent to flock to you?
We’ve compiled a list of 5 ways you can make your hiring process more creative and attract the exact talent you want.
1. Get the messaging on your digital channels right
Before working with a digital agency, you can be certain that candidates are doing their research on the value you have to offer them as an employee. This involves doing a deep-dive into everything from your website to your social media channels. If you have a LinkedIn account, you can also bet that they’re checking out some of the employees already working for you.
The wrong messaging on your digital channels can completely turn off prospective talent — or worse, result in them sharing their preconceived ideas about you amongst their peers. News travels fast in professional circles, so if your online channels give off a bad first impression, expect that first impression to spread like wildfire.
Before undertaking a recruitment drive of any kind, appraise your own brand in the same way you would a client’s:
● Could your website benefit from a refresh?
● Is there old content that could be updated or removed?
● Is your brand’s voice discussing the future of your agency and not just the now?
● Are your digital channels welcoming? (In particular, check how accessible your current website is!)
Tip: It’s always good to know what those in the industry are saying about you online. Use social listening techniques to identify what positives stand out about your agency and what might need to be adjusted.
2. Use long-form content to better position yourself
For prospective talent who want to look a little deeper into your agency, long-form content might be their next focus. Top talent like to get a feel for your agency, usually by looking beyond the ‘face value’ aspects of your branding.
Prospective employees want to know:
● What your agency cares about
● What you specialise in/how you position yourself in the market
● What kind of industries you like to focus on
● How forward-thinking you are as an agency
If prospective recruits venture into the blog section of your website, they’ll quickly learn what topics you consider to be worth discussing at length. This is why for digital agencies who regularly update their blog, choosing strategic topics in the lead-up to advertising a new position can be beneficial.
Long-form content is also a great way to truly personalise your storytelling and build your employer brand through the content you put out. For top-tier talent who care about who they work for, discussions about things that fit their own personal agenda might just seal the deal. We suggest topics such as:
● Good company culture
● The importance of personal development plans/learning tools
● Industry trends
● Social responsibility
● The value of having strategic partners in the industry
With all of these topics, your agency should include examples of how you’re taking your own advice on board and positioning yourself as an industry leader. Use case studies to demonstrate your point and offer truly helpful advice wherever possible. Top talent want to involve themselves with employers who seem like a great move for their career.
3. Make your paid recruitment ads stand out
If you decide to use paid advertising to highlight specific roles within your digital agency, you need to remember that someone on the hunt for a job will be seeing *a lot* of these ads.
To stand out, you need to consider what makes your digital agency different and how you can attract attention, while still appearing professional.
● Ensuring that the imagery you use shows off your creative talents (if you’re a digital agency offering visual communication services, using common stock images can be a kiss of death!)
● Make sure that your ads are also accessible from mobile devices (according to Appcast, 67% of job applications were completed on mobile devices)
● Weave your value proposition into your ad — what attracts customers might also attract talent!
4. Use video… And lots of it!
Do you have current employees who love working for you? Or maybe you have clients who really appreciate your services? This is your opportunity to showcase them!
Video is a great tool for instantly getting the message you want across to the right audience. It’s engaging, direct, and visually appealing to your audience (if done right!).
Particularly when wanting to attract Gen Z applicants, this generation is now using platforms such as TikTok, more than they are using Google Search.
Video is also easy to share across all of your digital platforms. This includes your social media, website, and networking forums.
For best practice, we suggest:
● Asking your best clients and employees (i.e., the ones you know have positive things to say) if they’d mind providing you with a short video testimonial
● Why not try short video or ‘vox pop’ style interviews with current employees to get good soundbites for sharing online
● Evaluate who you’re targeting and use video in a way that appeals to them e.g., Gen Z uses TikTok, but older generations might be more likely to engage with video content on LinkedIn and Facebook
5. Advertise an openness to new ways of working
Even before the Covid-19 pandemic struck, candidates seeking jobs with digital agencies were looking for more attractive ways of working. With hybrid working models and fully remote roles now taking hold of all industries, not just the creative ones, digital agencies not open to this concept might miss out on the best candidates.
Even though for some services, an in-office presence will be necessary, the main priority for a lot of workers nowadays is flexibility. The concept of 9-5 working is no longer something that workers are willing to commit to.
This is why ensuring that your job ads advertise your openness to allowing employees to work around their own lives, at least to a certain degree, is essential.
That said, with tight deadlines also in place for many digital agencies, it’s vital that you set clear boundaries for your workers from early on.
To do this, we suggest:
● Creating an open dialogue with your employees about how policies can be made fair and adaptable for all (i.e., it might not be fair for certain employees to be able to arrive later to work, but not others)
● Clarifying that flexible hours and working models are negotiable, but that deadlines are not
● Ensuring that employees are still aware that all hours worked must be logged in an official capacity
● Making sure that if some employees work from home, the other members of their team are okay with conducting meetings via platforms such as Zoom
Brand yourself to attract the talent you want!
Overall, our key message is to ensure that any recruitment drive you push forward should reflect everything that’s good about your digital agency.
Play to your strengths; if you offer copywriting services, make sure your own copy is on point. If you offer graphic design, don’t allow your own website’s appearance to fail you.
The candidates you want to attract are doing their research on you as an agency, so make sure that they like what they see, and that they’re influenced by what they hear.
How Uprise Digital can help:
As a white label web design service, your clients will never know that we’re the people designing their websites. This allows you to offer expert web design services that tick all the boxes, without the pressure to upskill or completely change your business model.
If your own website doesn’t feel up to scratch, or you feel like it could do with a refresh, why not test our skills on your own website first, before unleashing us onto your clients?
For digital agencies, your website is often what prospective customers and prospective employees judge you by. So, if you feel like you could use an expert eye to quickly elevate this aspect of your agency, we’re the right people to contact.
We’d love to hear from you, so feel free to reach out!