April 13, 2009

It’s Time to Hire

Filed under: Career Advice,Operations — Joe Grant @ 2:51 pm
Tags: , ,


basketball_hoopBNET Industries reported last week that – hold your breath – 27, 281 advertising jobs have been lost so far in the current downturn.

Ye gods!

Now all those people are looking for work. . . and since it’s a buyers’ market, some smart progressive agencies have an unprecedented opportunity to take a quantum leap in their future business success.

The agency world is like music or sports – success is based on talent. Your agency is never going to be any better than the talent it employs; that’s what your clients buy, brains and skill. Mega agencies don’t land $100 million accounts just because they’re big shops – it’s the creative and strategic horsepower large agencies have by the ton that marketers want.

Today’s talent pool is more richly stocked than ever with trophy-sized fish. And it grows larger daily. Just Friday TBWA/Chiat let 40 people go, Team One cut 25, and Saatchi & Saatchi dropped another 20. These were not incompetent marginal players, understand. They worked on accounts like Lexus, Nissan, Whole Foods, and Ritz Carlton where the spend has tanked and something had to give.

This could all be to your great advantage especially if yours is a smaller shop in a medium size market.

How many One Show winning campaigns have these unemployed but creative minds yet to pen? How many game-changing strategies might they concoct? How good would one of them be in your next new business pitch? If you want more sophisticated accounts, get more sophisticated people (below are some links on how to be a better AE).

Don’t forget the backroom folks, either. There are people available who could straighten out your traffic mess in a jiffy.

This damn recession will be over someday and when it is every advertiser will be clambering for customers. Money will flow, they’ll be searching for better agencies, looking for fresh arresting ideas. When that happens the competition will be fierce and you will need high caliber people to loft your agency above its current plateau.

Yes, I hear you. . . you say it’s a great idea but there’s no money to hire. OK, but you’re investing for the future and like today’s stock market, there are bargains aplenty unlikely to come again for a long, long time.

Remember, too, when you’re out of work you’ll listen to any reasonable offer. These people are on sale. The bargains out there are extraordinary.

I’d start to interview immediately. Get to know who’s available – my God, there are more than 27,000 of them! – so at the right moment you can call and point ‘em to a desk.

Find a way to salt your agency now with a couple of Division 1 all-stars and you’ll be playing in the Final Four in no time.

PS. If you’re hiring – or aspiring – here are some thoughts about What’s a Good AE from a previous GRANT’s Client Brief. And there’s more information on our website in this article, AE 101.

Any comments?



  1. Great Advice! The number of lost jobs is amazing but it will also create innovation.

    Comment by Jerry Moore — April 16, 2009 @ 12:19 pm

  2. […] well as attract new, perhaps bigger/more sophisticated clients. I’ve written about this before in It’s Time to Hire and The Good News About JWT […]

    Pingback by Smaller Ad Agencies Doing OK So Far « gRantvertising — April 27, 2009 @ 1:19 pm

  3. […] Purge mediocre or over-ripe staff who are no longer growing. Too harsh, you say? Well for the times ahead you need fresh vigorous talent who’ll lead your agency into tomorrow, not back markers hung up on how easy it was in the good ole’ days (it’s an ideal time to hire because there’s a lot of recently displaced top-notch talent available who can really impact how you attract and keep better clients. See It’s Time to Hire. […]

    Pingback by Reposition Your Agency Now « gRantvertising — May 27, 2009 @ 8:16 am

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