This article was originally run for American Marketing Association members on their site. Thanks to the AMA for giving us permission to reprint!
In the fast-paced world we live in, where instant gratification isn’t instant enough, the pressure and demand to produce faster for clients and internal stakeholders is high.
This often forces us to hire staff quickly to get the job done, but with lack of time already being an issue, many hiring managers simply feel they don’t have time for it.
As recruiters in this niche space, however, we see up close the impact that it has on a company or agency to not set aside the time to do it properly, and how much time that costs companies in the end.
Whether you’re hiring directly, using a staffing agency, or using HR or internal recruiters to staff your creative team, here are a few things you can do better up front to make sure you hire the candidates that will make your company or agency soar.
1. Quit hiding behind email.
I can’t stress enough how valuable actual conversations are during the recruitment process. Even if you are the person in charge of hiring, chances are you aren’t the only person involved in the process. SO much more comes out in having real conversations with the people involved in the process than you could ever put into an email—whether that’s the initial brief or feedback.
And while most people profess “not having enough time” as a reason they can’t book a phone call, an email almost always takes more time to draft and includes only a fraction of what valuable information comes out in a call or face-to-face. Furthermore, it makes all parties involved feel more invested when they know you've respected them enough to speak to them.
2. Look for the right things in a candidate.
This may sound quite obvious, but it may not be. Recruitment can be a bit like dating: someone may meet all the criteria on your list and yet be the absolute wrong person for you. That’s because we are dealing with people, not robots. Rather than just look out for if a person has previously done every single thing on your job description, look at their aptitude to learn, attitude, hunger, and the transferrable skills that would make them a good fit.
And when it comes to budget, a more expensive candidate might do the job in a quarter of the time, costing less to deliver brilliant results in the end.
3. When you find what you’re looking for, move FAST.
This is one of the most common mistakes companies make when looking for their next new hire. The best candidates are in demand, and have options. They’re getting job offers when they aren’t even looking for them. So if you get stuck in the “well, we want to see more portfolios and who else is out there in the market” trap or take too long to complete the recruitment process, the best candidates will get snapped up.
If you don’t have approval to hire fast, consider contracting the candidate of your choice until you can hire—this gives you a chance to test them out as well. The best candidates also tend to have less patience for inefficiency in the hiring process, which is a good thing, because when you are the company that wins them over, they’ll bring the same “A game" they expected from you.
I promise, all three of these things will save you time up front, build a great reputation for your company, increase rapport with candidates & stakeholders, and most of all, benefit YOU in the end!
Deborah Musolff is a Director of Business Development for Vitamin T.
She began her career in recruitment in Sydney, Australia, where she worked for the Firebrand division of Aquent. She has been a contributing writer for PR Daily, Firebrand's Idea Ignition Blog, and Vitabites.
Deborah holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Penn State University.