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What talent recruitment looks like now

Updated: May 21

Times are changing. The agency sector is being shaken up dramatically. Jobs and roles are shifting as companies react to the crisis - and as they make plans about how (or when) they'll come out the other side of this.


For some agencies, furloughed staff might be too big a challenge to bring back into the business. For others, there's opportunity to use this time to add more talent to their team. As some reduce, others are looking to grow!


In the past 24 months I've been involved in interviewing and hiring over 20 roles for the businesses I've been involved in. These range from junior to senior roles, across the teams of digital positions (devs, designers, app devs & data analysts).


But there's a catch 22 when it comes to growing a team!

By the time you realise you need to recruit - you then have to begin the search and selection process. Which can take around 2-9 weeks (sometimes longer) depending on how much notice someone has to work first, before they join your team.


Managing recruitment of new talent in a post COVID-19 business world requires a change to what's considered 'normal' recruitment.


Luckily for you, I talk in depth about these challenges and solutions for smarter recruitment with Chengi Guzha (owner of Page 1 Recruitment). He's been working on a smarter solution for businesses, and those looking to find new roles.


In this interview, he shares this perspective and insights from inside the industry - and offers great ideas on how to get ahead and grow your team the right way.


He also covers the topic of how to best set talent free if you're in the position of making hard decisions to 'cut' rather than 'grow'.


Check it out below. There's some show notes on the topics as a guide, and some resource links that go further in to specifics around what Chengi shared.




Show notes:


0:00 - 1:49 - Intro to Chengi and Page 1 Recruitment

2:00 - 2:58 - Understanding the impact of the current crisis on businesses

3:30 - 5:24 - Should I wait for the new normal?

5:44 - 6: 50 - What skills and demand are growing right now?

7:00 - 8:10 - What can I do if I’m furloughed and worried about my role?

8:30 - 9:40 - Things we are seeing in local business and agencies.

10:20 - 15:04 - Where recruitment fits to businesses now

15:33 - 19:20 - How can an agency scale back and best serve exiting people?

19:45 - 22:40 - How to talk about lack of runway to your agency team.

23:05 - 26:45 - How to consider talent from further away post Lockdown

27:01 - 29:45 - Watch out for the ‘Goldrush’ in strong talent

30:10 - 34:41 - Agencies often miss the point of what good recruitment does!

35:00 - 38:40 - Wrapping up, and next steps and resources that could help


Useful resources:

  • For those looking to understand what talent is about - check out the Digital Garage here.

  • For those thinking of moving roles, it pays to answer some internal questions so you really can understand what's going to be the right position for you next. Check out these useful questions and prompts that will help you 'understand your why'

  • Connect with Chengi on LinkedIn


Next steps:


From my experience - there's some great value here if you're thinking of growth for your team, or your in a position of leaving your current role. Here's how I'd approach this:


TEAM GROWTH example:


1) Check out what talent in available, before you define any new roles for your team growth by visiting the digital garage here. You can see what the market looks like and this can often show you more things than you'd consider.


2) Review your year plans - is there a time where having a new role would make the best sense? Whenever that time is - you need to work backwards to give yourself time to recruit properly.


3) Once you have the time plan, keep checking on the talent changes in the digital garage. Get in touch with Chengi - and discuss what you're looking for. Having a talent finders already considering your needs well before you plan to hire the role will help understand how competitive the space is. You might need to talk through what your culture and values are too - to help attract the right candidates :-)


4) If this is a new skillset into the business, I'd also be talking up the plans with clients about the area you're looking to move into. It could be there's lots of interest from them - and an obvious up-sell or value add to your existing client services that help to bring the role in sooner! There's no point selling the role once you've hired in - instead, what demand can you build in advance to help speed up the growth.


5) Bookmark the page - roles and availability will change on a weekly basis - so it's worth bookmarking and checking in regularly. If I know Chengi - he's quick to secure talent into great teams, but also knows how to identify great talent around the UK.



From a TALENT or personal perspective:


If I was leaving a business in a role, or being made redundant through this crisis - then I'd also get in touch with Chengi and have my skills and ideal role spec put up on the Talent Garage.


Alternatively, if I was managing a team and having to let go of some roles, I could also work with supporting my team members OUT of the business in the best way to secure them new and exciting work.


First, I'd arrange a call and talk about how to best support them out of the business, and getting them prepped for new roles elsewhere. I could find out what's required for references (to speed up the process of selection) and work out which examples to offer that best showcase their abilities in the digital garage.


It's going to be better impact than just posting about their skills and availability on my own linkedIn account - that's not doing them justice in that situation! I see a lot of this on LinkedIn. But this feels like it's always a bit desperate on the part of the person being touted as great - by someone who's having to let them go :-(


From my own experience, being launched out of a business (supportively) helps keep doors open for future relationships and projects. I've taken work back to previous businesses because they supported me out into a new role. It shows respect and decency.


I know others in my network who also got work through exited team members because they preserved their professional relationships in the process.


Just cutting team or letting people go can impact the existing team's morale - even if you don't mean to.


Growing or shrinking a team then - show's that there's more to consider and understand for approaching talent post crisis. Check out how Page 1 Recruitment can support your current (or future) needs today!



Thanks for reading this far ... I share detailed and insightful content every week or so to fellow digital agencies and creative business owners. You can make sure you don't miss out by joining my email list here :-)


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