The creative. The upseller. The client-pleaser. The new business rockstar. The number cruncher. The strategic genius. The speedster. These are the people advertising and marketing agencies are always on the lookout for.
But the people who make up the workforce of a successful business can’t simply be dumped into these categories. The employees you need – really need – to succeed in the industry aren’t stereotypes and you’ll find them in all departments. These are the four employees you want at your agency.
The employee who isn’t afraid to disagree
Staff members who nod their heads and tell you how great your ideas are may be good for your ego, but they’re toxic for your agency. You should aim to hire employees who aren’t afraid to disagree with their seniors and, yes, even those right at the top. When an idea is bad, could land your client in hot water or has simply been done 3, 567 times before, you want someone who is going to stand up and tell you. This employee could save you a lot of embarrassment and, in some cases, prevent you losing clients.
The employee who makes the most of criticism
This person will take any and all criticism and label it “constructive”. They don’t cry in the bathroom. They don’t bitch to their friends. They don’t practice typing out their resignation letter. Instead, they take the time to think about the criticism they’ve received and create a plan to fix all the problems. Whether it’s about time management, their dealings with certain clients or a creative campaign, they want to do the best job possible. They don’t just accept criticism, they welcome it and see it as an opportunity to, well, simply be better.
The employee who (occasionally) works overtime
Contrary to the general industry belief, you don’t want someone who works overtime every single night and every single weekend. You want someone who’ll do what needs to be done when crunch time hits and there are no alternatives. You don’t want someone who completely mismanages their time and fails to complete tasks within a reasonable period. You also don’t want someone who is so overworked they’re going to burnout, leaving you even more understaffed than you already are. There will be times when your staff need to put in the extra hours but it shouldn’t be a daily occurrence. If this happens, it’s either their fault for wasting time or your fault for having too few resources to get the job done.
The employee who seeks solutions
They say there’s no such thing as a stupid question. They are lying through their teeth. This employee knows that. Which is why this employee won’t come to you with every question or problem. Instead, they do their research first and seek a solution. They don’t come to you with issues, they come to you with solutions. You can count on them to solve problems on their own and deal with the small stuff. You know when they approach you with a worried look on their face, it’s a big deal.
At the end of the day, you don’t want a bunch of stereotypes working for your agency. What you want are staff members who get shit done and do it well. These are those people.
Jes Edgson is a freelance writer and editor with roots in the marketing industry. Originally from Cape Town, she's spent the past few months enjoying the fresh air in the tiny town of Darling. She's always up for a cup of coffee, a chat and a laugh. Opinions shared here are her own.
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