A mid-sized or small ad agency in India today generally doesn't have an HR department. Even if it does, the HR person is more a recruiter and administrator than a talent spotter and trainer!
As we lose our capacity/ intent to dole out fat salaries, We must think out-of-the- box to spot good talent, hire them, train them and then keep them excited!
And this is the duty of every senior/ mid-level manager in the agency. I often dig into Tom Peters for inspiration in such matters...
Here are some nuggets from his book'The Circle of Innovation'.
1. "Expose yourself to the best things humans have done and then try to bring those things into what you are doing" - Steve Jobs
The original Macintosh team was a marvelous mix of artists and engineers. Their aesthetic interests were as strong as their techie interests! When was the last time, we tried creating/ fostering communities of interest in our agency?
2. "It's the cracked ones that let light into the world."
Are there enough wild guys in our agencies? Are we chatting/ having coffee/ inviting them to our agency? Often enough.
3. "Experience is out. Inexperience is in. It may make a lot of middle-aged businessmen very uncomfortable, but it's a fact of life." - Alan Webber, founding editor, Fast Company
Have you tried giving an important project to the junior most guys in your agency.
I tried recently for a major assignment. The results have been stunningly impressive!!
4. "Good ideas come from differences. Creativity comes from unlikely juxta-positions. The best way to maximise differences is to mix ages, cultures and disciplines." - Nicholas Negroponte, founder and director, MIT Media Lab
Shall we attempt making small diads of copy-writer & planner, servicing and art director, CEO and management trainee, planning director and summer trainee...We may be surprised at the value we might create by this re-mixing!! Let's try creating hot-groups for new business pitches!
5. Hire for attitude. Train for skill.
Hire bright students from design institutes, history students, bio-tech students...Give them creative assignments...Woo them. Woo their colleges. Network with their faculty!
Let's raise the lust quotient of our agency...
As Andy Grove said, we need to create 'waves of lust' for our product - in this case our agency brand!
The wow-ers are unevenly distributed! Are we doing enough to hire them?
Image source : Gettyimages
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