• Craig Lovelidge

In-House Agency Job Descriptions & Hiring Top Talent

Updated: Dec 6, 2019

Hiring In-House agency talent doesn’t have to be a chore. With the right approach it can be a hugely rewarding task. Nailing the written content of the job description is key to attracting top talent. The interview process is just as important to hire the best people for the roles looking to be filled. Here are some deeper insights into tried and tested methods that work.

Years ago, if you went ‘In-House’ many said it would

be the end of your ‘advertising’ career. Today, that definitely isn’t the case. Major Brands like, PepsiCo, Heineken, Citi Chobani, amongst many others have set-up or expanded their

In-House agencies. Hiring top talent has become essential, finding the right people for the right job. The pool of people is growing, but the talented people are becoming less.

To attract the best people you need to start with a stellar brief AKA Job Description.

Copy/paste job descriptions (to start) If you’re the manager of your team or Head of Department you need to be the one to write the Job Descriptions for your hire(s). Only you know what kind of people you need in your team, so put your thinking into writing.

TIP: Look on job sites for the role(s) you’re looking to hire. Copy/Paste their descriptions, then craft the wording exactly to suit your needs. This makes writing JDs a lot easier.

Write, focussing on the candidate In your mind, picture a great candidate and then ‘write, like you talk’. Be self-deprecating, or humorous, if that’s your thing! Don’t be a bore. Job descriptions are an applicant’s first interaction with your agency. Make it a great one. Avoid using buzzwords and jargon. Be factual, honest and purposeful. You want applicants to be ticking checkboxes in their head as they read your job description.

The clearer you are with the wants and needs required for the role, the easier it will be for both parties during the interview phase(s).

Job descriptions go out, applications come in Depending on the size of your company, hopefully you’ll have a HR department that can assist you with getting your finished JD’s out onto job boards, job sites etc. They’ll also be the first port of call for applicants applying plus they’ll look after the screening process.

ATS will play a role here. Review CV’s that have made it passed the ATS but also ask to see the ‘kicked out’ CVs. Some CV’s may not be ‘ATS friendly’ but it doesn’t mean the applicant’s experience is incorrect!

Chemistry and team dynamic Before you interview any candidates you need to: - understand the current dynamic and working capabilities of your In-House team. - be mindful of how the new hire will fit within the current team (collaborative & resourceful)

During round two of the interview stage your team get to meet potential candidates and vice versa. Chemistry is vital and this will become evident from input and feedback.

Interviews: Round one Applicants will either be asked to do an ‘automated’ video interview, replying to a set of pre-recorded video questions OR applicants will be interviewed (in-person or video) by someone in HR — who isn’t you, the person who wrote the original JD. This complicates things! Personally I think this initial stage is failing candidates. (What are your thoughts?)

The results are then evaluated and a selection of ‘appropriate’ candidates are sent to you to review.

Interviews: Round two Over the years, I’ve crafted 15–20 questions that allows both parties to get a very good understanding of each other during a 45–60 minute interview.

Once you’ve done your interview, have 3–5 people from your team do the same. Their opinion counts. They too will be working with this person. Their input is important.

Try and do the team’s interviews (and yours) in one day. A candidate’s time is just as important as yours and your team’s time.

Interviews: Round three Round Three: You’ve chosen 2–3 strong candidates. They get interviewed by your peers including potential direct connections within the business. This is where I’ve received flack because “why do candidates need to meet the business?”

As an agency hire, the candidate will work for the agency but will be servicing the business.

Allowing the business to see a potential candidate allows for some insightful feedback that you (as the agency) may have missed.

You’re hired! Now what? Onboarding is important for any new hire. Your agency needs an onboarding process which allows the new hire to understand everything from how the agency is run, how projects are set-up and delivered, how to book meeting rooms and more. If you haven’t created an onboarding process, you’re wasting valuable time for both you and your new hire. That’s totally counterproductive.

The quicker a new hire can navigate the agency and work with their business client(s) the better it is for everyone.

Do you have any other tips for Writing In-House Job Descriptions & Hiring Talent? Leave a comment below. Don’t be shy, I’d really like to hear from you.

Originally posted to LinkedIn

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