Vox Pop: What type of talent are agencies seeking this year?

This week, we asked the Drum Network’s member agencies the following question…

Will your agency be recruiting between now and the end of this year and, if so, what sort of talent will you be looking to attract?

Chris Bishop, founder & CEO, 7thingsmedia -

As a rapidly expanding agency, 7thingsmedia is regularly recruiting for its offices in the digital media hubs of London, New York and Singapore. When it comes to our recruitment policy, it has historically been and will continue to be, to hire service-led highly skilled personnel who are true digital advocates. Our handpicked employees are from high profile brands who work in tandem with top calibre graduates, hungry to learn about the industry and become future digital leaders themselves.

Tom Poynter, managing director, Southpaw -

We’ve grown in staff numbers by 18% compared to 2013 and we have more growth to go in Q4. Being part of the Japanese marketing services network Hakuhodo, we work to 5 year plans and we are currently on track with executing that plan.

Since our re-launch, we have focussed on developing the strengths of the agency in creative, media and technology, all wrapped up with strong client delivery. That has allowed us to hire a number of really interesting people with good calibre of working in high performing and progressive agencies. It is therefore critical we keep winning new business, keep hiring like-minded people and keep the work interesting to retain that talent. In Q4 of this year, we will be looking to recruit a Social Media Director, Data Planner, Senior Copy writer and Social Media Manager in order to support our growth into 2015.

Jonathan Leafe, managing director, Strawberry -

Recruitment will always be a problem area in the creative industries. And all good agencies need to be recruiting - always - whether there’s an immediate requirement or not. We’ve taken this into our own hands and started a spin off agency, StrawberryToo, staffed solely by apprentices and graduates. That’s our talent funnel. You can either be Chelsea and buy in when you’ve a specific requirement or Southampton and have your own academy - we choose the latter.

Andy Donaldson, director, Hit Search –

Our investment into staff will continue into 2015. Recently we’ve brought on board a range of permanent positions from graduate level right through to senior management. With Hit Search moving into Mobile Marketing and Programmatic Display a few months back, we will once again need to staff up accordingly. I don’t feel the digital space has been as exposed to the unemployment stats anywhere near as much as some job markets. The digital space continues to grow and with it new employment opportunities.

Paul Shepherd, founder, Coup Media Ltd -

We've taken 2 people on in as many months - Josh Walsh, social data analyst and Bracken Jelier, our Head of Content and PR. These are strategic hires as we have developed a more data driven process over the last 18 months. We call it LACE - listen, analyse, create, engage and it all starts with a deep understanding of social media data. Moving forward we're always looking for great developers and have good relationship with a number of universities - and in particular their computer science course leaders. All of this tallies with us forging a more data and tech led approach to our client services.

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