As the Hispanic market evolves, the strategies to target them are becoming more complex. Agencies must evolve to deal with these complexities. This means getting away from old school mentalities and striving to incorporate new and innovative ways of thinking. Hiring young top-tier talent at the entry level can help begin to evolve agencies in order to meet the needs of marketers entering the complex Hispanic market. Marketers need to work with agency partners with smart people in order to crack the Hispanic market.
About a year ago, I began the interview process for an assistant account executive. I was lucky enough to interview a recent Princeton grad. After I finished my interview with her, I rushed over to our CEO’s office and asked to hire her on the spot. His response, “Pull the trigger.”
For the most part, talent does not fall into our laps very easily, and marketers in general have a hard time attracting the best and the brightest. The Hispanic market needs these people even more than the general market because we need to be more efficient with our time, energy and money since we have smaller teams and fewer dollars to work with.
So I asked a recent graduate what agencies should do to attract people like her. Below is what she felt were the most important attributes are in hiring young talent:
Recruiting. During my senior year in college, banks and consulting firms were constantly on our campus recruiting. They had only one goal: getting the best talent for their firms come September of the following year. The result: over 50% of my graduating class works in either banks or consulting firms. At the time, I already knew I wanted to work in the advertising industry, but there was no one recruiting and, thus, I had a much harder time finding my way into the industry. Agencies should make more of an effort to go to top universities to convince students of the incredible opportunities available in the industry. This will help getting great talent at the entry level.
Reputation. Let’s be honest. Recent grads want to work at the hottest agencies. This partially means working for cool accounts, but more than anything it means working for agencies that have great people that you want to work with. This needs to be an internal effort from senior management because people often talk about the things that happen at the work place, especially in our space. One of my HR managers at a previous agency warned us that we should always be careful of our actions and behavior because once you ruin your reputation at one agency, you ruin it in the whole industry.
Mentorship. At the entry level, the best candidates don’t always have a ton (or any) experience in the industry. Many agencies have developed new-hire training orientations and programs, which are very useful. However, even more important than this is having a mentor, whether it is a direct supervisor or someone else with experience in the industry. The reason I have been able to thrive is not only because I was able to find a great mentor in my direct supervisor, but also because I have had the opportunity to work with executives at the senior level who have taken the time to teach me some valuable lessons.
Nurturing talent is a key part of keeping employees. This will help employees feel like you care about them, which many agencies completely underestimate.
A vision of the future. In speaking to people working in the industry, I have gotten the idea that some young people see their time in the Hispanic space as temporary. For this reason, it is important for agencies to have a clear vision towards the future and how each person will be integral to the agency’s success and communicating this to entry level (and mid-level) employees. That way they will be more inclined to stay for a longer period of time.
Both marketers and agencies should be concerned with hiring smart talent at the entry level. In the end, the smartest people will come up with the smartest solutions to the problems brands are facing. As a marketer, you should consider your potential Hispanic agency partner recruitment process and the measures being taken to retain employees. As an agency, we need to be more cognizant of this process as well and make sure we are taking the above points into consideration. That way, we can be sure to get the smartest and most innovative thinkers.