The VIA Agency and executive recruiter The Talent Business (TTB) have partnered to launch an initiative that will hire diverse talent to work on retainer as well as maintain freelancer status. This bespoke approach is designed to break the traditional model to open the door to a more diverse talent pool that would otherwise not have access to VIA.
The VIAlocity program has hired a group of five from diverse experiences, backgrounds, cultures, life stages, geographies, ethnicities, and genders to work across VIA's roster, including L.L.Bean, Lowe’s, and Arm & Hammer.
The program enables talent — from stay-at-home moms to retirees to people living abroad — to continue to utilize their agency expertise. Over time, this collective will continue to add additional talent, all of whom will have the option to become full-time employees and relocate to the agency's Portland, ME headquarters or continue to work remotely as part of the VIAlocity network.
"Game changing talent is in high demand with many potentially appealing paths in today’s market," says Charlotte Smith, managing director, North America, TTB. "As with every search we conduct the goal is to deliver exemplary talent who will perform well in the particular culture of a company and align well not just in terms of technical capabilities but values and shared ambition."
This project came about after the shop needed a lot of new full-time workers to accommodate new business over the past year, says Leeann Leahy, CEO, The VIA Agency. "Making new hires is always a great way to spur new thinking and it gave us an opportunity to think about how we might be able to continue to evolve our employment model while keeping with the changing workforce," she says.
"That's when we thought about taking an additional approach that would allow us to work with some of the best talent in the world in a flexible format to enhance our diversity of thought."
Although the hiring process took longer than expected, all VIAlocity participants have adapted to VIA's culture and work model "given that it's a less traditional approach," says Smith. "We're excited to continue to help find and select future VIAlocity participants as we expand the program."