BUILT Marketing Strategies

How an Agency Partnership Can Help with Staffing Woes for Marketing Talent in a Hot Labor Market

By Michael A. Monahan, Founder, President & Lead Consultant, BUILT Marketing Strategies

Having trouble attracting and retaining high-quality marketing talent for your business? In 2022, you’re not alone.

According to professional staffing firm, LHH in its 2022 Workforce Trends Report, marketing hiring managers have found it challenging to source candidates with the technical skills, adaptivity/creativity skills and leadership skills they need on their teams. Most hiring managers, according to the report, plan to close the skills gap by hiring new full-time employees 63 percent say they plan to identify and upskill high potential employees within their organizations.

Additionally, many businesses continue to work through effects of “The Great Resignation,” where employees are switching jobs in greater numbers than before. According to survey by executive search firm Korn-Ferry “Of nearly 700 professionals…a third (31 percent) say they would quit their job even if they didn’t have another one lined up.”

That is a stat most marketing hiring managers and business owners have not seen before.

The challenge, though, is the critical nature of marketing to the success of your business, in building your brand, connecting with your customers and helping drive sales.

According to consulting firm Deloitte’s 28th CMO survey, where it interviewed more than 300 senior marketing executives, marketing’s importance increased during the last year. The Deloitte survey said respondents indicated that they expected to increase their marketing investment by 13.6 percent this year, which is on top of 10.3 percent and 5.2 percent growth over the past two years. That increase is also driving demand for full-time talent, as Deloitte’s survey respondents also said they expect to increase hiring of marketing talent by 10.5 percent over the next year.

Another option, however, could be to seek out an agency partnership, where your third-party marketing partner takes on the responsibility for attracting, training and managing talent on your account on a fractional basis. An added benefit of this model is that team members working at an agency gain exposure to work in other businesses or even other industries that they can bring new and creative solutions to your company’s marketing challenges.

According to another report from LHH, its 2022 Marketing & Creative Outlook, 30 percent of hiring managers said they will need to expand their marketing and creative department this year, another 24 percent of hiring managers say marketing roles are the most difficult to recruit. Additionally, 37 percent of hiring managers say creative skills are increasingly difficult to find in potential candidates, post-pandemic, according to the report.

In addition to providing additional horsepower from a marketing strategy point of view, an agency can help overcome challenges in hiring niche functional areas across the marketing spectrum in areas like media buying, graphic design, digital marketing or public relations, videography or web design, where you may not need a full-time professional to do the work. While both the agency and the client benefit from a long-term partnership, many agencies may be willing to work on a project basis. An agency partner could even develop a marketing plan targeted specifically to help you attract and retain talent in other areas of your business, helping you create digital, print, billboard or radio campaigns to help attract top talent in other areas of your business.

If your need is large enough, I’ve even seen agencies embed their team members alongside yours, so you get all the benefits of a full-time employee along with access to all the additional skills mentioned above.

Knowing that multiple options exist to keep your marketing engine running, despite disruptions in the marketplace for talent, can help ensure senior marketing leaders and business owners can continue to invest in their marketing program and continue building their brand.