Hiring is one of the biggest challenges in managing an agency. Between a growing skills gap and the obstacle of attracting the right candidates, hiring for your agency can be a stressful task.

Once you find the right team member, it’s equally important to retain them. The last thing you want to do is invest a lot of time and resources to find a replacement.

An organization is only as successful as its people, which is why finding and keeping talented team members is vital. Here are six tips to help you hire and hold onto the best employees at your agency.

1. Understand your needs

If you aren’t clear on what you’re looking for, you’ll likely have trouble making the right hiring decision. Know precisely what the role involves before you start creating a job description. 

Consider the job requirements. Which qualities and skills are non-negotiable? Which ones are nice to have? Once you’ve determined the essential qualifications, you can use them to guide your search for the right person for the position.

To create the best job description, be sure to tailor it to your agency and highlight impact and results. For instance, if you’re hiring a content strategist who will be in charge of generating revenue by X percent, include those details in the job posting. Getting specific about what the job entails gets the right candidate excited to tackle the challenges of the role.

2. Form the right hiring team

It’s best to rely on a hiring team versus a single person to find the right talent. However, you want to be sure to recruit team members strategically. 

Create a hiring team that blends both human resources professionals and team members of the department for which you’re hiring. The team should include the supervisor of the position you wish to fill as well as someone who has a thorough knowledge of the job. 

Make sure you select the most personable employees to conduct interviews so that candidates will get a good idea of the people they’ll be working alongside. 

3. Search the appropriate channels

Recruiting the right talent means you’ll have to look in the right places. Implementing an employee referral program is one of the best ways to make the right hiring decision. 

An employee referral improves the quality of the hire and increases the chances they’ll stay at your organization longer. According to LinkedIn, employee referrals are a top source of quality hires, along with social networks and online job boards.

Using a social media platform like LinkedIn is an excellent way to recruit candidates, especially those that may not be actively job searching. Research by the network shows that new employees sourced through LinkedIn are 40% less likely to leave the company within the first six months. 

Don’t forget to track your postings on job boards and social networks so you can review analytics to see which of your sourcing strategies is most effective.

4. Cultivate employer branding

Many agencies focus on marketing their brand to clients but often neglect their employer branding. However, employer branding is a critical part of recruiting talent. In fact, 62% of professionals across 26 countries ranked employer brand as the deciding factor when applying for a job. 

Increase your employer brand awareness among potential candidates to attract talented team members. Focus on communicating your company’s values and culture as well as any work-life balance perks. For instance, maybe your agency values collaboration or offers flexible work hours. Share what differentiates your agency from competitors.

Consider developing an employee advocacy program that encourages current employees to promote your agency on the platforms they use. You can also reach prospective employees by investing in thought leadership content and posting it on relevant channels.

5. Offer opportunities for growth and development

Employees will likely stay longer at a company that values continuing education and professional growth. Make sure team members are aware of any certifications or options for training. Encourage opportunities for employees to learn, such as industry conferences or workshops. 

You might even consider offering partial or complete tuition reimbursement to encourage employees to take advantage of additional educational programs. 

It’s essential to nurture and support employees by providing ongoing opportunities for professional growth and development. 

6. Encourage flexible schedules

Today’s employees place a priority on work-life balance. According to Clutch, 41% of employees say that flexible hours are the most important perk they receive. Furthermore, 54% say it’s a perk that matters most to their job satisfaction. 

Organizations that offer flexible work environments will stand out among other companies. Show team members you value their life outside of work by providing flexible work hours, a generous paid time off policy, or the opportunity to work remotely.

Not only do flexible schedules attract top talent, but they also increase employee productivity and engagement.

Finding and keeping top talent for your agency can be difficult. However, having a clear sense of the job as well as the right hiring team, recruitment sources, employer branding, and incentives can make the process less challenging. Take the time to develop a robust recruitment strategy, and you’ll likely attract talented team members who will be an asset to your agency for years to come.