Are you an agency fit?

August 30, 2016
 

Clients. They are what every agency has in common. Our revenue and growth depends on the service we provide to them each day, and we are there for whatever they require. Right?

(Pause for mental pep talk here…)

Right.

So, therefore, we naturally need to be selective about choosing the right team members who can meet these client service requirements. When recruiting, we meet with a few types of people:

  1. You’re right out of college.
  2. You’re at an agency but wondering if it’s maybe time for an internal role.
  3. You’ve been at an agency for five, eight or more than 10 years because you love your team and have made good client contacts.
  4. You’re working at a tech company in the communications and marketing department, but you’re bored. You want variety, and you want to learn from people who are keeping up with the industry – not your boss, who was an engineer and isn’t a marketing guru.

We’ve met with many candidates for jobs at Metis since our inception in 2005. We’ve seen people come and go to slower-paced, bigger agencies and also to corporate positions. New candidates sit in front of us and tell us how much they want to work at an agency and how they are the right fit. They love our culture, core values and flexibility, and they vow to never stop learning.

However, through all these meetings and years in business, there’s too often one thing missing – even in the people we otherwise really like. It’s that agency persona, which can’t always be taught, even to people coming from other agencies – it’s that high client-service requirement I mentioned in the beginning of this post.

Here’s a cheat sheet to see if you fit that specific persona:

  1. You can project manage anything accurately, but you’re also creative. This means you can easily juggle client action items, internal to-dos, your email inbox, collaboration tools and every one of your daily deadlines without a ton of stress. It comes naturally to you.
  2. You can deal with and thrive on intensity. You organize your busy schedule (work and meetings) wisely, but you know when it’s time to drop everything for a fire drill.
  3. You genuinely like people. You can handle different personalities (internally and on the client side) and you can figure out (on your own) how to manage them.
  4. Collaboration is your strength. You listen to the needs of the people you work with and you incorporate them into your daily interactions.
  5. You focus on the work for the best of the client and that’s all that matters. Therefore, you can fully immerse yourself in a client’s industry and make recommendations that make an actual difference and provide ROI.
  6. You accurately represent how much time you’re spending on client work for billing purposes.
  7. You understand the “why” of every activity you do, and you mimic that explanation with every internal team and client.

Client service isn’t always easy. If you can’t meet all of these expectations successfully, you shouldn’t work at an agency. You can still be smart, creative and accomplished at another company, but this multi-hat-wearing, you-don’t-know–what-the-day-is-going-to-bring environment is not for everyone.

 

Think you can hang at an agency that’s serious about client service? Let’s talk.

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