How can agencies win the war for ‘rock star’ talent?

Who would have thought we’d be entering into another year with Covid-19? With more livelihoods & lives lost, vulnerability is a constant companion. We expect the ‘unexpected’– it’s just how life is now.

In tough times, leaders are gathering those around them, who they really trust to fly their rockets. Creative & strategic drivers are the people who make things happen & create the biggest impact!

With recruitment being more competitive than ever, agencies must reimagine their offering.

The State of the Industry report for creative communications & live events was such an interesting read – published on our website. Of those surveyed, 47% said they were confident about the future of the events industry, 47% expected their number of full-time employees to increase a little & 38% by a lot.

At royall, we find that, due to market uncertainty, event talent have sadly left for other industries. It is our mission to attract them back! There is a resultant smaller talent pool to choose from & thus, as a lead recruitment partner, we need longer lead times & more planning with recruitment. Less ‘reactive’ briefs & more quarterly recruitment planning, for best ‘talent engagement’ strategies, required from client partners.

Clients who INVEST in spending time with their recruitment partners will get the BEST from them. Especially given they still work on a ‘no placement - no fee’ terms & basis.

Employer brands must be authentic, creative & genuine. Employee value propositions must be attractive & competitive; with salaries, benefits & flexibility forming part of these.

‘Growth’ & ‘Sustainability’ need to be on the top of leadership agendas, with a ‘people first’ mindset – promoting organic growth. The more engaged people are, the more discretionary effort they will provide.

Many agencies have adapted their approach to accommodate the changing expectations of staff & prospective talent. Businesses need to remain flexible in the current market - talent have more say in

what they are striving for.

As we look forward & ahead to this brand-new year, it is important to recognise that people are still “battle-bruised” & coping with way too much emotionally. Let’s be sensitive to the different ways that the past two years has changed us all. Can we channel the losses into productive creativity, so that we don’t waste what we have learnt? Can we please be CURIOUS, CARING & COURAGEOUS with our people. By putting them first & creating clear, concise, easy to digest & on-board plans, which involve every person in your business, regardless of level – this WILL see your business thrive.

Unsurprisingly, the roles most in demand are those requiring digital, hybrid & virtual skills. Although salaries have increased for talent with these skills, there is not always the revenue to support them. Offering overtime is one-way smaller agencies are managing the increase in workload (but still with concern of live events being cancelled) instead of hiring more head count.

Consensus from the report, whether the outlook is positive or negative, is that the marketplace has changed dramatically due to Covid-19. Skills required for 2022 are in shortage. Employers who have a clearly defined sense of ‘purpose’, one that celebrates the reason for the company existing & celebrates people, diversity & inclusivity, within all aspects of their ‘purpose-place environment’ will “attract, engage & retain” the best talent.

Successful leaders will be those who can communicate openly, with empathy & in a human way. Demonstrating how they will care for the human needs of their people. In addition, they must show as a company, how they have evolved & developed during the pandemic, to be able to provide a stable, caring environment & exciting career paths going forward.

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