When & How To Grow Your Agency Team

Irene Wind
A writer by day, a bookaholic by night, and a social media geek by nature, Irene shares only best practices in social media management.
≈ 5 min read
Upd. on: 7 Oct 2021

People are one of the most important parts of your business. And they will be until the robots replace some spheres of life. Products can’t create themselves. Nor they can build your agency or business. But people can.

Willing to save money many business/agency owners want to grow their companies in a cost-effective manner. That’s why they tend not to open full-time offices with such goodies as cookies, coffee, and table football, but suggest a remote way of work. However, it’s a really challenging task, especially if they don’t have specialized knowledge of recruitment. It could be said that the most common mistake among them is creating generic job posts that hardly ever attack talented candidates.

As an agency owner, you haven’t to be the smartest person in the office, but you have to be surrounded by the great team. And it doesn’t matter in-house or remotely. Simply put, the success of any company or agency depends on employees. If your employees are a golden ticket to success when it’s time to search for them?

The answer is simple: depends on the stage of your agency growth. So as your agency starts growing, your team has to start growing too.

Once you understand you can’t do everything by yourself, it’s time to establish a plan for the hiring process. This is really very important step which can influence the future of your agency at all.

You see, the truth is that people with different values will be unable to work shoulder to shoulder and build a good ecosystem around your business. There is a big difference between a group and a team, and things what keeps them all together. For that reason, write down the qualities that you want to see in common in all your future teammates (and which you will be ready to develop in your own).

For anyone who had to hire a talented head, the story of the fits and starts in the process of running a plethora of interviews can only bring back reminders of some articles written by famous recruiters like John Swan. He, as a person who dedicated his life to filling job openings, developed his own hiring strategy which is called SWAN.

The formula stands for Smart – Works Hard – Ambitious – Nice –  and these are the perfect combination of qualities that should be surfaced.

For the part – why these qualities matter – Mark C. Thompson and Brian Tracy added a few strong arguments which are outlined in their book “Now, Build a Great Business!”.

  • Successful people are Smart. They know how to use and maximize their skills and competencies for their specific job.
  • People who want to Work Hard go the extra mile and are generally more successful at their jobs.
  • Candidates should be Ambitious and be able to demonstrate why they want a particular job. They should have a clear vision of what they want to achieve.
  • Nice people are desired for their ability to fit into existing work cultures and work with others.

Let’s imagine you need to forget about your laptop, mobile phone, and any other device at least for a week. You won’t able to respond quickly, you won’t able to talk directly to your clients, and you won’t able to control the processes.

Dylan Hey, HeyDigital agency owner, says that you need to know the answer on a simple question – “If you go on vacation right now what will happen to your business?”

And here’s how it works, you need to hire the right people. Just like gardening growing your own team takes time and effort. So if you have enough desire to reap the benefits, be patient and invest your energy in management, regular brainstorming sessions, team building workshops or lanches, and other activities that help get rid of animosity, and cultivate relationships.

Where to look for the people?

  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook groups
  • Facebook posts (ask your friends to help)
  • Upwork
  • Freelancer

And use tools like tools like Bullhorn and TalentBin. They can become a great “filter” for your requirements and help you select the ones you really want.

Outsource or in-house?

Before answering this question you need clearly see the picture of the project’s scope, deadline, and budget.

“I’ve never brought somebody in-house, I don’t have a full-time office with people in it. So I’m based in Talin, in Estonia. I have an office for myself, but I don’t have full-time employees in the office”, shares Dylan Hey.

The statistics 80% of respondents in a ClickZ survey revealed that their agency uses freelancers.

According to Charlett Adams, it’s much better to outsource the repetitive tasks such as payroll, accounts payable, filing, and ordering products. She notes that assigning a dollar value for repetitive tasks helps to clearly understand what’s cost-effective.

If your agency is newborn and you haven’t the manpower and equipment to handle the project, building an outsourced team is probably the best option for you. In this case, you shouldn’t care about designing the room, but rather you can focus on your energy on what matters for your business.

Steve Mezak, CEO of Accelerance and an expert in software outsourcing solutions in his article on LinkedIn says, “You outsource to get a proven software development process so you can focus on your own core competency.”

At the same time, there are many benefits when we talk about in-house team building. Surely, you may not save your money while keeping certain functions in the office, but you will get more control over the quality of the work. Besides, professionals outside your board might not divide the same vision as you. What’s more, they hardly will understand your customers deeply.

If you one of these people who can easily change the direction of the project, then it will be really good for you to have your team under one roof.

There is also important to note that intellectual property will really remain confidential, especially if you ask your employees to sign a non-compete contract which prevents selling ideas in case they leave the company.

When we talk about product development based on VR or AI technologies, then going in-house is the right decision. In this case, technical solutions may be resolved faster. In-house talent can direct all attention to fix a problem, whereas a freelancer always has a list of priorities.

Nowadays, it’s also possible to put your agency on autopilot without hiring freelancers. With the plethora of tools, you can free up your time and save money.

And a final thought…

A lot of these worries are myths. The exact roles of keeping people in-house or outsource vary from company to company. This is all because not all job roles are right for outsourcing and not all job roles have to be full-time in-house hires either.

When it comes to making a decision, there are three vital factors you should keep in mind while answering the question “To outsource or hire in-house?”: cost, expertise, and flexibility.


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