How paper plates and beer help identify agency staff and new business

Who doesn’t love smart product design that does more than just the usual? Two quick examples: a paper plate that helps you lose weight. And beer packaging that doesn’t kill fish. I wonder if the same can’t be done when an agency hires new talent at their shop. Here are two quick thoughts that can help you add the right staff or add the right client to your agency.

Build more new business relationships through better employee on-boarding.

For any new job I’ve been in, seems like the first day features ye olde filling out of standard HR paperwork. I wonder if it isn’t possible to work in another step: capture the names, contact information and other relevant detail of potential agency new business prospects from the new staffer’s past. Typically, this will mean past clients. But could mean other important lead generators for the agency: agency suppliers, media, friends in other professional services, and many more.

These new contacts could be added to the mailing list for the press release announcing the new hire. I’m not suggesting these new staffers become the agency’s new business team. Simply pointing out that there may be an opportunity to share exciting news of the hire with your latest staffer’s world. As the agency proves itself to the new team member over time, there may be further opportunity to keep a former client informed of what’s been going on with one of her favorite past agency people. And at the same time, build a relationship with this prospective agency client.

This same thing can be applied to…wait for it…friends looking for a new job…

Identify more like-minded, potential new hires through better on-boarding, too.

You’ve gone to the effort of finding someone you love. Someone you are hiring, in part, because of what they can do for your agency and for your culture. As you hire one new person, you just might have another job opening or two. This new person will know people just like them. And this terrific new hire just might know someone else looking to work at a great agency.

These ideas might work better six months from the hire date.

Waiting does three things for you: 1) it gives you an excuse to check in with the professional to see how things are going… Which 2) helps reinforce that you care. And… 3) you just might get a more enthusiastic response and interest from the now up-and-running member of your agency’s team.

After all, people’s personal relationships are sacred and valuable things. Asking for a referral six months after the hire date gives everyone a chance to more fully realize everyone’s happiness level.

Who knew paper plates and beer packaging could lead to smarter ad agency hiring and new business practices?