How to find fire in the belly for ad agency new business

So, let’s say you head up an agency. You’ve weathered these past few years of our crappy economy and are determined you’d like to hire someone. Or, gulp, replace an existing full time new business professional. How would you go about finding some good candidates? Here’s a thought or two (not all of which will work for your situation, of course):

  • Tap into your network. Better to have a small group of trusted folks keeping their eyes peeled than just your HR group.
  • Get the word out via social media. Can’t hurt. Unless it’s super secret.
  • Ask a search consultant. These professionals are in a good position to know good guys from bad ones. You’re looking for someone at another agency who’s a bit more proactive than sitting by the phone.
  • Check in with the 4As. I have found them to be an excellent resource, willing to help members with a variety of management issues. A quiet call here could be a terrific thing. (And save you money vs. calling a recruiter.)
  • Find proven number twos at other agencies. This is personal experience talking, having moved from FCB Chicago to a mid-sized shop. This can offer a leadership opportunity for someone with fire in the belly.
  • Call good ol’ Thunderclap. Yep. This is something yours truly does. But more efficiently than others. Last year I served up dozens of candidates to a global agency that was looking for a unique professional. A hire was made. And in the words of my HR client, “he’s a rock star!” If you truly want the deets, gimme a shout.

Hope this helps. If you have anything to add, feel free.