How to Acquire and Retain Top Talent for Your Agency

Welcome to your own special edition walk-through of our Team Accelerator Blueprint

This week we took a different spin on our usual Agency Hour structure. This week our team took action to give YOU an edge by walking through free training, exercises and frameworks that will teach how to hire a world-class team so you can focus on growing your agency.

How to Acquire and Retain Top Talent for Your Agency

I will preface this by saying It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting out and don’t have a big budget, or if you’re an experienced agency owner looking to scale your business. I’m going to show you how to find and recruit top talent with so much certainty and predictability that you will be able to build a team that works like a well-oiled machine, without you needing to be involved in the day to day.

The only way to free yourself from your business is to have some kind of team. Whether it’s sales, building websites, doing SEO or doing the finances, if you are the only person in your agency then I hate to tell you but… you don’t have a business – you have a job. 

“If you ARE the only person in your business you’re a horrible boss.”

That’s because I can bet you’re not paying yourself what you are worth or giving yourself enough holidays.And if you are still doing low value tasks in your agency, you are just trading time for money.  

So, let’s get into why I think you should hire a team member and what the future might look like for you once you undertake this process. 

Story Time With Uncle Troy

A year ago I took a holiday with my family, we went down to Phillip Island for two weeks and every single day Monday – Friday, I was on calls with new leads and prospects. I was doing sales calls the entire time and it got in the way of the holiday. I wasn’t able to disconnect from the business. 

Fast forward a year, we took the same holiday but in a different destination, and for that entire week I did two quick things for work and that was it.  

And the difference is ladies and gentleman is that in that 12 month period there were 3 key shifts: 

  1. Emily moving into operations to essentially run the place
  2. Damien in sales
  3. Dioza qualifying people making sure they are a good fit for us to help them

Those three roles (which are performing really well, go team!) allowed me to get out of the business for a few weeks and pretty much disengage. 

Why You Should Hire Your Next Team Member 

Okay so the framework I’m going to use is called the Five F’s. I can’t remember who coined this but it's actually based on things people say are the most important to them in order on their deathbed – no joke.

The most important things are:

  • Family, they always say I wish I had spent more time with my family and less in meetings 
  • Friends, wishing they had been able to devote more time
  • Fitness and well being looking after their mental and physical health
  • Faith/fulfillment, if you're not a person of faith this might be giving back to the community what you do in terms of feeling fulfilled
  • Finances – the least important and last on the list 

I personally think there is one more F missing though…. Fun! 

Take a moment to think about how you would honestly rate yourself on a scale of 1-5 in these areas in your life? Are you happy with how much time you can devote to each of these?

I am an almost 49 year old man, it’s hard to believe I know! Just a combination of moisturiser and drinking juuuuuust the right amount of wine to pickle and preserve myself so I don't age. 

So how do you give attention to these areas and free up the headspace so you can make improvements? 

Drum roll please……. 

You guessed it! 

Enlist the help of other people to assist in getting things done in your agency so you can restore some balance!

Scaling your team is the only process that allows you to take a step back from the constant grinding and focus on other areas (both business and personal) that need attention. 

Cold Hard Truths 

Now, let’s get serious. 

Let's get into the nitty gritty about why you need to hire your first or next team member. 

There is no leverage as a solo entrepreneur. There, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. 

If you are a solo one man band and you have zero ambition to hire any team member then admit to yourself that you’ve got a job and not a business. If you yourself are not on the tools – you don’t deliver and you don’t get paid. You’re essentially trading your time for money, even if you're making good margins on projects – there is still no leverage. 

Plus if you are honest with yourself, you are not the best at everything you need to do for your clients, in fact you're probably doing a bunch of things at a mediocre standard, and you owe it to your clients to build some kind of team so you can deliver at a high level. I can tell you from personal experience, it is very humbling to see your team members do something way better than you ever could have!

But this sh*t is hard, I’m not going to tell you that it isn’t. 

Growing a team is painful but if you don’t do it, you're putting your clients at risk and letting your family down by always being on the hook no matter when or where. 

If you don’t build a team, you will go broke or burn out.

Growing a Team Gives You Freedom

Once you build a team, what will you do with the extra time on your hands? 

Here are a few ideas:

  1. Take a step back from the internet and get away from the computer. Give yourself the opportunity to think with some distance. 
  2. Focus on business development activities, growing the business, new clients and building partnerships. 
  3. Think about who you are going to hire next.
  4. Look at your finances, where you can cut costs
  5. Rally your team and explain why the work they're doing is important. 
  6. Have more FUN! Take the time to relax and devote attention to the things you enjoy. 

Mindset blown! The purpose of this training was to really unlock those neural pathways in your head and get you thinking ‘I need to hire a team member and I think this is the role I need to hire for’. 

Figuring Out Who to Hire Next

We’re now going to walk through the proprietary piece of intellectual property that we have built here at Agency Mavericks courtesy of Pete crispy butter Perry, one of our brilliant coaches. He developed something called the Org Chart Builder. 

This chart org chart builder is going to help you identify the role you need to hire next and how to develop a strategy to do that. 

For those of you who don’t know, an org chart is basically a visual representation of each team member in your organisation, what they do, how these roles fit together and who they report to. It is a hierarchical diagram that shows various positions within the business. 

When you are starting out you will of course be occupying multiple seats – you might be the developer, bookkeeper, salesperson and the project manager, right? 

As you grow, you need to separate some of the roles and bring in specialists who are really good at those. That is what we are going to walk you through. 

Tasks

The first exercise in your org chart builder is to list out all that you're looking for and what that looks like. Some of the things you want to include are: 

  • Any activities around business development that are marketing sales, customer service or anything to do with delivering products are services to your clients. 
  • If you run care plans all components of this service.
  • Sales processes, managing your pipeline.
  • Strategy calls, monthly check-is with clients, call frameworks.

You get it. The purpose of this task is to list all of the tasks you and your team do on a daily, weekly and monthly basis and categorise these depending on when they happen. 

Now that you have your tasks written down, your next job is to categorise these tasks into different parts of your business. 

There are generally three big categories in business that can be broken down into more granular departments, they are:

  • Sales
  • Marketing/Operations
  • Finance 

Roles

Once you have categorised these chunks what you’re going to do is review your task categories and think about which roles can be assigned responsibilities for each category. Give those roles a name and consider where categories may need to be split into different roles or where they might  be grouped together. 

Be careful not to create too many middle-management roles! 

It is often better to hire another developer than hiring more management. Next, create roles for specialists to come in and get these jobs done and deliver outcomes. 

The mistake I see a lot of agency owners make is thinking that no one else can do sales and strategy for them. You are not a unicorn! Eventually you need to hand over these roles. If you can figure out strategy and sales for clients, so can someone else – they just need the experience and training. 

The Org Chart 

Now we get to the good stuff! Sketching out your org chart. 

When this is done properly your chart should have a CEO or Director at the top, and a tree-like structure underneath it showing various roles within your business, how they relate to one another and who answers to who. 

It’s also important to make sure that you have a box for each role that you might be looking to have in your business in the future. Go in and add the names of your current team members and if they are performing multiple roles make sure to note that too. 

I did this exercise myself about 8 years ago and I have progressively built myself out. I have systematically gone through and replaced myself in the org chart company in all but two roles with people who are better at it than me. 

You are more than welcome to take pen to paper to create your org chart, but here are some tools that make that easier. One is called Whimsical and the other Organimi, they are essentially like digital whiteboards with built in templates that allow you to map out all the good stuff with lovely boxes and arrows and so on.

Developing a Job Scorecard 

This is one of my favourite parts of recruiting and building a team. The job scorecard allows you to stay focused on the outcomes that each role is responsible for rather than the specific tasks they do to achieve those. 

We don’t hire anyone unless they have a job scorecard, and all of our team members are working towards a job scorecard. 

Let’s take a look at how to design a job scorecard when hiring for your next role. This is very largely inspired by the work that Geoff & Brad Smart have done with top grading, if you want to check it out it's a game changer, a fantastic book by Geoff called Who: A Method for Hiring

At the center of that book is the difference between a job description and a job scorecard. Job descriptions are used to hire new team members and set expectations, the problem with that is that they are based on the assumption that the recruit knows how to do the job already. This stifles any creativity from the new hire to find a path forward, frees them up to find a better way to deliver on an outcome rather than just ticking off tasks. 

Team Accelerator Blueprint 

So, would you like to learn more about how to build an agency that grows each month without you needing to run it? Believe me I used to think that was a ‘fairy tale’ too and that it was impossible to achieve. 

That all changed when I realised all it comes down to is…. Building a team of A-players

Imagine if you could spend your whole day working on things that move the needle, instead of being stuck in the weeds and the day to day of your business…

How much faster would your agency grow? How much more fun would you have? How much more time freedom would you experience?

Probably a lot more!

And that’s the BIG secret of million dollar agency owners.Click here to see what you get in our Team Accelerator Blueprint. 

Wrap Up

And that’s it folks! From start to finish a walk through of our EXACT plug and play recruiting process that you can use to build a world-class team and take your agency to the next level.And remember, it doesn’t matter if you’re just starting out and don’t have a big budget, or you’re an experienced agency owner looking to scale. 

The Team Accelerator Blueprint shows you how to find and recruit top talent with so much certainty and predictability…that you’ll be able to build a team that works like a well-oiled machine to grow your agency without you needing to be involved in the day to day.

In fact, I guarantee.

When it really comes down to it. Most agency owners haven’t got a flippin clue what to do when it comes to recruiting and building a world class team, and that puts them at a HUGE disadvantage. 

*Enter the Agency Mavericks SWAT Team* 

We Fix Agencies. 

Head to the link below if you’re ready to unlock your potential and achieve greatness and start assembling your A-Team! 

Talk to our A-Team.

The Agency Hour Podcast

Check out the special edition episodes of The Agency Hour related to this blog.

Listen to the full podcast episodes related to this blog to find out about our plug and play recruiting process that you can use to build a world-class team and take your agency to the next level!

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Troy Dean

Troy Dean

I am the CEO of Agency Mavericks. The reason I get out of bed every day is because I love helping people to grow their web design or digital marketing businesses. I do this through coaching, creating courses, speaking, consulting and heading up our awesome community.

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