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Profit & Growth Tips for Digital Agencies

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How to Improve Your Agency’s Hiring Strategy with Resource Management

Posted by Laura Hernalsteen on Mar 17, 2016

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In the US, the average cost of hiring a new employee is around $4,000. In certain parts of Europe, these costs are substantially higher - costs that will only increase if you make unnecessary or uninformed hiring decisions.

Thankfully, effective Resource Management can provide you with valuable insights to improve your digital agency’s hiring strategy, to ensure that you make the right hire at the right time.

Today I’m looking at the three main ways you can use Resource Management to discover when and who to hire, and to help your agency implement a more effective hiring strategy.

1) Understanding When Your Agency Needs to Hire Additional Staff

Resource Management provides insight into your agency’s current and past workload, which allows you to see how it is changing over time. You will also have an overview of upcoming work and deadlines.

This information, combined with insights on team utilisation (what percentage of your agency’s time is being spent working on billable projects), you will be able to identify if and when your agency team is (or will be) understaffed.

For example, if you can see that in six months’ time your agency will be under immense pressure due to conflicting major deadlines for project X and project Y, you will understand that now is a good time to start looking for additional staff – before you start feeling the strain and falling behind on deadlines.

2) Understanding What Type of Employee to Hire

Once you have identified a need to hire additional staff to meet your deadlines for project X and project Y, you will be able to see whether the staffing shortage you have identified is a short- or long-term problem by looking at trends in your agency workload.

If your agency workload indicates that you have an ongoing staff shortage (i.e. your team is working at near-100% utilisation on billable projects and still falling behind on deadlines), you know that you will need to hire a full-time employee. Alternatively, if you can clearly see that your staff shortage is caused by a very demanding one-off project, you know that it will be a better option for your agency to hire a freelancer, as there won’t be the same demanding workload once that project finishes.

3) Identifying Skills Gaps that Your Agency Needs to Fill

A Resource Management tool allows you to track one of your digital agency’s most valuable resources: employee skills.

For example, you can label employees in a Resource Management tool to display the skills they have, and label projects in a similar way to identify skills that will be required for that project. This means you can match employee skills to project requirements, allowing you to track trends over time to see what is changing.

As an example, through analysis of your current and past projects, you may find that your agency’s projects are increasingly involving a lot of SEO work, or that the SEO work in your existing projects is regularly running behind schedule. This shows you that SEO is a key skill shortage in your agency, and lets you identify a need to hire an SEO specialist in order to meet your agency’s project deadlines.

Essentially, good Resource Management helps you to identify skills shortages by highlighting the difference between your agency’s existing skillset, and your agency’s required skillset.

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