Some young friends of mine started hunting for jobs after graduation, and noticed that there seem to be more and more part-time or contract jobs, rather than outright full-time offerings. They are of course worried.
This is not a new phenomenon.
The "Mad Men" era of advertising and communication were golden years where advertising creatives commanded insane salaries and perks, and literally walked all over their peers and clients alike - and got away with it.
Today, those scenes are no more. Big creative agencies are scaling down, merging, consolidating, and even closing regional or local offices all together. These mega outfits can no longer burn cash they do not have, with lavish offices and furnishings, big paychecks for executives to jet about the world, and fancy spending all round in the name of keeping up the name. No more.
From ground up, these mega agencies are also getting beaten and bitten by smaller and more nimble outfits, many of which would never spend needlessly on grand front doors and fancy window dressing, but focus on real work and real battles. And of course, needless to say, clients appreciate the smaller outfits because they deliver the same services at more palatable costs.
It is simple math. If you as a client demand a fancy office, grand openings, expensive meals, and royalty treatment, those come at a price, usually reflected in the invoices you have to pay at month's end to the outfit. Ask yourself, are those what you are supposed to pay for, or real creative and working campaigns? It is not rocket science.
Therefore, on cost containment, one of the biggest costs if you eliminate unnecessary spending on furnishings, expensive spaces, and other utility expenses, is staffing.
This is where governments and multinational corporations (MNCs) have begun to look into. Let us examine the creative or communication agency scenario.
For most communication and campaign work, there are some part of it that demands full-time staffing for continuity and accountability. There are some sporadic work which are projects-based, and demand various and different talents for different client jobs and times. This is where the hybrid staffing model comes in.
A nimble and agile agency keeps a lean workforce that takes care of all the work that needs continuity and sustained accountability, as well as strategic insights and counsel, and engage the best talents for each project or components of a project. There are a great pool of varied talents out there, and all a leader needs to do is to identify the right ones, communicate the needs well, and keep these talents on notice for good projects for collaboration.
The net result is that the client gets accountability on a retained basis, while having the creative campaigns delivered in the most creative and quantifiable manner, with the best-of-class top-tier strategic counsel leading the entire program and team.
This is the same thing that is happening (fast) over at MNCs and even government agencies like. They too, are seeing that nimble and agility are key to future and sustainable success, and moving to hybrid staffing models.
The future is about agility and keeping small. Are you, whether a leader or a jobber, prepared?
PS - If you are keen to hire the best and most experienced communication agency, or to have us provide innovative leadership and sales training for your leaders, talk to us.