Top 3 Things Advertising Agencies Look For in Team Members

in Strategy & Trends | by Admin

Richard Florida was the first to label our kind. He nicknamed us the ‘Creative Class’ in his book, “The Rise of the Creative Class.” And he was right about this new class of professionals—those whose job it is to master their craft and become a creative guru to produce more meaningful products and services. This is the exact individual whom advertising agencies look for—the design, development, digital and creative expert who is always eager to improve, as well as improve those around them.

The advertising industry is a $600 billion industry growing at approximately 5 percent annually (, and as one of the fastest growing agencies in Florida, we’re proud to play a role in that growth. We’re always looking for members of the Creative Class to add to our agency roster, and we’ve got specific traits that we’re looking for in potential candidates. With that in mind, here are the top three things advertising agencies—including us—look for in team members.

Multi-Dimensional Skill Set

If we were having this conversation a decade ago, it would sound very different. My advice would be to bring a deep-rooted expert in one field to the table. Today, we live in a world that can turn on a dime. We can no longer act as cogs in a machine, doing one thing incredibly well, to keep the machine running; instead, we must wear several hats and become experts in many different topics.

For example, it’s not enough to be a skilled programmer. The truly ideal programmer needs to understand front-end user experience and be able to create a seamless admin interface on the backend. Additionally, the best account leads I’ve seen are not solely proficient at managing tasks in project management software. Rather, they drive strategy while leading a cross-functional team, and lend a strong hand in copywriting, design and creative direction.

Admittedly, the most difficult new employee transitions are those who bring only one deep-rooted expertise to the table. However, they can—and do—adapt if they have the aptitude to learn new skills while improving their current ones.

Mental Agility

Last year, U.S. agency revenue rose 5.4 percent (AdAge,com) so it’s the perfect time to join an agency—that is, if you have digital know-how. In today’s digital age, we’re all going mobile. This means consumers want concise, customized information delivered faster than ever before.

What does this mean? It means we require an unprecedented level of mental agility in advertising agencies today. Long gone are the days of putting a traditional marketing campaign into motion, and viewing results months later. Now we can launch a digital marketing campaign and see real-time results, which enables real-time optimization and faster campaign refinement.

The difference between working in-house in a marketing department and working for an agency is, in an advertising agency, you work on many projects, clients and priority deadlines at once. Since juggling several priorities at once is the norm in an agency, it’s crucial to find a team member who can fire up their neurons in order to think on their feet and draw conclusions quickly.

Communication Skills

Success in business comes down to this trait: communication (I would also argue that success in your personal life comes down to this trait, but I digress). Once considered a soft skill and a “nice quality” to have, effective communication is quickly becoming mandatory.

Communication isn’t just necessary to discuss results and resolve problems, it’s essential to avoid being misunderstood. A misunderstanding in an advertising agency equates to duplicative work efforts, wasting your team’s time, late deliverables, unhappy clients and a stressed-out internal team. Great communication enables productivity; it boosts employee morale, and facilitates on-time and on-budget project completion.

All of the best-in-class advertising agencies recognize that their greatest asset is their talent. At the end of the day, it’s an advertiser’s job to sell human capital. They sell brainpower. They sell ideas. This means it’s imperative to hire the best talent for the job. After all—if we wanted another cookie-cutter replica of a cubicle employee, we would have given into the Machine that is corporate America a long time ago.


  • For a digital agency, mental agility is a must-have. I would add resourcefulness and passion as digital trends are constantly evolving.