Monday, March 28, 2016
Retainment vs. Recruitment
You might be wondering what all the excitement is about. Or, you might have clicked away to Adweek to read another one of their crack journalistic pieces: 27 under 27, The 27 Media Associates Under 27 Years Old Who Took Home the Most Logo-Emblazoned Oven Mitts.
But if you have stuck around, I finally figured it out. You know it. The Exit Plan. The seismic career move that will see me through to retirement and keep me out of a dirty nursing home.
Every copywriter and art director I know is looking for the Exit Plan.
Some will open up a frozen yogurt shop. Some will turn to real estate and sink their money into useless plots of desert land hoping the government will want to lease it for a solar panel farm -- that's not gonna happen. And some seasoned veterans will find relief in the chaotic up and down world of freelancing.
They will discover, as I have, that uncomfortable feeling walking into a new shop and the staffers glaring, contesting their very presence...
"Why is Grandpa in the office?"
Well, those days are numbered for this 44 year old.
You see, I'm transitioning out of copywriting into the new lucrative world of Human Resources. I'm going to create my own job title and offer my services to ad agencies throughout the land as their new Chief Retainment Officer.
You might read this as some harebrained idea from a guy with no head for business. Or simply another comedic vehicle to pad the blog on a slow news day, but I'm completely serious.
Agencies spend a shitload of money trying to attract talent. With the recent Gustavo Martinez debacle at JWT, they're sure to spend even more recruiting women and minorities. Though not "Fucking Jews", there are enough of those.
It's a sizable investment.
But they might as well be tossing that money in the toilet. Or the Rich Siegel College Tuition Relief Fund.
Because, let's face it, after 2 years of servitude or the 78th unpaid weekend of pad thai noodles and deck-building, whichever comes first, that "talent" bolts. With it goes all the money the agency has sunk into them: training, relocation fees, and the priceless ability to make sense out of the strategic briefs coming out of the Planning department.
Agencies need to find a way to retain what they have worked so hard to recruit.
That's where I come in. Because, perhaps better than most, I know why they are leaving.
As the Chief Retainment Officer, I'm going to fix all that. I'll be the bull in the china shop. Re-aligning briefs. Canceling meetings. And telling clients, "No."
I'll reverse the flow. Instead of creatives leaving to go elsewhere, they'll be lining up at the door, camped out in the parking lot, just hoping to get in.
I'll help create the kind of environment that is conducive to great work and pays untold dividends in employee loyalty. My exorbitant salary will be redeemed within months. And agency brass will be kicking themselves wondering why they hadn't contacted me earlier, before their A-list Norwegian rockstar creatives packed their bags and herring mason jars and went back to Oslo.
And if all doesn't go according to plan, I can always crank out some banner ads.