The Agency Initiation Process – New Employee
Remember when we were at University, when those enthusiastic freshers joined sports teams and went through a grilling and embarrassing initiation processes. I went to The University of Leeds and many of the sports team newbies were challenged to take part in the infamous ‘Otley Run’ as their initiation, given challenges along the way it always turned into a night to forget – fun at the time!
I was thinking how the introduction to a sports team is so different to starting a new place of work, or is it? With my role as a Recruitment Consultant I manage the process of helping a candidate look for a new opportunity through to them starting and then in the following months making sure they are getting on ok, during these stages the process is slightly different from agency to agency. Here are a few stories of the different types of experiences people have had when starting new roles.
I’ve heard of people going along to the agency Christmas party before they have started with them, now we know how out of hand these can get! If I leave the story there it isn’t a shocker, it’s actually boring. But when this person is relocating 100 miles and is due to be staying in a staff member’s guest room but is left stranded in a gentleman’s club (his first gentleman’s club visit ever) as everyone got drunk and headed home, the story improves. When I add that he also lost his wallet so couldn’t afford a hotel and had to resort to the nuclear option of calling his parents and asking them to travel the 100 miles to pick him up at 4am covered in lipstick and glitter – the story is so much better!
The above isn’t the most professional introduction they could have been given. Here is how it should be done; the story of a Graduate turned Account Executive at Chatter Communications - An employer branding company based in Leeds, working with blue chip clients to ensure that the employee experience is the best it can be, from advertising, interviewing and on-boarding through to internal communications and training.
“Many, I imagine most, won’t have heard of Chatter. I hadn’t heard of them until I saw their job posting on the Leeds Uni careers site. Having worked for a Big Four firm and not fitted in, I knew I was looking for something at the other end of the scale. Chatter basically is that.
The first interview was simple – have a chat with the partners – Jon, Lisa and Paul. Topics covered included the perfect water temperature to brew tea, my desire to go traveling that summer, and how I make sushi at home (I even brought some in for them!). The second interview had slightly more structured: a presentation on Old Spice’s marketing campaign; and drawing up an American Football play. That night, I found out I had the job.
I was offered the job in February. I was going traveling in June around China and Vietnam (while wearing a Chatter-branded t-shirt), so would start in July and walk straight from the graduation ceremony into the job. In the time before I started, I was always welcome to stop by the office for a brew, I was invited along to the company’s 2nd birthday shin-dig and Paul lent me his massive rucksack to save me the expensive of buying a new one.
Best of all, I was thrown a going away party. The catch? I first had to spend the day putting up flat-pack furniture in the new office, and I had to arrange the party with Harry, another Account Exec hired at the same time as me. We ended up playing golf on simulators in a bar before heading for a thoroughly underwhelming meal at The Living Room. Still, was an amazing send off.
Since I’ve started, I’ve really been thrown into the deep-end. I’ve helped plan the grad fair campaign for a big bus and train company, been given the responsibility for the day-to-day running of a major new client, and been kicked out of a kebab shop at 5 in the morning after an awards do in Manchester! (We won two awards, one of which I promptly went and broke).
Team lunches are a regular thing, although since we’ve got a lot busier it’s more likely to be take-out than eating out. I get to go to work and supply a service that makes me proud, have a laugh, do something I enjoy, and learn from three experienced (translation: old) business partners.”
By Tom Pollard.
Another story is of a PPC Manager who relocated from Sheffield to Leeds to head up Paid Search for Zeal Media - a full-service digital agency passionate about helping businesses get the most out of online advertising and their website.
“Making the decision to look for a new role was not an easy one as I was happy in my previous position although I knew I was ready for a new, bigger and better challenge to take my career to the next level.
I put a lot of thought into my new role as I was looking for a step up, a challenging position I could make my own working for a company in which you are part of the family and not just another cog in the machine.
With all this in mind and after a good few discussions with Lee from Digital Minds about what I was after Lee came to me with the role Head of Paid Search At Zeal Media, Lee arranged an interview for me so I went in to have a chat with the two directors Jane & Mike. Straight away I knew this was the role for me and thankfully Jane and Mike agreed as they offered me the Job which I more than happily accepted.
To introduce me to the team they arranged for me to come in and do a full handover then go out for a meal and drinks, making me feel right at home straight away!
Since my time in Zeal Media I have loved every second working with many other like-minded digital professionals as me, it’s great! We go for team drinks, lunches and days out like Flamingo Land and Indoor Karting!
I’m now working hard with the rest of my team to grow the paid search department and ensure we are always delivering the best possible results for our current range of clients.”
By Daniel Lawrence
Prior to Dan accepting his role at Zeal Media, he had job offers from some of the ‘big players’ on the Digital Leeds scene. He prefers the more personal hand crafted solutions he and his team can offer rather than being bound by the red tape that the larger agencies are. Dan’s team’s work comes very highly recommended, if you want to get extra return from your paid search investment drop him a call.
These are examples of agencies that have got it right, they knew the type of person they were looking for and brought them on board to do the role they promised. Some agencies miss sell opportunities so the candidate finds themselves doing a different role to what was promised to them, these stories are for a different blog.
If you are looking for a new opportunity or someone to fill a role you have in your team drop me a line, we are passionate about every step of the process from finding the right person to putting them in the perfect opportunity. We specialise in SEO, PPC, Affiliate, Display, RTB and Social from technical implementation to client services at all levels of seniority from Grads to MDs across London, Yorkshire and Manchester.