John Hegarty: The future of talent depends on fluidity | Advertising

Sir John Hegarty, former global creative director and co-founder of Bartle Bogle Hegarty, believes agency brands need to develop a strong sense of culture to attract a more fluid workforce.

Coming from popular roots, he also stressed that diversity is a fundamental part of creativity and an imperative for the success of any agency.

Hegarty said Countryside that as more agencies turn to a hybrid approach to staffing, increasing the number of freelancers to accommodate larger projects, it will become even more important that there be a distinct agency culture.

“I think the future will be a matter of fluidity. People say to me, “Well, does that mean that agency brands don’t matter anymore? ” Far from there. In fact, the need to have a very, very strong culture is more and more important in this fluid world. It’s because people who are independent are going to think, “I just want to work with people who respect the way I work, my thinking, the way I present, the way I do things. You will still have a relationship, but it will be a much more fluid relationship.

“So when people say it’s the end of agency culture, it isn’t. In fact, it increases the need for that culture to be ever stronger, more powerful and more defined.”

Think of an agency as a club

Hegarty sticks to the analogy used in his book Hegarty on advertising (published circa 2011) that agencies should be considered clubs.

“Think of an agency like a club, where you have a core membership, a core team running it, and then members come and go as they want. Members engage with it, you have a relationship with it. , that’s the important thing And I think that’s what Genie does, he develops a relationship for creative talent and clients so they know who to work with and how to get the right kind of people. “

Talk to Countryside to share updates to the independent technology-based matchmaking service Genie, of which he is president and investor, Hegarty spoke about the speed and efficiency of the platform.

“As we always say, there are three things humanity has been obsessed with since the beginning of time. One, predicting the future, to know what will happen tomorrow. The other two are speed and speed. “Access. Speed ​​and access is what Genie provides for a customer. In a competitive world, I want better people and I want them faster, and I want them better for me.”

Following rapid growth in 2021, Genie announced today (January 11) the next step in its growth with the launch of Genie.os, a new talent management system that will further facilitate access to a pool of talent at across the creative spectrum.

Genie.os tracks its flagship automated talent agent a la carte, in addition to offering companies complete oversight and control over the management of their freelance talent through a subscription pricing model and live data dashboard . There will be a fixed monthly fee for using Genie, with levels based on total freelance expenses.

In 2021, Genie made more than 13,000 matches which he said saved hiring companies over 6,500 resource hours when hiring freelance talent, for research, booking, paperwork management and more. Production and social talents have also been added to the platform. Genie.os is currently used by Saatchi & Saatchi (Publicis Groupe), Virtue (Vice), 72 & Sunny and Berghaus.

A diverse talent pool

Hegarty believes that diversity is critically important to any agency, because having a wide range of people brings richness, experience and different visions. Relying on the belief that diversity is a fundamental part of creativity, Genie follows the diversity of its network.

Nick Grime, co-founder of Genie, said: “One thing we tell a lot of our customers is that if you build a hybrid workforce now, or if you’re on your way there, it could mean 25%. at 30% of your workforce is independent, so you can’t sweep that part of your workforce under the rug and not understand its makeup.

“Genie as a platform tracks all of this data. So as companies build their freelance network through Genie, we can bring all of this diversity data to them because it is imperative that they have a diverse workforce and that the independent part of that labor force is essential. and important to them. “

Genie captures the diversity of the talent pool in various fields, including age, gender (where he equates to 37% of his talent pool are female), ethnicity (where he finds 20% are female), ethnicity (where he finds 20% are female). identify as non-white), LGBTQI + (16% of his talent pool identified as such), disability and education (where he found that 65% of his talent pool are graduates from the state). This, Genie said, gives the platform tangible and actionable insight.

Hegarty added, “It’s not about ticking a box. I always went out and tried to find the best talent I could find. I found that a lot of interesting kids were coming my way from all over the place. who didn’t understand the way advertising worked, but I didn’t want them to.

“I remember taking out a creative team that I hired to have lunch together in the early 80’s. They couldn’t read a menu. I gave them the menu, it was Soho Brasserie, I’ll never forget it , and they looked at each other, looked at me and said, “How do we do this?” They had never been to a restaurant. I thought it was great, it brought a fantastic perspective.

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