Talent is the pulsing heart of any creative agency. All of the norms around recruiting, onboarding and managing talent were thrown out of the window on March 24th. It's different, that's for sure, but is it harder? Amazing things are possible when you set your mind to it.
Howard Weston told us while being interviewed for our podcast that he's completing a company sale and the counter-parties have never met 'in real life'. Russ Powell joined our group to set up a new B2B marketing agency for us ten weeks ago and he's won three clients already. We've never met Russ, he's never met us and he's never met his clients, but it's all working just fine.
If companies can be started, bought and sold without physical meetings, onboarding and managing, why can't talent be managed the same way?
I much prefer to meet people 'in the flesh'. It's hard to pick up non-verbal cues and communication on video conferences especially when you can't see hands. But it is a necessity and we've all been doing really well with it.
From the talents' point of view, the distance and privacy that a video connection presents might even be seen as attractive. It's much easier for individuals to control their environment, manage their interaction and keep task-focused when the personal stuff is screened out by the err... screen.
Additionally, it's harder for Global Mega Corps to intimidate candidates and talent over video. No enormous atriums, no long waits for interview, no uncomfortable chairs or other cynical power plays. The video offers us all a level of egalitarianism so we can focus on what matters. Talent.
I'm looking forward to more face-to-face contact with our people. As well as being hugely talented, they are inspiring, engaging and fun to be around. But the last three months have changed my view and I think there are circumstances when video is preferable. First interviews are a great example. Video levels the playing field, saves time and money and gives the candidates more control.
The coronavirus pandemic has presented challenges that have forced leaders to think long term and act quickly in every part of their organisation. Talent management is no exception, with bold action needed to provide long-term growth. In early-June, almost nine million workers were furloughed in the UK alone. While the country grapples with an entirely new way of working life, this unexpected influx of talent in the remote workforce could provide a needed boost to talent management strategy.