Think agility when building your teams

Matt Jankelow

“Surge capacity”, “agile workforces”, “contingency staffing”. Heard these terms being bandied about lately? Ignore the jargon and concentrate on the underlying concept: new ways to create teams suited to today’s business models.

From a marketing perspective, there has been some innovative (and some not so innovative) thinking when it comes to building teams. The key principle is flexibility, and that’s because business has never been so fluid. And achieving this agility best usually means relying on a reputable staffing agency.

Not only do businesses need more agile teams which can adapt and take on new tasks and roles, but individuals need to be inspired and motivated with new challenges. They also need to transition into new roles on a more frequent basis.

With the pace of change in business (and particularly in marketing), teams are constantly learning, unlearning and relearning to demonstrate value and support key business goals. Marketing executives are constantly challenged to do more. There is pressure on headcount and budgets, with shifting business goals and priorities.

As a result, teams need to be adaptable to maintain relevance.

Historically, when a team member resigned, an automatic replacement brief with the job spec followed to HR. This is what we had, and so this is what we must replace.

Good enough? Not any longer.

Innovative marketing executives are challenging these norms and asking questions of themselves and their business leaders. Some of these questions are:

  • “Do we need to replace this post?”
  • “Could we think differently about how we get this work done?”
  • “Is there a different skill we need more, and which might result in channeling deliverables differently?”
  • “Does this role need to be full-time on-site or could two part-timers with different skill-sets meet the need?”

Innovative delivery depends on innovative thinking when building and structuring a team. It must go beyond the old way of doing things, where large teams were comprised of people each filling a dedicated role (usually aligned to a business unit or a skillset) and possessing some organisational knowledge.

Today’s marketing leaders look at their needs differently. Instead of saying “I need a social media manager to deliver X campaigns”, they might consider hiring a high-level social media campaign manager from an agency for four months to develop the strategy and the campaign ideas. The rollout could then be entrusted to a more cost-effective person.

The result: a flexible execution mechanism that applies best-of-breed skill at different stages of the campaign journey. In this case, you can bring in resources at multiple price points, in multiple locations to get the best value in every sense.

A good staffing agency delivers work-ready professionals, reducing the time required to get competent help. It handles administration and performance management, leaving your internal teams focussed on delivery.

And of course, they should provide people across multiple locations and price points, helping you build an agile team capable of delivering to your objectives and budget.

Matthew is the CEO and founder of VentureWeb. VentureWeb: Building your business with a flexible marketing workforce. Interested to join our agile and global workforce?  See more here.

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