THE DANGER OF HIRING JUNIORS

13 November 2006
Geoffrey Roche, Applied Arts
Geoffrey Roche, Applied Arts

My agency has a long history of hiring juniors because it has been proven over and over that they often produce the best work, regardless of their experience. And yet many more go unhired in our industry because people don't seem to see the wisdom in doing it, or because they fear the investment is too great.


Granted there is work involved in hiring juniors. Soothing the egos of more senior people when the juniors come up with better work. Accepting awards on their behalf because they're busy working late. Trying to figure out how to increase their pay fast enough. Hiding this secret weapon from your competitors. And that's just the beginning. The energy that these new recruits will inject into your agency will, I admit, be hard to deal with. There may be uncontrolled laughter, far too many truly original ideas, boundless enthusiasm and seemingly foolish optimism. In fact, you may even get to love what you do again. It may just re-energize you, your staff, the agency, and wonder of wonders, the clients, who begin to see truly fresh ideas that may have been lacking in the last little while.

And because they're young and new to the business they'll be nontraditional with their ideas, media neutral, and not present the usual hackneyed ways of communicating with today's consumer.

Today's juniors have been brought up with a mouse in one hand and a remote in the other. They are the most media savvy generation to enter our business in years. They will bombard you with ideas that will send you back to your office questioning your every decision. They will force you to think in completely new ways ways that we in our industry need to embrace now in order to move our business forward and regain the trust of our clients. But don't worry, you'll get used to it.

Now here's the really amazing part of this whole crazy situation. There's still a bunch of juniors left out there. That's right, juniors who are still not too disenchanted after months of endless closed doors and negative feedback, questioning why they can't get hired for the princely sum of, wait for it, nothing.

Tomorrow's Brant Mau's (Wieden & Kennedy), Tim Godsall (award-winning director), Glen Hunt ( Joe Canada ), Shane Hutton (Modernista partner), David Rosenberg (Bensimon Byrne) and Christian Mathieu (ex-IKEA North America client head) are waiting for you to hire them. It's like American Idol, only more fun, less nasty and a lot more profitable.

I hired all of these great talents very early on in their careers, or gave them their first jobs, and that's where you come in. Because you get to not only give them their first job, but also to watch them shine as they go forward in their careers. That will be more gratifying than any amount of money you ever make, or award you win. Trust me.

But be careful, and don't say I didn't warn you. You may actually win some business, bag some awards, sell your client's product and begin to enjoy the business again. ?



About Geoffrey Roche

Geoffrey Roche's firm, Lowe Roche, was named International Agency of the Year by Advertising Age in 1999 - on his birthday, no less.